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Commensurability is a general topic[edit]

The last move, from Commensurability to Commensurability (philosophy of science), doesn't seem right. Commensurability is not just a matter of the philosophy of science, as the article itself says, and there is no general article on Commensurability.

I think it's ok as is, since there are Wikipedia entries to other types of (in)commensurability: Commensurability (ethics) and Commensurability (mathematics). Should we add a disambiguating sentence, with links to those entries, to the intro paragraph? --RudyCarnap (talk) 23:36, 14 March 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Peer Review[edit]


This page should talk about the argument against incommensurability in Davidson's On the very idea of a Conceptual Scheme. (I'll have a go when time permits...) Banno 21:58, Jan 28, 2005 (UTC)


Shouldn't it also discuss Quine's concept of incommensurability? (Of languages, I believe.) I haven't actually read his work, but I know that he wrote on the subject and that the word is often associated with him. Adam Conover 16:59, Apr 2, 2005 (UTC)

Yes, absolutely. I will add Quine. This article is rather poor (Feyerabend's previous entry was disingenuous and simply incorrect) and you can thus expect some edits and additions shortly. --Valve 02:08, 8 December 2005 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think Quine has to be mentioned. Quine's thesis of the indeterminacy of translation (which I'm guessing is what you have in mind, since it also has to do with philosophical conclusions drawn from translations that one might think of as perfect or exact) is not exactly the same thing as (semantic) incommensurability. Specifically, Quine takes the indeterminacy of translation to show that there is NOT a real, substantive difference between (the ontologies inherent in) two languages that have superficially very different categorizations of the world (even if the languages can disagree 'locally'. Kuhn and Feyerabend, in contrast, think of incommensurable languages as genuinely different, not translatable into each other. Quine is saying there can be two equally good translations, which appear different on their face, but neither of which is better than the other. I.e. it's not that one is right and the other is wrong. --RudyCarnap (talk) 23:31, 14 March 2023 (UTC)[reply]

I dont know how to change this trivial fact, but the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article mentions two meetings "In 1952, Feyerabend presented his ideas on scientific change to Popper's LSE seminar and to a gathering of illustrious Wittgensteinians (Elizabeth Anscombe, Peter Geach, H.L.A.Hart and Georg Henrik von Wright) in Anscombe's Oxford flat." It is unlikely that Popper's seminar was held in an Oxford flat. But the article has the people mentioned at Popper's seminar

Error relating to LSE seminar and Oxford meeting corrected. Thanks for comment. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Spanish Fig (talkcontribs) 15:08, 4 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Contradiction between this page and main Feyerabend page[edit]

This page states,

"The philosophy of Paul Feyerabend was also based on the idea of incommensurability to a large extent."

The main Feyerabend page states,

"Incommensurability did not concern Feyerabend greatly, because he believed that even when theories are commensurable (i.e. can be compared), the outcome of the comparison should not necessarily rule out either theory. To rephrase: when theories are incommensurable, they cannot rule each other out, and when theories are commensurable, they cannot rule each other out. Assessments of (in)commensurability, therefore, don't have much effect in Feyerabend's system, and can be more or less passed over in silence."

These two seem to radically contradict each other. This page says Feyerabend's philosophy was based on incommensurability, while his own page says it doesn't have much effect in his philosophy, and that it can be ignored in relation to the rest of his ideas.

Seems like some correction or clarification is in order. 03:16, 26 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

I cannot find the direct quotation that you attribute to this page so am unable to clarify or correct it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Spanish Fig (talkcontribs) 13:43, 31 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Early History[edit]

I'm not sure the recent section on the early history of the concept of incommensurability is relevant... As far as I can tell, Bacon is using the word "incommensurable" in reference to two theories that are in use and conflict with one another, as contrasted with their replacement: a single theory that is not in conflict with itself. As for "incommensurability" in mathematics, two numbers are "incommensurable" if the ratio of the two numbers cannot be expressed as a rational number (see Commensurability (mathematics)). In the first instance, 'incommensurable' is used in its non-technical sense. In the second, it is used in a technical sense that is different than the sense it has in the philosophy of science. Both instances are irrelevant to this article. The edits are obviously in good faith but I think we should undo them.--Heyitspeter (talk) 02:01, 26 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Introduction of Karl Popper is incomplete.[edit]

The first time Karl Popper is mentioned it is by using his last name as an adjective. ( ... Popperian.) To someone outside the field, such as myself, it is confusing. I realize that it might require more than a little rewriting, but hopefully it would be worth the effort. Soulfulpsy (talk) 07:38, 16 September 2012 (UTC)[reply]

External links modified[edit]

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