Relativism, Constructivism, and Progress in Goodman and Kuhn
Committee MemberMigotti, Mark
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AbstractThe purpose of my thesis will be to defend Goodman’s constructivism and Kuhn’s account of scientific development. In the first chapter, I will begin by describing Goodman’s constructivism and clarifying a few key ideas that are often misunderstood. Then I will describe Kuhn’s account of scientific development and explain how it is similar to Goodman’s constructivism. In the second chapter, I will present a few key criticisms of Kuhn’s account of scientific development and describe Kuhn’s responses to them. Following this, I will provide a brief analysis of Kuhn’s responses and argue that they are insufficient to respond to all of the criticisms. In the third chapter, I will put forward the same criticisms against Goodman’s constructivism and provide his responses to these criticisms. I will then compare Kuhn’s responses to Goodman’s responses to the criticisms, and argue that Goodman’s responses are much stronger. Following this, I will argue that Goodman’s responses, and his constructivism, could be used to strengthen Kuhn’s account of scientific development in a way that would enable him to adequately address the criticisms brought against his work. I will conclude my thesis by arguing that Goodman’s responses to the criticisms are stronger than Kuhn’s responses because Goodman accepts and defends the relativism in his work, while Kuhn attempts to dismiss and minimize the role that relativism plays in his account of scientific development.
CitationLavergne, V. (2022). Relativism, constructivism, and progress in Goodman and Kuhn (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.
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