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Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

Special Issue Dedicated to the 100th Birth Anniversaries of Thomas Kuhn and Imre Lakatos

Volume 59, Issue 4, 2022
After Postpositivism

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editorial editorial

1. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 59 > Issue: 4
Ilya T. Kasavin, Orcid-ID Lada V. Shipovalova
Илья Теодорович Касавин
Современная философия науки: вечное возвращение
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The article explores the contemporary philosophy of science in the context of the idea of eternal return. The problematization of the intellectual field “after postpositivism” runs through the renewed questions “what?”, “how?”, “who?” and “for what?” of scientific research. This questioning is a search for bearings in the historical space and time that determines “after what?” or “back to whom?” the thinking about science unfolds. Such a reflexive appeal to the origins leads to the ideas of the philosophy of science of the first half of the twentieth century. It is then that the main differences within the research of science were formed: between sociological and methodological approaches, between philosophy and disciplines that study science, between the goals of forming a worldview and managing science. The philosophy of science “after postpositivism” expresses itself in the controversial interpretation of the subject matter and method of the study of science, in the division of labor between disciplines and approaches that lose the possibility of constructive interaction and reach the point of “science wars”. In conclusion, it is argued that philosophy as the "hard core” of scientific research, a historical appeal to the origins of scientific activity and the interpretation of the scientific revolution as a renewal of tradition can make such modernity valuable for return.
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panel discussion panel discussion

2. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 59 > Issue: 4
Olga E. Stoliarova
Ольга Евгеньевна Столярова
Кто исследует исследования науки и техники? О принципе рефлексивности с эмпирической и теоретической точек зрения
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The article discusses the methodological principle of reflexivity as formulated within the strong program of the sociology of scientific knowledge (STS). The applicability of this principle in science and technology studies is analyzed from empirical and theoretical points of view. The principle of reflexivity expresses the requirement of scientific universalism: it forbids the exclusion of one’s own cognitive activity and its results (knowledge) from the world totality of objectively observable things and processes, in this case – beliefs. In D. Bloor’s imperative formulation, the principle prescribes applying the explanatory methodology of the strong program in relation to the strong program’s own fundamental theoretical and methodological concepts. The implementation of this principle in STS faces practical problems and theoretical paradoxes. In line with the methodology of the strong program, the author asks the question about the social conditions of the failure of the principle of reflexivity. The author shows that empirically cognizable social conditions for the realization of the principle of reflexivity can be fulfilled. However, their fulfillment does not lead to reflexive work, which presupposes an external position of the one who explains in relation to what is explained. In accordance with the postpositivist concept of the underdetermination of theory by facts, the external position is achieved through the speculative transition from the factual given to the hypothesis explaining this given. The author shows that the external position taken by internal critics of the STS research community becomes the position of speculative philosophy.
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3. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 59 > Issue: 4
Valentin A. Bazhanov
Валентин Александрович Бажанов
Об анализе феномена рефлексии в науке в отечественной философии и в сильной программе STS
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This reply draws attention to the importance of taking into account the results of the study of the phenomenon of reflexivity in scientific knowledge, which have been obtained in the domestic philosophical and methodological tradition. We believe that taking this kind of results into account could enrich the analysis of the strong programme in the STS. We touch the origins of reflexive tendencies, the reflexive and non-reflexive in scientific knowledge, personal and transpersonal forms, the types and levels of reflexion in science, as well as denote the mechanisms that allows taking an external position in relation to the subject about which reflexive procedures are carried out (if we mean the interval approach implementation).
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4. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 59 > Issue: 4
Sofia V. Pirozhkova
Софья Владиславовна Пирожкова
Философия и исследования науки и техники: проблема взаимоотношений
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The response to the article by O.E. Stolyarova the author shows why the proposed justification for the place of philosophy in the structure of science and technology studies does not work well in relation to the tasks of interdisciplinary communication. It is argued that it is more effective to refer to historical examples and analyze them than to use a purely theoretical explanation of why these examples arise. It is pointed out that, despite the results of postpositivist research of science, the scientific community continues to rely on corporate “common sense”, in which science is seen as positive knowledge and on this basis is opposed to philosophy as a speculative discipline. The necessity of avoiding these ideas in the context of science policy tasks, primarily among scientific managers from among the scientists themselves, is substantiated.
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5. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 59 > Issue: 4
Vladimir N. Porus
Владимир Натанович Порус
Следует ли философская рефлексия оснований научных исследований принципу эмпиризма?
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It is argued that O.E. Stoliarova’s analysis of the STS programs leads her to a conclusion that in them the principle of reflexivity (in D. Bloor’s version) is not carried out though this contradicts the orientation of these programs on a self-reflection of the scientific bases. Hence, a problem arises: whether we will apply the principle of empiricism to justification of metascientific reasonings (in particular, to sociological explanations of knowing actions of scientists). This, in turn, leads to a problem of universality of philosophy as a platform for metascientific criticism. The formulation and the solution of such a problem assume the possibility of creation of metaphilosophical systems radicalizing the principle of reflexivity before its application to philosophy. Thereby the philosophy of science appears in the field of immanent paradoxes. An exit from similar paradoxes demands new prospect of philosophical researches.
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6. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 59 > Issue: 4
Olga E. Stoliarova
Ольга Евгеньевна Столярова
Об универсальности философской рефлексии: ответ оппонентам
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The author replies and comments on the critical remarks and ideas expressed by her opponents concerning the principle of reflexivity and its philosophical realization. The general idea of the opponents that philosophical reflection, even if addressed to itself, cannot ignore the results of empirical sciences, is highlighted.
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epistemology & cognition epistemology & cognition

7. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 59 > Issue: 4
Paul Hoyningen-Huene
Пауль Хойнинген-Хюне
Познаваемо ли куновское «изменение мира через революции»?
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Kuhn’s talk of “world change through revolutions” has mostly been met with perplexity. What is it really that Kuhn wants to express in this strange way? I will first review what Kuhn exactly says on this topic. Next, I show that the world change talk is at least not inconsistent and has some initial plausibility. Then I will discuss whether “world change through revolutions” should be replaced by “change of world view”. This will show that “world change through revolutions” is motivated by a strictly non-presentist historiographic stance. However, Kuhn’s intended message can also be expressed in a philosophically much less provocative way.
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8. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 59 > Issue: 4
Nataliya I. Kuznetsova
Наталия Ивановна Кузнецова
От «парадигмы» к «дисциплинарной матрице»: роковой шаг
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The citation index of Thomas Kuhn’s work may strike any imagination. “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” (first edition 1962) is undoubtedly a twentieth-century record-breaker in the field of philosophy of science in terms of such a scientometric parameter. But such fame has been bitter in many ways and placed a heavy burden on the author. For several decades he has been the target of the harshest and most severe criticism. Often the concept of “normal science” and the “scientific revolution” as a “Gestalt switch” was declared ridiculous and absurd. The paper analyses three lines of criticism of Kuhn’s concept: the first came from practicing scientists, the second from specialists in the philosophy of science (primarily proponents of “critical rationalism”), and the third from the field of social epistemology. Reproaches about the political bias of Kuhn’s concept were taken to extremes, since his views were widely popular. In our opinion, Kuhn should be called a victim of spontaneous hypercriticism. This circumstance did not allow him to improve the original model of scientific revolutions. In this respect, replacing the concept of “paradigm” with the concept of “disciplinary matrix” was a step backwards, not forwards. However, it is impossible to deny that in the field of the historiography of science, he acted as a real reformer. With the courage of Don Quixote, he defended the rights of historical reconstruction, the preservation of the historical past of science, which should not be completely assimilated within the framework of the modern system of knowledge. His motto was – “penetrate the minds of other people who lived in the past.” He boldly argued that in the process of historical development, science changes not only ideas about the object of knowledge (representations of the object), but also the reference of its ideas and concepts. Such a formulation of the question has not yet been fully reflected in modern epistemological concepts.
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language & mind language & mind

9. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 59 > Issue: 4
Alexander Yu. Antonovski
Александр Юрьевич Антоновский
Несоизмеримость и коммуникация: к эволюционно-коммуникативному повороту в философии науки
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The article shows that Kuhn's concept of incommensurability emphasizes mainly the objective dimension of communication. To the thesis about the incommensurability of the meanings of scientific concepts in competing paradigms, we oppose the idea of a three-dimensional space of communicative dimensions. We supplement the objective dimension of communication, within which the environmental evolutionary selection of the best knowledge is carried out, with equal social and temporal horizons.
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vista vista

10. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 59 > Issue: 4
Kevin Davey
Кевин Дэви
В чем состоит проблема Куна?
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Inspired by the work of Kuhn, we might want to develop an account of science that explains how it is that while much of science involves the investigation of a world as articulated by a paradigm, the scientist is nevertheless an observer and rational interpreter of a mind-independent world that does not change its character over time. Kuhn himself recognizes that there is a challenge here that he does not know how to meet. I argue that progress can be made on this challenge by carefully examining and criticizing Kuhn’s account of deliberation in science. Inspired by certain views about Gestalt psychology and examples such as the duck/rabbit picture, Kuhn takes deliberation in science to be a consequence of seeing things a certain way, rather than rational deliberation in science making new ways of seeing things possible. I argue that the most serious problems of Kuhn’s view of science stem from this fact, and that we can free ourselves from these problems by not following Kuhn here. In particular, I argue using material from Hanson and Peirce that we should think of the revolutionary scientist as being revolutionary not merely in virtue of seeing things in a new way, but rather for showing – typically through painstaking deliberation – that certain conjectures connected with new ways of seeing the world are reasonable (even prior to anything like inductive confirmation.) This makes coming to see the world differently a deliberative process that is importantly unlike seeing a rabbit/duck picture differently. Such a way of thinking allows us to view the articulation of a new paradigm as a deliberative process that does not take some paradigm or other for granted, but rather as a deliberative process that interrogates existing orthodoxy for its suitability to survive into the next paradigm. The result is a (sketch of a) view of science that maintains much of what is important to Kuhn, but departs from him where his view is least convincing.
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case-studies – science studies case-studies – science studies

11. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 59 > Issue: 4
Igor S. Dmitriev
Игорь Сергеевич Дмитриев
Коперник против Куна
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T. Kuhn’s theory of scientific revolutions has repeatedly been the subject of criticism. It is important to note that Kuhn pays very limited attention to the phenomenon of the scientific revolution itself, comparing the revolution either with a religious conversion or with a gestalt switch. Such comparisons, however, are very superficial. This paper outlines a new understanding of the scientific revolution as a result of the resonance of the intellectual trends of the early modern period. It was the quasi-simultaneous action of various factors (from the great geographical discoveries to social cataclysms and the religious Reformation) that led to revolutionary changes in natural philosophy, which, in turn, gave rise (already in the XVIIIth century) to the actual scientific revolution. In addition, the article shows that the Copernican Revolution cannot be described within the model of scientific revolution developed by T. Kuhn. Ptolemy’s theory was mathematically constructed so that it could not make inaccurate predictions of planetary motion, because – as we are now clear – the function characterizing the trajectory of planetary motion was actually represented as a Fourier series. The Copernican revolution was not a Kuhn-type scientific revolution, nor was it caused by the empirical failures of Ptolemaic astronomy (i.e. the accumulation of anomalies turning into a crisis). Events unfolded according to a different scheme. Copernicus set out to carry out the principle of the uniform circular motion of the planets more consistently than had been done in Ptolemy’s theory, at the same time presenting to this theory those requirements of an aesthetic and methodological order, which the cognitively fragmented system of Ptolemy, for all its flexibility, could not satisfy and, by the conditions of its creation, could not satisfy. In addition, the article shows that Copernicus, in constructing his heliocentric theory, was essentially seeking answers to the challenges that Alberti’s artificial perspective and Nicholas of Cusa’s theological speculation posed to the visual experience in the sixteenth century.
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12. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 59 > Issue: 4
Vladislav A. Shaposhnikov
Владислав Алексеевич Шапошников
Кун, Лакатос и исторический поворот в философии математики
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The paper deals with Kuhn’s and Lakatos’s ideas related to the so-called “historical turn” and its application to the philosophy of mathematics. In the first part the meaning of the term “postpositivism” is specified. If we lack such a specification we can hardly discuss the philosophy of science that comes “after postpositivism”. With this end in view, the metaphor of “generations” in the philosophy of science is used. It is proposed that we restrict the use of the term “post-positivism” to two and only two philosophical “generations”: the one to which Kuhn, Lakatos and Feyerabend belong, and the previous “generation” to which Wittgenstein, Polanyi, Popper and Quine (as well as the major part of logical positivists) belong. From this point of view, Bloor, Latour, Pickering, Daston and Galison belong to the “third generation” which represents the philosophy of science “after post-positivism”. The characteristic feature of post-positivism is the combination of decisive impact of logical positivism and its severe criticism. This combination inevitably makes post-positivism a transitional form in the philosophy of science. In the second part the contribution of the “big four” of post-positivist philosophers (Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos, and Feyerabend) to the radical change in the philosophy of mathematics in the second half of the 20th century is analyzed. Primarily, they shifted philosophical interest from the logical analysis of formal systems to the historical dynamics of informal mathematics. They also reconsidered the sharp opposition between mathematics and the physical sciences. However, the transitional character of their philosophy manifests itself both in their treatment of mathematics and their way of understanding history. On the one hand, their “heritage” is ambiguous, on the other hand, it opens new perspectives. Neither Kuhn, nor Lakatos, have eliminated completely the methodological barrier positing the fundamental heterogeneity of mathematics and natural science. Neither Lakatos, nor Kuhn, adhered to the viewpoint of relentless historicism. Nevertheless, it is their work that has made these options open for today’s historians and philosophers of science, even for philosophers of mathematics.
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interdisciplinary studies interdisciplinary studies

13. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 59 > Issue: 4
Georgy S. Levit, Orcid-ID Uwe Hossfeld Orcid-ID
Георгий Левит
Критика Томаса Куна Эрнстом Майром
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In the early 1960s, American philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn contributed to a “crisis of rationality” with his hypothesis that science develops by means of paradigm shifts. He challenged the positivist concept of cumulative and continuous scientific progress. According to Kuhn, the relation between two succeeding scientific traditions ‘separated by a scientific revolution’ is characterized by conceptual incommensurability that constrains the interpretation of science as a cumulative, steadily progressing enterprise. Thomas Kuhn’s philosophy was heavily criticized by German-American biologist Ernst Mayr as unapplicable to the history of biology. Mayr, one of the most outstanding evolutionary biologists of the 20th century and a “co-architect” of the so-called Modern Synthesis (contemporary Darwinism), published extensively on the history and philosophy of biology as he thought that theoretical biology cannot progress without proper philosophy of science. Being convinced of the progressive development of Darwinism, Mayr pointed out that Kuhn’s concept of scientific revolutions does not reflect conceptual changes in evolutionary biology. Here we summarize Mayr’s critiques of Kuhn and, based on our own research, take Mayr’s side in the controversy between two great thinkers.
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archive archive

14. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 59 > Issue: 4
Joseph Agassi
Джозеф Агасси
Поппер и его популярные критики: Т. Кун, П. Фейерабенд и И. Лакатос. Приложение
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Popper’s popular critics – Kuhn, Feyerabend, and Lakatos – replace his older, Wittgenstein-style critics, now defunct. His new critics played with the idea of criticism as beneficial, in vain search of variants of these that could better appeal to the public. Some of their criticism of Popper is valid but marginal for the dispute about rationality. He was Fallibilist; they hedged about it. He viewed learning from experience as learning from error; they were unclear about it. His view resembles Freud’s reality principle; they hedged about this too, as they defended the stupid idea of constructive criticism (namely, hold on to your faith in a refuted theory until you can replace it). He stressed his criticism of the view of science as inductive; they endorsed it. They differed from him significantly regarding their intended readers: he had addressed those who readily admit criticism and his popular critics addressed those who find it hard to admit openly that criticism upsets them somewhat. Current popular criticism of Popper’s ideas shows yet again the logical relation between the critical attitude and liberalism: liberalism without critically mindedness is permissible, scarcely the other way around. Hence, we better read the objection that Popper’s popular critics have launched against him not as criticism proper, but as somewhat reasonable protest against his use of the highest standards in his relentless advocacy of liberalism and of criticism in his valuation of science and of democracy as joint.
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new trends new trends

15. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 59 > Issue: 4
Andrew Feenberg
Эндрю Финберг
Новое понятие разума?
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In One-Dimensional Man, Herbert Marcuse followed Husserl in arguing that modern natural science translates concepts and practices from the Lebenswelt, the everyday lifeworld. Marcuse claimed that a socialist revolution would change that life-world and transform natural science. He anticipated a new concept of reason that would incorporate potentialities experienced in the lifeworld. Teleological aspects of everyday experience would be “materialized” by science. Marcuse’s critique of social science employs a similar concept of translation. The notion that changes in the lifeworld would enable the social sciences to incorporate potentialities is more plausible than these speculations about a successor natural science. But Marcuse’s assumption that such changes would occur after a socialist revolution has been overtaken by the actual development of social movements challenging the socially embedded technosciences. The reciprocal interaction between science and society in the struggle for a liveable world is now a present phenomenon, no longer a distant revolutionary prospect.
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16. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 59 > Issue: 4
Vera A. Serkova
Вера Анатольевна Серкова
Проблематика реальности в философии науки Т. Куна
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The purpose of this article is to clarify the importance of questions about the nature of reality for understanding the basic ideas of Thomas Kuhn’s philosophy of science. For Kuhn, the topic of reality is not "too metaphysical" and therefore undesirable, as for the neo-positivists, although in a certain sense it is “premature” and will emerge later in the discussions of realists and anti-realists in full measure. The ontological meaning of the problem of the relationship between science and reality appears in Kuhn’s works as a side topic of his epistemological research. The first part of the paper analyzes Kuhn’s statements about reality and determines his ontological position; the second part considers how the problematic of reality was clarified in his polemic with his critics, who either, like K. Hempel, turn Kuhn to clarify some points of his ideas about reality, or, like M. Masterman, give their interpretation of his ideas, with which he agrees. The third part of the paper shows how Kuhn’s anti-realism is reflected in his epistemological and methodological understanding of objectivity and truth in science. The conclusion of the paper is that Kuhn’s epistemological skepticism is becoming increasingly evident to himself and his critics, and his anti-realist ontological position becomes apparent against this background.
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jubilee jubilee

17. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 59 > Issue: 4
К 75-летию Наталии Ивановны Кузнецовой
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18. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 59 > Issue: 4
К 90-летию Владислава Александровича Лекторского
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