Chomsky, Popper, et al

Sun Apr 2 15:50:08 PDT 2000

In a message dated 4/2/00 6:27:19 PM Eastern Daylight Time, mpollak at writes:

<< The

phrase most often heard is "competing paradigms," which is a reductio ad

absurdam, since if they are competing, neither of them is a paradigm --

i.e., neither can be associated with normal science. (Kuhn could have

made this clearer. But I think it's inescapable from the logic of his

argument.) >>

That is a reasonable argument, but I do not think that the error is logical. After all, in the early days of The Scientific Revolution, Newtonianism and Cartesianism really were competing paradigms.

I think there can be "normal science" in a particular tendency in a nonconsensual field--evem philosophy! But may Lakatos' talk of reserach programmes is more usual in this context.


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