incommensurability


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incommensurability

  1. a relation between scientific theories in which the propositions and overall content of the theories cannot be directly compared.
  2. a conception of scientific theories which holds that all observations are theory-relative (see THEORY-RELATIVITY), and that there may exist no theory-neutral data language of the kind assumed by inductive, logical positivist or falsificationist conceptions of science. The conception is most associated with Thomas KUHN and Paul FEYERABEND and it is often assumed to also imply a more general RELATIVISM. However, this is not Feyerabend's view: incommensurability is seen as a possible, not a necessary, relation between theories. If theories cannot always be strictly compared in terms of a theory-neutral data language (or using any unambiguous or unchanging decision rule), the proponents of competing theories can enter into a dialogue with the aim of appreciating each other's view and reaching a decision on this basis. See also TRUTH. POSITIVISM, FALSIFICATIONISM.
References in periodicals archive ?
See Ruth Chang, Introduction to Incommensurability, Incomparability, and Practical Reason 1, 1-2 (Ruth Chang ed.
First, this incommensurability is somewhat softer than many of Lindbeck's disciples and detractors like to imagine.
This two-sex framing of Vincent and Beard works to foreground gendered incommensurability as a feature of the British stage, and by metaphoric extension, as integral to the (re)productive nation.
Thus, the incommensurability position posits that Australian law such as the AHA is unable to reflect or comprehend Indigenous conceptions.
Thus, contact between two systems and the relation between them whether of hospitality and/or incommensurability is articulated through the translation of unique use of words in one culture to the cultural milieu of the other culture through language which is not one's own and the reason seems to be that it is incommensurable with what imagines as one's own.
We could call this a rudimentary form of dialogue, a protodialogue, since it is a fundamental way to overcome a situation of basic incommensurability.
Is this a bona fide case of incommensurability in morality?
Povinelli, Elizabeth 2001 Radical Worlds: The Anthropology of Incommensurability and Inconceivability.
90) Incommensurability relies on metrics that cannot standardize, and
The authors devote much attention to the incommensurability of values and the demographics of value pluralism, as well as the interrelationship between value holders, which tends to fluctuate from indifference to mutual engagement.
Her analysis cleanly reveals the incommensurability of German and Islamic legal theories of marriage, even while it points to ways in which the German courts have essentially been engaging in the work of Islamic legal production, or fiqh.
Furthermore, the incommensurability of reason and revelation at the level of individual choice means that any attempt to confront seriously the two available alternatives necessarily requires an arbitrary determination.