Incommensurability and dynamic conceptual structures
Philosophia Scientiae, Volume 8 (2004) no. 1, pp. 153-168.

One important problem concerning incommensurability is to explain how theories that are incommensurable can nevertheless compete. In this paper I shall briefly review Kuhn's account of the difference between revolutionary and non-revolutionary conceptual developments. I shall argue that his taxonomic approach and the no-overlap principle it entails does not suffice to distinguish between revolutionary and non-revolutionary developments. I shall show that his approach builds mainly on analyses of feature correlations, and that it is necessary to include explanations of these feature correlations as well. This puts emphasis on theories; an element which has played only a humble role in Kuhn's work on scientific lexicons from the 1980s and early 1990s. I shall argue that on the basis of this extended account of conceptual structures, incommensurability can be understood as overlapping feature correlations that are covered by different explanations.

Un problème important à propos de l'incommensurabilité est d'expliquer comment des théories qui sont incommensurables peuvent néanmoins entrer en compétition. Dans cet article, on examine brièvement le compte rendu kuhnien de la différence entre transitions conceptuelles révolutionnaires et non révolutionnaires. On argue que l'approche taxonomique kuhnienne et le principe de non-recouvrement qui le sous-tend ne suffisent pas à distinguer entre ces deux types de transition. On montre que cette approche s'appuie principalement sur des analyses de corrélations entre traits, alors qu'il est nécessaire de prendre de plus en considération les explications en vigueur de ces corrélations entre traits. Ceci met l'accent sur les théories, un élément qui n'a joué qu'un rôle modeste dans le travail que Kuhn a consacré aux lexiques scientifiques des années 1980 au début des années 1990. On argue que sur la base de ce compte rendu élargi des structures conceptuelles, l'incommensurabilité correspond à des corrélations qui d'un côté portent sur des traits présentant des recouvrements et de l'autre sont subsumées sous des explications différentes.

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Andersen, Hanne. Incommensurability and dynamic conceptual structures. Philosophia Scientiae, Volume 8 (2004) no. 1, pp. 153-168.

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