Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Meaning change/semantic change: this is about the question whether the meaning of the terms of a theory change in the light of new knowledge. If they do, problems with incommensurability may arise. See also reference, incommensurability, progress, comparisons.

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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Michel Foucault on Meaning Change - Dictionary of Arguments

II 183
Meaning Change/Concept Change/Discourse/Foucault: e.g. Buffon and Linné speak of "the same thing" by placing themselves at the "same level" or "at this distance", by developing "the same conceptual world" and meeting one another on "the same battlefield".
On the other hand: e.g. Darwin and Diderot do not speak of the same thing!
the analysis and the positivity of the discourse helps to distinguish this.
Positivity of the discourse: the tenacity and backwardness of topics and re-discovered meanings. Thus positivity plays the role of a historical a priori. Not a validity condition for judgments, but reality condition for statements. No formal a priori.
Def Archive/Foucault: instead of seeing how, in the great mythical book of history, words are juxtaposed with each other, transforming ideas that have been formed before and elsewhere, we have systems in the density of discursive practices that introduce the statements as events and things. All these statements (events and things) are the archive.
The archive is at first the law of what can be said. It also means that all these things that have been said do not accumulate infinitely, and do not form a seamless linearity, nor disappear even in accidental external circumstances.
Instead that they arrange themselves into distinct figures and connect with one another on the basis of manifold relationships. This causes them not to go back the same step with time, but like stars, can shine most brightly when the furthest away.
Archive: defines the system of expressability, the system of functioning. This cannot be described in its totality.
Human: our diagnosis establishes that we are differences, that our reason is the difference of discourses, our history is the difference of times, our ego is the difference of masks. Scattering, not origin!
Def Archeology: describes the discourses as specified practices in the element of the archive. It is necessary, because the right of the words does not coincide with that of the philologists. But it's not about the search for any beginning.

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. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Foucault I
M. Foucault
Les mots et les choses: Une archéologie des sciences humaines , Paris 1966 - The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences, New York 1970
German Edition:
Die Ordnung der Dinge. Eine Archäologie der Humanwissenschaften Frankfurt/M. 1994

Foucault II
Michel Foucault
l’Archéologie du savoir, Paris 1969
German Edition:
Archäologie des Wissens Frankfurt/M. 1981

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2021-04-17
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