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Journal Article

Caught in the Middle: Philosophy of Science between the Historical Turn and Formal Philosophy as Illustrated by the Program of “Kuhn Sneedified”

Christian Damböck
HOPOS: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science
Vol. 4, No. 1 (Spring 2014), pp. 62-82
DOI: 10.1086/673297
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/673297
Page Count: 21
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Caught in the Middle: Philosophy of Science between the Historical Turn and Formal Philosophy as Illustrated by the Program of “Kuhn Sneedified”
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Abstract

This article is concerned with the development of philosophy of science in the 1970s. The explanatory framework is the picture of two fundamental split-offs: the controversial establishment of history and sociology of science and of formal philosophy of science as independent disciplines, against the background of more traditional “conceptual” varieties of philosophy of science. I illustrate these developments, which finally led to somewhat “purified” versions of the respective accounts, by examining a case study, namely, that of the structuralist school, which emerged in the 1970s as an attempt to reconcile historical and formal approaches in philosophy of science. I try to explain the failure of this initial program of “Kuhn Sneedified” and its transition to a more purified formalist version, on the basis of the fact that the former attempt was caught somewhere amid the purism of conceptual, historical, and formal accounts of philosophy of science.

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