Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Incommensurability: non-comparability. Expression by Thomas Kuhn (Th. Kuhn, The structure of scientific revolutions, 1962). Kuhn argues that scientific theories which are replaced in the course of time use terms which are altered in their meaning, and therefore make a comparison of, e.g. measurement results impossible and thus also a comparison of statements.

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Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

 
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III 161f
Incommensurability/Putnam: even before Kuhn in Saussure: basic units of language cannot be determined from the sounds -> Whorf: if individual languages have many quite different color predicates, then the meaning is reserved for individual languages . -> Idiolect
> DerridaVsWhorf: the meanings are not only individual languages but reserved for the individual texts. -> Deconstruction - DerridaVsSaussure: the concept of the sign can be completely forgotten. PutnamVsDerrida: he misunderstands Saussure's project of a theory of meaning.
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III 165
Solution/Putnam: maintaining concept of meaning equality, but realizing that it may not be understood as in the sense of self-identity of objects and signified.
PutnamVsDerrida (How VsFodor): "meaning equality" is interest relative, and presupposes a normative judgment on rationality in a situation.
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V 157
Incommensurabilityy/PutnamVsFeyerabend: it is contradictory to state, Galileo's concepts are incommensurable and then to describe them in detail afterwards. - One must also understand the old language to be able to say that the predictions are identical.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.

Pu I
H. Putnam
Von einem Realistischen Standpunkt Frankfurt 1993

Pu II
H. Putnam
Repräsentation und Realität Frankfurt 1999

Pu III
H. Putnam
Für eine Erneuerung der Philosophie Stuttgart 1997

Pu IV
H. Putnam
Pragmatismus Eine offene Frage Frankfurt 1995

Pu V
H. Putnam
Vernunft, Wahrheit und Geschichte Frankfurt 1990


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> Counter arguments in relation to Incommensurability

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-10-22