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 ?
In turn, this incommensurability between an African feminist scholar's and a diasporic, African American feminist scholar's interpretations illustrates the productivity of transnational sexuality studies.
(19) Urbina complains that meeting the incommensurability objection and engaging frontally with rights' moral imperatives leaves proportionality analysis without any legal guidance and open to a panoply of negative effects that flow from legally unconstrained adjudication (chapters 7 and 8).
Therefore, we can say that it has medium influence on the concept of moral order, strong influence on public discourse and medium influence both on incommensurability and transcendent discourse.
Incommensurability is incomparability with a vengeance.
This relation is not really one of contradiction; it is rather one of incommensurability. As Ranciere puts it: "In this way the bringing into relationship of two unconnected things [namely the police and politics] becomes the measure of what is incommensurable between two orders: between the order of the unegalitarian distribution of social bodies [...] and the order of the equal capacity of speaking beings in general.
There might be several reasons for that: observing norms, complying with agreements, respecting previous commitments, incommensurability of choices and lack of information.
The incommensurability of religious idioms hints at a characteristic difference between Derrida and Lindbeck.
Hasok Chang's essay, "Incommensurability: Revisiting the Chemical Revolution" attempts to rescue incommensurability by making fine distinctions.
Considering the incommensurability version first, this holds that the experience of Aboriginal people is radically different.
Pace Joseph Conrad, Bewes defines shame as 'the experience of a prolonged incommensurability between a form and a substance ...