Thomas Kuhn's Predicament: A Response

Date: 
13-07-2015 from 15:00 to 17:00
Location: 
Blandijnberg 2, 160.015
Presenter: 
George E. Smith (Tufts)

Late in life Thomas Kuhn publicly disavowed the views denigrating the epistemic standing of science that have customarily been thought of as deriving from what he said in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Indeed, he never veered from the view that modern physical science represents the most extraordinary epistemic achievement of our civilization. The book he had been working on for years at the time he died was intended to provide an account of progress in science reconciling what he said in Structure with this view. The book opens with what Kuhn said was the predicament that he had labored with in Structure and all his subsequent work: "to see a way to account for scientific progress without recourse to [the correspondence theory of truth]." In addition to analyzing what Kuhn took this predicament to involve, the talk will propose a response to it that is at least compatible with his provisional title of the book, The Plurality of Worlds.