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The troubled meeting of Richard Rorty and Thomas Kuhn Foulkes, Erica 1999

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T H E T R O U B L E D M E E T I N G OF RICHARD R O R T Y A N D T H O M A S K U H N by ERICA FOULKES B . S c , The University of V i c t o r i a , 1980 R.T., N o r t h e r n A l b e r t a Institute of T e c h n o l o g y / E d m o n t o n General Hospital, B . A . , The University of British C o l u m b i a , 1995 A T H E S I S S U B M I T T E D IN P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T O F T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S F O R T H E D E G R E E OF M A S T E R OF ARTS in T H E F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES Department of Philosophy W e accept this thesis as c o n f o r m i n g to the  r e q u i r e d standard  T H E UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A April  1999  <gj E r i c a Foulkes,  1999  1983  In  presenting  degree  this  thesis  in  at the University of  partial  fulfilment  British Columbia,  of  the  1 agree  requirements  for  of  department  this or  thesis by  for scholarly  his  publication of this thesis  or  her  Department The University of British Columbt Vancouver, Canada  J£ far<l 7  DE-6 (2/88)  may  representatives.  It  be is  granted  by  understood  for extensive  the head of that  for financial gain shall not be allowed without  permission.  Date  purposes  advanced  that the Library shall make it  freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission copying  an  copying  my or  my written  Abstract  The philosopher R i c h a r d R o r t y counts h i m s e l f a m o n g the supporters of T h o m a s K u h n , w h o has done extensive a n d important w o r k i n the history a n d p h i l o s o p h y of science. R o r t y bases his support o n a n u m b e r of similarities w h i c h he sees between his o w n w o r k a n d that of K u h n . M y intention i n this thesis has been to demonstrate the distinct lack of similarity between the w o r k of R o r t y a n d that o f K u h n . It is m y contention that Rorty's belief i n the sympathy between their respective programmes is m i s g u i d e d , b e i n g g r o u n d e d i n Rorty's m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g of a considerable n u m b e r o f elements i n Kuhn's programme, as w e l l as the intent w i t h w h i c h it was offered. T h e first chapter is a n exegesis o f Rorty's general p h i l o s o p h y o f culture, m o v i n g into a more specific exegetical look at Rorty's references to Kuhn's w o r k . The second chapter provides a n extensive outline of Kuhn's historically sensitive e x a m i n a t i o n of the p h i l o s o p h y of science. The t h i r d chapter engages i n a discussion a n d analysis of comments w h i c h R o r t y has made c o n c e r n i n g Kuhn's w o r k a n d the w a y s i n w h i c h it relates to his o w n , encompassing b o t h similarities a n d differences. I believe that I have s h o w n that T h o m a s Kuhn's w o r k i n the history a n d p h i l o s o p h y of science is not at a l l applicable to the sort of c u l t u r a l p r o g r a m m e w h i c h R o r t y is offering, i n terms o f scope, intent, a n d fundamental content.  TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract  ii  INTRODUCTION CHAPTER I  1  Overcoming Epistemology: An Overview of Rorty's Cultural Programme  CHAPTER II Thomas Kuhn: Understanding Science Introduction Normal, or Ordinary, Science Scientific Crisis, and the Transition into Revolutionary, or Extraordinary, Research Empiricism, Kantianism, and the Spectre of Relativism Summary of the Relationship between Normal and Revolutionary Science The Distinction Between Science and Non-science The End of Science CHAPTER III  •.  Allies or Adversaries: The Troubled Meeting of Rorty and Kuhn  Nature, Mind, and Correspondence Theories Overcoming Epistemology. The Need for an A Priori Framework Rationality and Solidarity Science and Cultural Holism Pragmatism. Truth and Relativism Alternative Discourses/Matrices The Question of Incommensurability Hermeneutics  4  20 20 21 29 44 53 56 58  60 60 63 64 70 76 81 86 89 91 100  CONCLUSION  108  BIBLIOGRAPHY  110  iii  Introduction  W i t h some qualifications to w h i c h I w i l l attend i n the b o d y of this work, R i c h a r d R o r t y counts h i m s e l f a m o n g Thomas Kuhn's supporters. In his Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, R o r t y describes K u h n as one o f the "heroes of this b o o k " . 1 w i s h to argue that Rorty's sentiments i n this regard are grossly misplaced, and that his sense o f alliance w i t h Kuhn's project is achieved at the cost of his m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g it. The first chapter is intended as a strictly exegetical section, covering R i c h a r d Rorty's general p h i l o s o p h y o f culture. T h e latter part o f this chapter w i l l look i n more specific detail at Rorty's references to the w o r k o f Thomas K u h n ; I intend there to provide evidence for Rorty's attempt to enlist K u h n as someone whose w o r k promotes the direction o f his o w n . The second chapter provides a n extensive outline o f Kuhn's programme, w h i c h latter can be taken as an historically sensitive e x a m i n a t i o n of the p h i l o s o p h y o f science. This section is also strictly exegetical. T h e t h i r d chapter engages i n a discussion a n d analysis o f comments w h i c h R o r t y has m a d e concerning Kuhn's w o r k a n d the ways i n w h i c h it relates to his o w n . T h i s w i l l encompass w h a t R o r t y sees as b o t h similarities a n d differences. It is important to understand that it is not m y intention, i n this w o r k , to evaluate other writers w h o m R o r t y invokes o r directly quotes; they are m e r e l y i n c l u d e d as vehicles for the element i n R o r t y w h i c h I w i s h to consider, v i z . , the relation o f his p h i l o s o p h y to the w o r k of K u h n . I w i l l therefore not be evaluating Rorty's w o r k o n the basis of internal consistency or the lack of it; nor w i l l I be considering whether either Rorty's o r Kuhn's programme provides a plausible explanation, i n m y v i e w , o f the w a y i n w h i c h w e ought to consider c u l t u r a l a n d / o r scientific activities. 1  I believe there to be few similarities between R o r t y a n d K u h n , a n d these are relatively superficial. The relationship between t h e m is characterised p r i m a r i l y by divergence, a l t h o u g h it is m y contention that R o r t y fails to see the degree to w h i c h he and K u h n diverge, o n account of his quite substantial misinterpretations of K u h n . R o r t y understands his talk o f cultural discourses to represent a generalisation of K u h n i a n scientific paradigms. H e sees K u h n to be engaged i n a compatible project to his o w n , b y virtue o f w h a t R o r t y takes to be: 1. their m u t u a l rejection o f correspondence theories; 2. their c o m m o n desire to dispense w i t h the n o t i o n o f observation;  1  Rorty, PMN, p. 382.  1  3. the credence w h i c h they give to non-rational factors i n f l u e n c i n g h u m a n behaviour; 4. their f r a m i n g of rationality p r i m a r i l y i n terms w h i c h describe it as the t r i u m p h of techniques o f persuasion, rather t h a n o f force; 5. their rejection o f the desire for a n d adherence to a framework o f accepted conceptual a n d practical commitments, such as w e find i n traditional epistemology; R o r t y describes this as their h a v i n g questioned the need to identify a set of rules for d i r e c t i n g rational agreement; 6. their orientation towards pragmatism; 7. their c o m m o n intent to direct us to t h i n k of science as i n t e r w o v e n w i t h other c u l t u r a l activities: to this end, R o r t y sees K u h n as h a v i n g "softened the distinction between science a n d nonscience" ; 8. the importance w h i c h they place u p o n sensitivity to historical circumstance; 9. the fact that neither o f their positions is relativist, despite the possibility o f their b e i n g construed as such; a n d 10. their c o m m o n proposal o f hermeneutics as a w a y o f "coping" w i t h one's o w n a n d others' cultures. 2  Nevertheless, R o r t y takes issue w i t h Kuhn's relatively greater allegiance to traditional epistemology. Further, given w h a t R o r t y sees to be K u h n ' s project, he believes K u h n to have given undue credence to the idea that p h i l o s o p h y has a role i n setting put the nature o f knowledge. I w i s h to argue that R o r t y has misread K u h n as being, overall, i n c l i n e d against t r a d i t i o n a l understandings o f philosophy, epistemology, a n d r a t i o n a l i t y - a s R o r t y h i m s e l f is. W h i l e K u h n does p u s h for a more historically sensitive p h i l o s o p h y o f science, he does not intend to negate the function o f rational thought, the possibility o f some identifiable c o m m o n a l i t y w h i c h links the thought a n d experience of h u m a n beings, or the importance o f developing a theory o f k n o w l e d g e . K u h n does not c o n c e r n h i m s e l f w i t h - e i t h e r to accept or reject-the question o f philosophy's functioning as a n all-encompassing discipline w h i c h serves to g r o u n d a n d l i m i t other disciplines. B o t h R o r t y a n d K u h n reject correspondence theories of knowledge. However, Kuhn's retention o f the K a n t i a n n o t i o n o f Nature as p r o v i d i n g that w h i c h is "given" i n perception leads h i m also to retain observation as a n important feature o f scientific w o r k . W h i l e b o t h R o r t y a n d K u h n eschew a n y ontological c o m m i t m e n t , K u h n ' s sense o f the "given" prevents h i m from a d h e r i n g to a strictly linguistic v i e w o f things; Rorty's o u t l o o k is linguistic i n orientation. K u h n describes h i m s e l f as i n some sense a K a n t i a n . In this light, he is not at all i n c l i n e d towards the rejection of a conceptual a n d practical framework; i n fact, the purpose o f his scientific paradigms is precisely to describe the various frameworks b y w h i c h scientists have operated. H e refers to these paradigms as " m o v i n g , historically-situated, A r c h i m e d e a n platforms" , w h i c h direct h o w acceptable scientific thought a n d practice are to be carried out. R o r t y does not 3  2  3  Rorty, ORT, p. 38. Kuhn, RSS, pp. 6-7.  2  seem to be adequately aware o f this structuralism w h i c h is inherent i n Kuhn's programme. K u h n views science as p r i m a r i l y a pragmatic endeavour, but he spells this out more clearly t h a n R o r t y does for his o w n c u l t u r a l "pragmatic h o l i s m " . Finally, i f w h a t K u h n has said serves to "[soften] the d i s t i n c t i o n between science a n d nonscience" , it is clearly not his intent to dissolve scientific activities into those o f the culture at large. Kuhn's w o r k is specifically directed towards clarifying the w a y i n w h i c h science w o r k s , a n d has w o r k e d throughout its history. 4  4  Rorty, ORT, p. 38.  3  1 Overcoming Epistemology: An Overview of Rorty's Cultural Programme  Richard Rorty, albeit with some qualifications to which I will in due course attend, counts himself among Thomas Kuhn's supporters, rather than among his critics. It is my purpose in the first section of this chapter to provide a general overview of Rorty's programme and, later on in the chapter, to outline more specifically what Rorty has to say about the relationship of Kuhn's work to his own. This chapter is intended to be exegetical, and not evaluative of either Rorty's philosophical remarks or his understanding of Kuhn. Rorty describes the central concern of philosophy as the instantiation of itself as a general theory of representation, such that its task is to divide the culture into several areas: those which represent reality well, those which represent it less well, and those which fail to represent it at all. In this model, where we have knowledge, we have accurate representation, which is made possible by special mental processes, and made intelligible through a general theory of representation. This representational model, Rorty contends, was born out of the enclosure of mental activity in a special kind of mental substance, one which was to be understood as isolated from non-mental, or physical, substance. As the mind looks upon the world, it receives representations, which are in the mind, and which are therefore able to be viewed by the Eye of the Mind. The mental thus represents the non-mental, and the door is opened to scepticism and the haunting question, "How do we know that anything which is mental represents anything which is not mental?" Rorty goes on to attack this notion of mind on the basis of what he sees to be its superfluity. He asks why it should make any difference whether or not we have minds. Behind this lies his view that mental states could sensibly be viewed merely as place-holders for talk of neurons. So, for example, in certain situations, such as contact with a hot stove, a brain-event occurs: we might call this a case of "stimulated C-flbres". An expression of pain results, the communication of which being all we need to understand what has happened. There is no need to formulate a hypothesis which includes anything such as "raw feels". Neither do we need to posit a special mental substance which would accommodate such 1  1  Rorty, PMN, p. 46.  4  m e n t a l entities as these. M o r e o v e r , w e have so far failed miserably i n our attempts to identify any causal mechanisms w h i c h m i g h t serve to describe h o w particular r a w feels c o u l d be l i n k e d w i t h particular neural-stimulation events. It m a y s i m p l y be, that w h e n w e report w h a t w e m i s g u i d e d l y take to be r a w feels, what w e are, i n effect, reporting is neural stimulations, the i m p l i c a t i o n b e i n g that perhaps w e ought just to do this directly, w i t h o u t inserting the m i s l e a d i n g talk w h i c h promotes a n unnecessary a n d confusing positing o f the m i n d . A m p l i f y i n g this difficulty that w e w i l l never be able to e x p l a i n the difference between feeling a p a i n a n d s i m p l y reacting to, say, a stimulated C-fibre, is the point, crucial for Rorty's p h i l o s o p h i c a l v i e w , that there is already no detectable difference between the t w o "from the outside". A n observer o f someone i n p a i n w i l l have no means o f d i s t i n g u i s h i n g whether the v i c t i m is experiencing a peculiarly m e n t a l entity or s i m p l y reacting to the physical s t i m u l a t i o n o f certain neurons. 2  It is i n the e x a m i n a t i o n of this latter point that w e are confronted, once w e set foot o n epistemic ground, w i t h the seductive appeal o f metaphysics. If w e take seriously the possibility o f such private m e n t a l entities as r a w feels, a l o n g w i t h our ability to speak of these i n n e r states i n the absence of any talk o f their b e h a v i o u r a l accompaniments, then there is every reason to consider r a w feels as serious candidates for ontological status. T h e n the d o o r is open to the n o t i o n o f a m e n t a l substance, o f w h i c h these entities serve as modes. M o r e o v e r , a n environment is created i n w h i c h scepticism about the existence o f other m i n d s can flourish. But R o r t y believes that he c a n furnish us w i t h a solution to this i n c o m m o d i o u s state of affairs. W e s h o u l d drop the n o t i o n that to have k n o w l e d g e of something requires o u r b e i n g acquainted w i t h its "special, felt, i n c o m m u n i c a b l e qualities". T o have k n o w l e d g e o f the presence o f a p a i n is to understand the m e a n i n g o f "pain", a n d this requires b e i n g taught to label a certain state (i.e., C fibre stimulation) as a pain-state, a n d to behave i n a certain m a n n e r w i t h respect to that state. Unless there were such a t h i n g as typical pain-behaviour, w e w o u l d never be able to teach a c h i l d the m e a n i n g o f the w o r d "pain". B u t such behaviour belongs to the public d o m a i n . A c c o r d i n g to Rorty, o u r assumption that w e l e a r n w h a t p a i n is b y "casting linguistic garb over...our direct acquaintance w i t h special, felt, i n c o m m u n i c a b l e qualities" is i n error. T o deepen the p r o b l e m , the n o t i o n that language is used to name that w h i c h is naturally already given ( k n o w n b y the mind's Inner Eye) leads us into scepticism: since k n o w l e d g e of felt m e n t a l entities is not o n l y privileged (i.e., incorrigible), but i n c o m m u n i c a b l e , w e end up b e i n g irremediably sceptical w i t h respect to whether or not others are n a m i n g the same i n c o m m u n i c a b l e quality that w e are w h e n speaking o f p a i n . F o r the sceptic, facts about behaviour a n d environment are irrelevant to the essence of p a i n . 3  Since w e cannot tell whether w h a t w e are accustomed to c a l l i n g "raw feels" are t r u l y experiences o f m e n t a l objects o r stimulations of certain neurons, t h e n w e ought, b y a principle o f philosophical economy, to abolish this excess explanatory 2  3  Ibid., pp. 70-83. Ibid., p. 110.  5  talk o f r a w feels ( w h i c h are hopelessly private a n d i n c o m m u n i c a b l e , a n y w a y ) , a n d speak instead i n materialist language, w h i c h is to say i n terms o f n e u r a l stimulation. B u t this does not m e a n that w e s h o u l d embrace eliminative materialistic m i n d - b o d y identity theory, for the materialist is guilty o f m a k i n g metaphysical claims, a n d this is surely something w h i c h R o r t y is concerned to a v o i d . Rorty's c l a i m is that it is pointless to pursue the issue of whether a sensory report signals something m e n t a l o r neural, "not just because n o b o d y has a n y idea h o w to resolve the issue, but because n o t h i n g turns u p o n it". N o predictive, explanatory, o r descriptive p o w e r w o u l d be lost i f w e were to describe things like pains i n terms of stimulations of particular neural fibres. W h a t w e are concerned w i t h , after a l l , are these v e r y powers, i n their practical sense. W h a t is more, w e do not possess sufficiently clear ideas o f w h a t the m e n t a l a n d the physical are to be able to get m u c h use out o f a p h i l o s o p h i c a l d i s t i n c t i o n between t h e m . H e contends that " [ o ] n l y a philosopher w i t h a lot invested i n the n o t i o n o f 'ontological status' w o u l d need to w o r r y about w h e t h e r a corrigibly reportable p a i n was ' r e a l l y a p a i n or rather a stimulated C-fibre". Insisting o n a n ontological d i v i d e between m e n t a l states a n d neurons c a n o n l y generate further unnecessary epistemic a n d metaphysical p r o b l e m s . 4  R o r t y views our separation o f m i n d a n d matter as u l t i m a t e l y a n unfortunate linguistic d e v e l o p m e n t - o n e w h i c h has been made a l l the m o r e unpleasant b y the slide into metaphysical t h i n k i n g w h i c h it facilitates. The terminologies o f "sensations" a n d o f "brain processes" are n o t h i n g more than t w o ways o f t a l k i n g about the same t h i n g . R o r t y here anticipates the question: " T w o ways o f t a l k i n g about what?" B u t he advises us to resist our natural metaphysical urge, to "abandon argument a n d fall back o n sarcasm, a s k i n g rhetorical questions like 'What is this mental-physical contrast anyway? W h o e v e r said that a n y t h i n g one m e n t i o n e d h a d to fall into one o r other of t w o (or half a dozen) o n t o l o g i c a l realms?' " 5  The most that I can make out of Rorty's answer to this question " T w o ways of t a l k i n g about what?", is that w e are d e a l i n g w i t h alternative vocabularies for t a l k i n g about the w o r l d construed i n something like a n experiential sense, rather t h a n about the w o r l d as metaphysically characterisable. Hence, it makes no difference per se w h i c h vocabulary w e choose to employ, since w e cannot tell whether what w e are experiencing are m e n t a l entities or stimulations o f neural fibres. H o w e v e r , given the unpalatable p h i l o s o p h i c a l confusions a n d endlessly fruitless debates generated b y the creation of a definite, o n t o l o g i c a l l y conceived split between the m e n t a l a n d the physical, it w o u l d be best to dispense w i t h one of these lexicons. R o r t y opts for the abolishment o f the mentalistic sort o f vocabulary, o n the grounds that it fosters the v i e w o f k n o w l e d g e as accuracy o f representation, a n account w h i c h holds that certainty can o n l y be h a d rationally about representations. H e sees this sort o f v i e w as m a k i n g the emergence o f scepticism inevitable, w h i c h w i l l lead us into the isolation o f a n inescapable 4  5  Ibid., p. 120. Ibid., p. 122.  6  solipsism. F o r h i m , this is intolerable, as it must be for anyone whose Utopian v i s i o n consists largely i n what c a n be achieved t h r o u g h dialogue w i t h others. O u r "ability to say obvious things to ourselves a l o n e " cannot therefore be a m a r k of philosophical t r i u m p h . So Rorty's solution entails r i d d i n g ourselves of the representational m o d e l o f knowledge, thereby divesting ourselves o f the image of m i n d as the m i r r o r of Nature, w h i c h functions as the receptacle for these representations. This reinforces the fact that w e c a n d o w i t h o u t the n o t i o n of m i n d altogether. W h a t w o u l d serve us better, i n Rorty's estimation, w o u l d be a n o t i o n o f "personhood" , based not o n philosophy's description o f the h u m a n m i n d a n d its operations, b u t rather o n our m o r a l intuitions. 6  7  It follows from the image o f m i n d as m i r r o r i n g N a t u r e - w h i c h rests u p o n the n o t i o n that the m i n d is naturally "given" to itself-that w e c a n understand a n d i m p r o v e knowledge by p o l i s h i n g the m i r r o r : understanding as best w e c a n the w o r k i n g s o f the m i n d . The R o r t i a n imperative is to set aside this offending image of m i n d as m i r r o r o f Nature. In g i v i n g this m o d e l up, w e give u p the n o t i o n o f p h i l o s o p h y as a discipline c o m m i t t e d to the construction of a permanent, neutral framework for enquiry, a n d thus as a g u i d i n g light for the culture. This sort o f discipline arose, a c c o r d i n g to Rorty, i n the scientisation o f p h i l o s o p h y w h i c h was p r o m o t e d t h r o u g h the development o f a m e t h o d o l o g y designed to achieve epistemic certainty. Thus, w e can point to a traditional pattern: "an attempt to escape from history--an attempt to find non-historical conditions o f any possible historical development". T h e natural quest for understanding w h i c h characterised pre-modern p h i l o s o p h y came to be r u n together w i t h a n u n n a t u r a l quest for certainty. F o r Rorty, this development signalled a m i s g u i d e d e v o l u t i o n of p h i l o s o p h y into epistemology. Rectifying i t entails a re-conception o f certainty as " a matter of conversation between persons, rather t h a n a matter of interaction w i t h n o n h u m a n reality". In this, w e see a p r i m e issue for R o r t y i n his attack o n the v a l i d i t y of correspondence theories o f k n o w l e d g e . A n y d i s t i n c t i o n between necessary a n d contingent truths w i l l thereby be erased, to be replaced b y a simple differential i n the ease w i t h w h i c h interlocutors find themselves able to disagree w i t h our assertions. This w o u l d place us i n a s i m i l a r p o s i t i o n t o t h e Sophists. " R a t i o n a l certainty" t h e n becomes a matter o f victory o r persuasiveness i n argument, rather t h a n relation to a n object k n o w n . W e w o u l d seek explanations for things a m o n g the parties to the discussion, rather t h a n a m o n g putative faculties of the m i n d . 8  9  R o r t y argues that the idea o f foundations o f knowledge~the desire for a n e p i s t e m o l o g y - i s m e r e l y the most recent product of a particular choice of perceptual metaphor. Alternatively, w e c o u l d t h i n k of k n o w l e d g e i n terms of m e r e l y relations of propositions, w i t h n o reference b e i n g made to perception at a l l . Justification t h e n becomes strictly a relation o f inference between  6 7 8 9  Ibid., Ibid., Ibid., Ibid.,  p. 123. pp. 126-7. p. 9. p. 157.  7  propositions. H e acknowledges that this c o u l d lead to a n infinite regress o f propositions i n v o k e d to defend other propositions, but assures us that this is o f no consequence, since pragmatic conversation requires no more than that w e consider such a c h a i n o f justification o n l y u n t i l a l l the participants i n the discourse are satisfied. To t h i n k o f knowledge as presenting a p r o b l e m about w h i c h w e ought to have a theory is, according to Rorty, a product o f our v i e w i n g knowledge as a n assemblage o f representations. But i f w e see this w a y o f t h i n k i n g as optional, then epistemology itself is optional, as is any conception o f p h i l o s o p h y w h i c h is grounded i n it. R o r t y describes the process o f justification w i t h i n the epistemological t r a d i t i o n as reductive and atomistic. This, because it attempts to isolate paredd o w n foundations o f k n o w l e d g e w i t h i n the i n d i v i d u a l ; R o r t y has described these foundations as privileged representations. H i s preferred v i s i o n of h u m a n thought is o f something w h i c h he terms " h o l i s m " , i n w h i c h the justificatory process is " c o n v e r s a t i o n a l " . Here, w e find that justification, rather t h a n b e i n g a matter o f the delineation o f a special relation between ideas (or w o r d s ) a n d objects, is instead a matter of conversation as social practice. In this, w e see pragmatism confronting the unreality o f t r a d i t i o n a l epistemological concerns. A n understanding o f knowledge entails a n understanding o f the social justification o f belief. H o l i s m rejects the t r a d i t i o n a l quest for certainty i n w h i c h p h i l o s o p h y has i n v o l v e d itself, a n d turns a w a y from such terms as "conceptual", "apodictic", or " f o u n d a t i o n a l " . Epistemology becomes "naturalised", b y virtue of b e c o m i n g itself a matter o f e m p i r i c a l discovery. It is sufficient for us to learn about each other's inner states from reports of t h e m . W e do not refrain from questioning pain-reports o n account o f their p r i m i t i v e incorrigibility; rather, the certainty o f a pain-report reflects the fact that no one cares to question it. This attempt to e x p l a i n rationality a n d epistemic authority b y means o f reference to societally i m p o s e d l i m i t s o n linguistic practice illustrates a n attitude o f "epistemological behaviourism", a species of h o l i s m . U n d e r s t a n d i n g the rules of a language-game is the o n l y requirement w h i c h remains "to understand...why moves i n that language-game are made (all, that is, save for the extra understanding obtained from inquiries n o b o d y w o u l d call e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l - i n t o , for example, the history o f the language, the structure o f the brain, the e v o l u t i o n of the species, a n d the political or c u l t u r a l ambiance o f the players)". The shift into this v e r s i o n of understanding renders the delineation o f necessary a n d sufficient conditions for knowledge a n impossible task. 10  11  12  It seems that m u c h o f this emphasis o n linguistic practice is motivated b y the difficulty o f distinguishing between a response to language a n d a response to experience. I presume this to m e a n that, w h i l e w e can expect the e v o l u t i o n o f 1 0  1 1  1 2  Ibid., p. 170. Ibid. Ibid., p. 174.  8  response to experience to be aided b y the development o f a theory o f knowledge, framing things i n terms o f a response to language does not require such a theory, but c a n get b y w i t h a treatment of the conventions o f linguistic practice: a study of the w o r k i n g s o f language-games. The emphasis, i n h o l i s m , u p o n collective social practice as the guide for w h a t is to count as rational, a n d the correspondent refusal to a l l o w for privileged acquaintance w i t h sensory appearances or meanings, is a n i n d i c a t i o n o f the absence of any m e d i a t i n g element between the impact of the environment u p o n h u m a n beings a n d their reports about it. W e c a n m a k e n o reference to "inner entities" as premises u p o n w h i c h to base our inferred k n o w l e d g e of outer entities. N o t i o n s o f " m i n d " or "stream o f consciousness" are obviated. W e remove the traditional epistemological bias towards g r o u n d i n g o u r practices of justification i n "fact"; indeed, w e have to ask whether or not the search for foundations o f k n o w l e d g e e v e n makes sense, "whether the i d e a o f epistemic or m o r a l authority h a v i n g a 'ground' i n nature is a coherent one". F r o m the pragmatic perspective, it is not possible to see w h a t it might be like for social customs to be so g r o u n d e d . Since the epistemic concern w i t h w h a t is true, a n d the m o r a l c o n c e r n w i t h w h a t is right are more sensibly recognised to be matters o f social practice t h a n o f a n y essential facts about h u m a n i t y o r Nature i n general, the justificatory practice cannot operate outside reference to already accepted beliefs a n d languagepractices. This renders coherence the test o f w h a t it is justifiable to assert. R o r t y remarks that the latter point m a y l o o k questionable, since w e are used to c o n c e i v i n g o f coherence as a by-product of philosophy's extraction of a permanent, neutral m a t r i x w h i c h functions across the b o a r d as a foundation for a l l enquiry, a n d throughout a l l o f history. The p r i v i l e g e d status w h i c h this foundation, o n this latter v i e w , w o u l d accord to particular sets of scientific or m o r a l v i e w s - a l l o w i n g t h e m to be seen as more "rational" t h a n the a l t e r n a t i v e s w o u l d support the n o t i o n that the more relativistic stance of h o l i s m must rule out coherence theories o f justification. A l l that w o u l d be left to the holist engaged i n discourse w o u l d be the ability to construct piecemeal a n d partial criticisms. 13  But R o r t y objects that w e cannot help ourselves to a n y t h i n g b e y o n d justification based o n h o l i s m , given that the traditional epistemological v i e w rests u p o n appeal to behaviouristically unveriflable episodes (viz., r a w feels, i n w h i c h the m i n d recognises its o w n direct acquaintance w i t h , for example, a n instantiation o f blueness). W e saw this c o m p l a i n t earlier i n Rorty's argument that w e cannot distinguish between a report of p a i n as a n expression of the presence of a genuine i n n e r entity (a "raw feel"), present i m m e d i a t e l y to consciousness, a n d a report o f p a i n as a n expression o f a stimulation of C-fibres. Because the holist is not d r i v e n b y fear o f the epistemological sceptic, as is the foundationalist philosopher, he is able to let go of a justificatory process w h i c h the foundationalist deems necessary, as the g r o u n d beneath o u r feet, i n favour o f a process w h i c h grants credence to the more fluid behaviourist h o l i s m w h i c h justification has t r u l y  Ibid., p. 178.  9  always been, anyway. "Observation" becomes just what is intersubjectively agreeable these days. A n account of the nature of knowledge, then, can be no more than a description of human behaviour. Going back to our example of pain-reports, that we know what pain is merely reflects our ability to link the concept of pain with other concepts, in order that we be able to justify claims about pain; this, I take to be reliant on the framework of coherence described by the rules of the particular language-game i n which the conversationalists are engaged. Knowing what pain feels like, in some sort of sense i n which pain is immediately present to the mind, is irrelevant. Talk of sensory experience invokes insufficient and unnecessary causal conditions for knowing what sorts of things we are talking about when we make reports about pains, colours, etc.: [They are] insufficient for the obvious reason that we can know what redness is like without knowing that it is different from blue, that it is a colour, and so on. [They are] unnecessary because we can know all that, and a great deal more, about redness while having been blind from birth, and thus not knowing what redness is like. It is just false that we cannot talk and know about what we do not have raw feels of, and equally false that if we cannot talk about them we may nevertheless have justified true beliefs about them. 14  The traditional notions of "givenness" have confused the ability to discriminate with the having of raw feels. It is Rorty's contention that we can discriminate without having raw feels, and indeed only do discriminate in this way, by virtue of the linguistic community which is the sole true source of epistemic authority. In fact, it is on the basis of the individual's expected membership i n the speech-community which prompts us to grant that she is the sort of being who is party to knowledge by raw feels in the first place. Rorty observes that, while we may balk at the claim that the child begins to possess knowledge only at the time that he learns language (but not before), we are not similarly troubled by the claim that the adolescent begins to possess previously absent rights and responsibilities upon attaining adulthood. Rorty sees these claims as analogous: in neither situation has there been some essential shift from within the individual; rather there has been a shift in the individual's relations with others. What has changed is the social context. The question of the attribution, to other beings, of knowledge of what things are like has, for Rorty, more to do with morality than with justified true belief: [N]obody except philosophers of mind cares whether the raw feel of pain or redness is different for koalas than for us, but...we all care quite a bit about a koala when we see it writiiing about. This fact does not mean that either our or the koala's pain is "nothing but its behavior"; it just means that writhing is more important to our ability to imagine the koala asking us for help than what is going on inside the koala. Pigs rate much higher Ibid., pp. 184-5.  10  than koalas on intelligence tests, but pigs don't writhe i n quite the right humanoid way, and the pig's face is the wrong shape for the facial expressions which go with ordinary conversation. So we send pigs to slaughter with equanimity, but form societies for the protection of koalas. 15  F r o m this, w e c a n see that o u r m o r a l sense is governed not b y some sort o f recognition of certain objective qualities i n beings, but instead o n the i m a g i n e d possibility o f conversation w i t h i n a g i v e n speech-community. O u r m i s g u i d e d attribution of feelings to other beings is n o t h i n g more t h a n a reflection o f this. The "inside" o f l i v i n g beings is thus to be explained b y w h a t goes o n o n the "outside", especially i n relation to their place i n the c o m m u n i t y . T h e interior state o f the organism is m e r e l y something posited to e x p l a i n its observed behaviour. In this light, it is not irrational to "send pigs to slaughter w i t h equanimity, but form societies for the protection o f koalas". Since rationality derives from the dictates of the c o m m u n i t y a n d its language, a n d not from a n y t h i n g "internal" to a being, rational allotment o f m o r a l concern is based o n our expected i n c l u s i o n o f a particular b e i n g i n our c o m m u n i t y . T h i s means that other animals w h o most plausibly resemble humans i n some relevant w a y w i l l inspire greater m o r a l concern i n us t h a n those w h o resemble us less c o n v i n c i n g l y . R o r t y favours the rejection of the n o t i o n that language is the expression of something "inner", w h i c h must be discovered p r i o r to o u r b e i n g able to t e l l w h a t a n utterance means. This entails the abandonment o f concepts a n d meanings, i n c l u d i n g such things as beliefs a n d desires. T h e i r dispensability derives from the lack o f behaviouristic equivalents for t h e m . If w e v i e w concepts a n d meanings as a special source of truth or authority, they become harmful; but they assume a more beneficent aspect w h e n s i m p l y posited to e x p l a i n o u r behaviour. This beneficence is the r e w a r d o f our recognition that explanatory p o w e r rightfully follows pragmatic dictates. P h i l o s o p h y t h e n drops out as a d i s c i p l i n e w h i c h guards against "irresponsible reification" a n d w h i c h systematises "our scruples about w h a t objects one m a y assume". T h e different vocabularies w h i c h w e use to talk about things (e.g., about actions a n d beliefs, or about movements a n d neurons) is not a m a r k o f the difference between the real a n d the ontologically disreputable, or between the factual a n d the m y t h i c a l . A l t h o u g h these divergent vocabularies can be m i x e d i n our utterances (e.g., i n the sentence "If w e h a d just stuck i n a n electrode i n the right place i n the cortex, he w o u l d never have decided he was N a p o l e o n " ) , w e cannot hope to develop t h e m into laws w h i c h are parts o f comprehensive theories. Yet this is not because they belong to different ontological realms, such as the m e n t a l a n d the p h y s i c a l . N e i t h e r c a n w e reduce one vocabulary to another, i n the interest of h i t t i n g u p o n a vocabulary w h i c h reflects the true a n d ultimate structure of reality. A l l that is open to us is to judge the various vocabularies w e have i n respect of their  Ibid., p. 190.  11  pragmatic or aesthetic virtues. There is n o t h i n g to be gained, then, f r o m differentially v a l u i n g explanations as either "scientific" o r " u n s c i e n t i f i c " .  16  So, to understand the superiority of the N e w Science t o A r i s t o t e l i a n investigations, w e need to t u r n " o u t w a r d " , towards the social context of justification of the day, rather t h a n seeking privileged items i n consciousness w h i c h c o u l d serve as the touchstone for t r u t h . The latter move is e m b o d i e d i n the mistake o f the epistemic t r a d i t i o n : confusing the causal process o f a c q u i r i n g knowledge w i t h the justificatory process. If w e t u r n a w a y f r o m this mistake, w e w i l l f i n d that there is n o t h i n g left for epistemology to be. W e re-describe " t r u t h " i n terms of w h a t it is good for us to believe, r e m o v i n g it as the gate-keeper of assertions illustrating genuine contact w i t h reality. This opens the w a y for a culture i n w h i c h there is no all-encompassing discipline w h i c h grounds a n d sets limitations o n the claims of the others. R o r t y believes that he finds support for this stance i n Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. In Rorty's pragmatist v i s i o n , objectivity ( w h i c h he characterises as h u m a n beings t r y i n g to describe themselves i n relation to a n o n - h u m a n reality) is to be reduced to solidarity, a n empathic recognition of c o m m u n i t y , i m b u e d w i t h reciprocal relations of responsibility. This shift obviates b o t h metaphysics a n d epistemology. If w e are determined to retain a n o t i o n of "truth", then it must be relegated to the status of s i m p l y w h a t it is good for us t o believe. T o say that something is "true" is n o t h i n g m o r e fancy t h a n an expression of c o m m e n d a t i o n , a n d this t e r m w i l l have a n identity of m e a n i n g i n a l l cultures (viz., that o n w h i c h intersubjective agreement has been achieved), but a diversity of denotation (i.e., different cultures w i l l c o m e to different intersubjective agreements f r o m those i n other cultures). To doubt the t r u t h of w h a t w e believe at present is merely to expect that somebody m a y at some point come up w i t h a better idea, o r description. O n questions where agreement has been f o u n d to be relatively easy to attain, w e c l a i m knowledge; where agreement is m o r e elusive, w e can o n l y c l a i m to be expressing opinions. This focus o n agreement renders t r u t h a n d rationality dependent u p o n the f a m i l i a r procedures of justification w h i c h a given society uses i n a n area of enquiry. In evaluating questions w h i c h arise w i t h i n our culture, w e must necessarily begin f r o m w h a t R o r t y terms a n "ethnocentric" position, where, i n practice, w e privilege the beliefs a n d values of o u r o w n group, even t h o u g h there c a n be no non-circular justification for d o i n g so. In b o t h evaluating o u r o w n culture f r o m w i t h i n , a n d i n testing our beliefs against those of another culture, a l l w e can d o is p l a y off some beliefs against others, i n the effort to generate m o r e fruitful conversation, w h i c h is to say, conversation w h i c h aims towards a more successfully pragmatic picture. This b r a n d of ethnocentrism is p r o v i s i o n a l : it provides a natural starting-point~the o n l y one available to u s - f r o m w h i c h to e x p a n d o u r conversational efforts outwards, towards other cultures, casting the net of solidarity ever w i d e r . As such, it is preferable to the unrecognised, or at least unacknowledged, ethnocentrism of the t r a d i t i o n a l philosopher, w h o Ibid., pp. 206,  208.  12  attempts to take refuge i n buttressing his o w n perspective w i t h fixed notions o f correspondence to reality, or of a peculiarly h u m a n m o r a l sense or set o f cognitive faculties. One o f Rorty's chief aims is to suggest the establishment o f a liberal Utopia, characterised b y a universal i n c l i n a t i o n towards "liberal irony". W e are called u p o n to recognise that cruelty is the worst t h i n g that w e c a n do, a n d to face up to the contingency of even our most central beliefs a n d desires (thereby demonstrating "irony"). There is n o t h i n g i n this v i s i o n w h i c h depends u p o n the recognition o f genuine facts, to be gleaned from a process o f proper enquiry. Instead, it speaks o f h u m a n solidarity, w h i c h is fostered b y i m a g i n a t i o n a n d empathy. Creation, a n d not discovery, is therefore the m o d e w h i c h w e are t r y i n g to get at i n this society. W h a t this amounts to is that the final victory of poetry over p h i l o s o p h y w i l l occur as the t r i u m p h o f metaphors o f self-creation over those of discovery. This focus o n self-creation~and i n turn, the creation o f the culture b y self-creating i n d i v i d u a l s - e m p h a s i s e s freedom as the goal of thought, at the same t i m e that it banishes t r u t h . Self-creating i n d i v i d u a l s are not m e r e l y to m a k e d o w i t h a n inherited w o r l d . The a i m is to achieve distance from the desire to b r i n g particulars u n d e r general principles, a n d the attempt to find necessary truths. W e need o n l y j u d g e "particular present situations a n d options as similar to or different from particular past actions or events". A n y t h i n g w h i c h w e encounter i n l i f e - " f r o m the s o u n d o f a w o r d t h r o u g h the color o f a leaf to the feel of a piece o f s k i n " ~ c a n "dramatize a n d crystallize a h u m a n being's sense o f self-identity". A n y such t h i n g c a n play the role i n i n d i v i d u a l life w h i c h philosophers have thought c o u l d - a n d s h o u l d - o n l y be played b y things w h i c h were universal. But again, solidarity w i l l require that reflective h u m a n beings give sense to their freely created i n d i v i d u a l lives b y p l a c i n g themselves into a larger context. T h e y d o so b y t e l l i n g the story o f their c o n t r i b u t i o n to their c o m m u n i t y . 17  After a l l o f this, i f w e still insist o n the relevance o f the n o t i o n o f internal representations, then w e c a n o n l y d o so b y restricting ourselves to something o n the order o f " 'innatist' views c o m m o n to C h o m s k y a n d F o d o r " , w h e r e w e encounter the n o t i o n o f a " w i r e d - i n " language a n d meta-language o f thought: 18  If one gives up the notion that empirical psychology is going to do what the British Empiricists failed to d o - s h o w how a tabula rasa gets changed into a complicated information-processing device by impacts upon peripheral sense-organs-then one w i l l not be surprised that half of the adult's subroutines were wired into the infant's brain on instructions from the chromosomes. Further, it w i l l not strike one as important to our understanding of the nature of man or his mind to discover just which were wired into them and which came along later. 19  Rorty, CIS, p. 37. Rorty, PMN, p. 251. Ibid., p. 241.  13  Knowledge of how the human mind works is consequently put on a par with knowledge of how glands or molecules work. We need invoke no explanations to be uniquely applied to human beings, and not to things in the world. To grasp this sort of meta-linguistic vocabulary is not to grasp something general, but rather something particular. We are not engaged in the business of setting out the terms under which we can recognise someone to be a rational enquirer. Judgments of rationality are not to be related to elements in the mind, but rather to the ways in which means are adjusted to ends, as well as to the particular ends which are sought. This is to say that rationality attaches to particular behaviours, rather than to a general mental structure. So any indulgence in the premise that there is a fixed language of thought should not be allowed to slide into the premise that our knowledge of the nature of that language is itself immune to correction on the basis of experience. On the assumption that there are a priori constraints in the form of inner, mental truths, we are led into the notion of foundations of knowledge and theories of representation, with all the attendant problems described thus far. On the other hand, Rorty quotes Fodor as claiming "that the discovery of the language of thought will be a long-drawn-out empirical process", and that that "has a corollary that we may always be quite wrong about what this language is, and thus wrong about what is a priori". Because of the uncertainty into which this places the nature of the a priori, and because its empirical character puts it on a par with the sorts of investigations we find in other disciplines, philosophy is ousted from its position of aggrandisement as the tribunal of reason which sits in judgment upon the activities of other human endeavours. "Accurate representation" should come to be seen as simply a belief which helps us to do what we want to do. Grounding "rationality" and "objectivity" in traditional notions of accurate representation "is a self-deceptive effort to eternalise the normal discourse of the day", when all that discourse truly embodies is agreed-upon criteria for reaching further agreement. 20  To sum up, Rorty's is an extended attempt to "deconstruct the image of the Mirror of Nature". It is essential to this effort that one see the human self as nothing more than a continually re-woven web of beliefs. There is nothing prior to socialisation or history which can serve to define the human. The desire for a permanent, neutral, ahistorical vocabulary is itself a historical phenomenon. In making this historicist turn, we resist the temptation to seek an escape from time and chance. The world and the self must become de-divinised, so that we can see both in terms of "an expanding repertoire of alternative descriptions rather than The One Right Description". We no longer think of the world or the self as speaking to us. Epistemology is to be replaced by a new way of looking at things, which will count as "an expression of hope that the cultural space left by the demise of epistemology will not be filled-that our culture should become one in which the demand for constraint and confrontation is no longer felt". This new hope is embodied in hermeneutics, and Rorty cautions us that we are not to view it  Ibid., pp. 11, 252.  14  as a discipline, a programme o f research, o r a m e t h o d o f achieving the same sort of results w h i c h epistemology failed to a c h i e v e . I w i l l return to this question o f hermeneutics i n Chapter Three. I w i s h n o w to t u r n to specific references w h i c h R o r t y makes to Kuhn's w o r k , i n order to demonstrate Rorty's belief i n the general s i m i l a r i t y of Kuhn's p r o g r a m m e to his o w n . B u t intelligibility o f this account w i l l be facilitated i f I first give a few quite general statements e l u c i d a t i n g Kuhn's programme for understanding the history a n d p h i l o s o p h y o f science. 21  The standardly accepted m o d e l of science paints a picture o f a fairly steady a c c u m u l a t i o n o f i n d i v i d u a l discoveries and inventions, w h i c h a c c u m u l a t i o n constitutes the m o d e r n b o d y of scientific k n o w l e d g e . Periods w h e n science does operate i n this w a y are described, i n K u h n i a n terms, as exemplifying " n o r m a l science". Kuhn's contention is, however, that, i f w e take seriously a n historical v i e w p o i n t o f science, w e see, rather t h a n this c u m u l a t i v e picture, one i n w h i c h not o n l y scientific practice, but the entire w a y o f e n v i s i o n i n g the scientific field concerned^ has undergone a series o f v a r i a b l y r a d i c a l transformations. A s a result of such transformations, not o n l y n e w answers to problems are generated, but the problems themselves are not the same after the shift as they w e r e before. The periods o f upheaval between the d i s s o l u t i o n o f the o l d scientific order (for reasons I w i l l e x p l a i n i n the next chapter) and the functional instantiation of the n e w one are characteristically conceptually a n d m e t h o d o l o g i c a l l y u n u s u a l periods, the w o r k done i n such a climate b e i n g refferred to as "revolutionary science". These are times w h e n the scientific v i s i o n w h i c h guides research is i n transition, and hence somewhat unclear. This situation reveals a need to p u l l back from conceptions of. scientific t r u t h a n d knowledge w h i c h entail the correspondence o f belief to some discoverable absolute state o f reality. Kuhn's p r o g r a m m e is intended to describe, i n the absence o f such conceptions, h o w w e m i g h t make sense of scientific activity. R o r t y states that "Wittgenstein, Heidegger, a n d D e w e y have brought us into a period o f ' r e v o l u t i o n a r y p h i l o s o p h y ( i n the sense of Kuhn's 'revolutionary' science) b y i n t r o d u c i n g n e w maps o f the terrain (viz., of the w h o l e p a n o r a m a o f h u m a n activities) w h i c h s i m p l y do not include those features w h i c h previously seemed to dominate." In the interest o f p r o m o t i n g this "revolutionary" outlook, his Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature "is a survey o f some recent developments i n philosophy, especially analytic philosophy, from that point o f v i e w o f the antiCartesian a n d anti-Kantian r e v o l u t i o n " described at the b e g i n n i n g o f the i n t r o d u c t i o n to the book. This i m p l i e s that R o r t y v i e w s his project as w o r k i n g to achieve m u c h the same for p h i l o s o p h y as Kuhn's project d i d for science. Indeed, R o r t y goes o n to say that "most of the particular criticisms of the t r a d i t i o n w h i c h [he] offer [s] are b o r r o w e d from such systematic philosophers as Sellars, Q u i n e , D a v i d s o n , Ryle, M a l c o l m , K u h n , a n d P u t n a m . " Further, R o r t y "hope[s] to Rorty, PMN, pp. 315, 390; CIS, pp. 39-40.  15  convince the reader that the dialectic w i t h i n analytic philosophy...has carried...philosophy of science from Carnap to K u h n " . T h e basis of w h a t R o r t y takes to be his c o m m o n g r o u n d w i t h K u h n is the shift w h i c h he is a d v o c a t i n g - a n d w h i c h I have o u t l i n e d earlier i n this c h a p t e r from the more personally based a b i l i t y to have k n o w l e d g e w h i c h w e see i n traditional philosophy (whether it be grounded i n the h a v i n g o f clear a n d distinct ideas o r the h a v i n g o f r a w feels), to k n o w l e d g e based i n the social sanctioning o f belief. Hence, "to understand...the superiority o f the N e w Science to Aristotle, the relations between this science a n d mathematics, c o m m o n sense, theology, a n d m o r a l i t y ~ w e need to t u r n o u t w a r d , t o w a r d the social context of justification rather t h a n to the relations between inner representations." It is significant that R o r t y notes that "this attitude has been encouraged" by, a m o n g other things, 2  23  "Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions". As evidence o f this, R o r t y says that so-called "observation", a c c o r d i n g to K u h n , is "just a matter o f w h a t w e can agree o n these d a y s " . It appears to me that he reads K u h n as consequently preferring to drop the n o t i o n o f observation altogether , a move w h i c h w o u l d appeal to R o r t y . In t a k i n g this stance, K u h n has helped to "exhibit the sterility o f attempts to give sense to phrases like 'the w a y the w o r l d is', or 'fitting the facts' " . R o r t y remarks that there has been a temptation i n t r a d i t i o n a l p h i l o s o p h y to see a n e w problematic as "the o l d one r i g h t l y s e e n " , w h i c h is to say that w e get, t h r o u g h our contemplations, a progressively clearer picture of the o l d problematic, a n d gradually come to terms w i t h it better; o n this v i e w , w e find n e w ways to deal w i t h o l d problems, a n d thus become increasingly adept at solving t h e m . R o r t y looks to K u h n i a n history a n d p h i l o s o p h y o f science as a parallel case w h i c h serves to illustrate the inaccuracy o f this t r a d i t i o n a l general p h i l o s o p h i c a l v i e w . In his o w n field, K u h n has helped to dispel "the n o t i o n o f increasingly accurate representations of nature b e i n g found i n its m i r r o r " , v i z . the m i n d . H e has done so b y essentially demonstrating, i n his "criticism of the 'textbook' approach to the history of inquiry", that the above "temptation should be resisted". Importing this K u h n i a n orientation into his discussion o f p h i l o s o p h y i n general, R o r t y advises that, instead o f the traditional, c u m u l a t i v e understanding o f philosophy, w e have "new p h i l o s o p h i c a l paradigms n u d g i n g o l d paradigms aside", such that "a n e w set o f problems emerges a n d the o l d ones begin to fade a w a y " . So K u h n i a n "revolutionary science" provides a m o d e l , for Rorty, for the fluid discourses w h i c h shape the sort o f culture w h i c h he has advocated i n his 24  25  2 6  27  28  29  PMN, pp. 6-7. Ibid., p. 210. Ibid., p. 227. Ibid. p. 225. CIS, p. 20. PMN, p. 264. Ibid., p. 276. Ibid., p. 264.  16  o w n philosophy. Hence, the Rortian distinction between " n o r m a l " a n d " a b n o r m a l " d i s c o u r s e is t o b e t a k e n as g e n e r a l i s i n g K u h n ' s d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n " n o r m a l " a n d " r e v o l u t i o n a r y " science. R o r t y describes this parallel thus: i n "the pragmatic a p p r o a c h to k n o w l e d g e suggested b y epistemological b e h a v i o u r i s m "  3  , normal  d i s c o u r s e is t h a t w h i c h c a n b e r e n d e r e d c o m m e n s u r a b l e (i.e., " a b l e t o b e b r o u g h t u n d e r a set o f r u l e s w h i c h w i l l t e l l u s h o w r a t i o n a l a g r e e m e n t c a n b e r e a c h e d o n w h a t w o u l d settle t h e i s s u e o n e v e r y p o i n t w h e r e s t a t e m e n t s s e e m t o c o n f l i c t " ) . 3 1  In c o n t r a s t , a b n o r m a l d i s c o u r s e is t h a t w h i c h c a n n o t b e r e n d e r e d c o m m e n s u r a b l e (i.e., it l a c k s r u l e s t h r o u g h w h i c h r a t i o n a l a g r e e m e n t m i g h t b e r e a c h e d ) . For Rorty, the question of the presence or absence of rules guiding rational a g r e e m e n t is n o t at a l l a c r u c i a l o n e f o r a c u l t u r e . R o r t y o b s e r v e s t h a t K u h n h a s a d i s t r u s t o f " t h e p o s i t i v i s t i c i d e a t h a t r a t i o n a l i t y is a m a t t e r o f a p p l y i n g c r i t e r i a " . 3 2  T h u s , K u h n " g i v e s u s r e a s o n t o s a y t h a t t h e r e is n o d e e p e r d i f f e r e n c e " b e t w e e n t h e " p a t t e r n s o f a r g u m e n t a t i o n " o f s c i e n c e ("as t h e d i s c o v e r y o f w h a t is r e a l l y o u t there i n the w o r l d " ) a n d those of "discourses for w h i c h the notion of ' c o r r e s p o n d e n c e t o r e a l i t y s e e m s less a p p o s i t e (e.g., p o l i t i c s a n d l i t e r a r y criticism)" than "that between w h a t happens i n 'normal' a n d i n 'abnormal' discourse.  3 3  In o t h e r w o r d s , t h e p a t t e r n s o f a r g u m e n t a t i o n o f s c i e n c e a r e n o t  significantly different f r o m those of any other area of the culture; neither need r e l y u p o n r u l e s d e s i g n e d t o g u i d e r a t i o n a l a g r e e m e n t . W e see t h i s r e f l e c t e d i n t h e following passage i n Rorty:  As Kuhn argues in The Copernican Revolution, we did not decide on the basis of some telescopic observations, or on the basis of anything else, that the earth was not the center of the universe, that macroscopic behaviour could be explained on the basis of microstructural motion, and that prediction and control should be the principal aim of scientific theorizing. Rather, after a hundred years of inconclusive muddle, the Europeans found themselves speaking in a way which took these interlocking theses for granted. Cultural change of this magnitude does not result from applying criteria (or from "arbitrary decision") any more than individuals become theists or atheists, or shift from one spouse or circle of friends to another, as a result either of applying criteria or of actes gratuits. We should not look within ourselves for criteria of decision in such matters any more than we should look to the world. 34  T h e similarity b e t w e e n the activities o f science a n d those o f o t h e r c u l t u r a l e n d e a v o u r s is e c h o e d i n t h e s i m i l a r i t y b e t w e e n p h i l o s o p h y a n d o t h e r c u l t u r a l e n d e a v o u r s . B u t this latter u n d e r s t a n d i n g runs against traditional p h i l o s o p h y s v i e w o f i t s e l f as u n i q u e l y p r o v i d i n g f o u n d a t i o n s f o r k n o w l e d g e , v i a t h e m i n d ' s c a p a c i t y to m i r r o r N a t u r e . In t h e traditionalist c l i m a t e , " t h e explicit h o p e o f p r e -  Ibid., p. 320. Ibid., p. 316. ORT, p. 25. PMN, pp. 332-3. CIS, p. 6.  17  K u h n i a n philosophers o f science was to have a n account of 'the nature o f science' w h i c h no future scientific r e v o l u t i o n c o u l d d i s t u r b " . The R o r t i a n understanding of hermeneutics ( w h i c h I w i l l flesh out i n Chapter Three) is, r o u g h l y speaking, the relinquishment o f the desire for a n epistemology: the desire to unite people under a c o m m o n rationality, the desire that there be "a special set o f terms into w h i c h a l l contributions to the conversation s h o u l d be p u t " . Rather, hermeneutics unites people t h r o u g h c i v i l i t y a n d the hope o f agreement; other t h a n this, there is neither c o m m o n goal nor c o m m o n g r o u n d . Rorty's p r o m o t i o n o f w h a t he terms hermeneutics is another facet o f his p h i l o s o p h y i n w h i c h he sees h i m s e l f as indebted to the w o r k o f K u h n : 35  36  In recent years, debates about the possibility of epistemology as opposed to hermeneutics have gained a new concreteness as a result of the work of T.S. Kuhn....Since the Enlightenment, and in particular since Kant, the physical sciences had been viewed as a paradigm of knowledge, to which the rest of culture had to measure up. Kuhn's lessons from the history of science suggested that controversy within the physical sciences was rather more like ordinary conversation (on the blameworthiness of an action, the qualifications of an officeseeker, the value of a poem, the desirability of legislation) than the Enlightenment had suggested. In particular, Kuhn questioned whether philosophy of science could construct an algorithm for choice among scientific theories. Doubt on this point made his readers doubly doubtful on the question of whether epistemology could, starting from science, work its way outward to the rest of culture by discovering the common ground of as much of human discourse as could be thought of as "cognitive" or "rational". 37  R o r t y goes o n to say that Kuhn's examples o f revolutionary change i n science are "cases of the sort w h i c h hermeneutics has always taken as its special assignment". Hence, " K u h n w i s h e d to oppose the traditional c l a i m that 'what changes w i t h a p a r a d i g m is o n l y the scientist's interpretation o f observations that themselves are fixed once a n d for a l l b y the nature o f the e n v i r o n m e n t a n d of the perceptual apparatus' ". Kuhn's e m b r a c i n g o f the hermeneutic m e t h o d is disturbing to those philosophers o f science, oriented towards the epistemological tradition, w h o were l o o k i n g for a "neutral scheme", or neutral observation-language. T h e y saw K u h n as "endanger [ing] the n o t i o n of theory-choice i n science", since philosophers o f science h a d "envisaged [themselves] as p r o v i d i n g a n a l g o r i t h m for theory-choice". But " K u h n was right i n saying that 'a p h i l o s o p h i c a l p a r a d i g m initiated b y Descartes a n d developed at the same time as N e w t o n i a n dynamics' needed to be overthrown". 38  R o r t y describes b o t h h i m s e l f a n d K u h n as sharing the v i e w o f "pragmatism": a n anti-realist position w h i c h "gives u p the attempt at a God's-eye v i e w o f things, the attempt at contact w i t h the n o n h u m a n w h i c h [Rorty] has been  Ibid., p. 25n.  PMN, p. 318. Ibid., p. 322. Ibid., pp. 323-5.  18  c a l l i n g 'the desire for o b j e c t i v i t y " ' . H e takes it that K u h n w o u l d agree (as Rorty, himself, does) w i t h Putnam's a d m o n i t i o n that w e "drop the n o t i o n o f a God's-eye point o f v i e w " . H e describes K u h n as espousing a " 'pragmatist' h o l i s m " , e x p l a i n i n g that "[w]hat [he is] c a l l i n g 'pragmatism' m i g h t also be called 'left-wing K u h n i a n i s m ' " H e states that the "general pragmatist c l a i m " is that "there is no permanent ahistorical metaphysical framework into w h i c h everything can be fitted". A K u h n i a n corollary o f this R o r t i a n thesis is that "there is no single c o m m e n s u r a t i n g language, k n o w n i n advance, w h i c h w i l l provide a n i d i o m into w h i c h to translate any n e w theory, poetic i d i o m , o r native c u l t u r e " . Referring to his Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, R o r t y observes that "Dewey, Wittgenstein, Sellars, K u h n , a n d the other heroes o f this book a l l have their o w n ways o f d e b u n k i n g 'truthfulness to reality i n the sense postulated b y p h i l o s o p h i c a l realism' " , 4 0  41  4 2  43  4 4  R o r t y observes that Kuhn's "pragmatist friends (such as [himself]) routinely congratulate h i m o n h a v i n g softened the d i s t i n c t i o n between science a n d n o n s c i e n c e " . In the time "[bjefore the arrival o f K u h n , T o u l m i n , Feyerabend, a n d H a n s o n , it was often thought that the physical sciences were...paradigmatically rational areas of culture". In the " p r e - K u h n i a n p h i l o s o p h y of science...rational e n q u i r y was a matter o f p u t t i n g everything into a single, w i d e l y available, familiar c o n t e x t - t r a n s l a t i n g everything into the vocabulary p r o v i d e d b y a set o f sentences w h i c h any rational inquirer w o u l d agree to be truth-value candidates". 45  46  I w i l l move n o w to a detailed exegetical e x a m i n a t i o n o f the K u h n i a n programme, t a k i n g as its source w r i t i n g s supplied b y K u h n , himself. This w i l l prepare us for the analysis, i n the t h i r d chapter, o f h o w w e l l Rorty's expectations of h o w Kuhn's w o r k m i g h t a i d his o w n project measure u p against the ways i n w h i c h K u h n describes his o w n w o r k .  ORT, p. 24. Ibid., p. 27. Ibid., p. 65. Ibid:, p. 38. Ibid., p. 2l5. PMN, p. 382. ORT, p. 38. Ibid., p. 95.  19  2 Thomas Kuhn: Understanding Science  Introduction In his groundbreaking Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn was concerned to replace what he saw to be a misguided conception of the scientific enterprise with one he believed more accurately to describe the way in which science actually proceeds. According to the standardly accepted model, science develops and progresses through a process of accumulation of individual discoveries and inventions. This accumulation constitutes the modern body of scientific knowledge. The history of science is thus presented as an account of "at what point in time each contemporary scientific fact, law, and theory was discovered or invented", and by whom. Kuhn contends, however, that the "[c]umulative acquisition of unanticipated novelties proves to be an almost nonexistent exception to the rule of scientific development." If we take the historical viewpoint seriously, we see "that science does not tend toward the ideal that our image of its cumulativeness has suggested." In fact, "most new discoveries and theories in the sciences are not merely additions to the existing stockpile of scientific knowledge." Kuhn was alerted to the inadequacy of the standard view when it struck him that, in a typical contemporary study of such theories as, for example, Aristotelian dynamics, phlogistic chemistry, or caloric thermodynamics-all now considered to be out of date-these discarded theories would be deemed incorrect or even unscientific, i.e., not yet science. But to do so is to ignore the presence and importance of the actual historical development of science. The mere fact of its having been replaced by a newer theory is insufficient evidence by which to hold an older theory to be unscientific. The key to understanding science lies not in our seeking to determine the contributions of an older science to our present science, but rather in our attempting to retain the integrity of that older science in respect of its own time. This means that a particular science of any age ought to be studied from a viewpoint wherein it possesses "the maximum internal coherence and the closest possible fit to nature." Such a historical view entails the study of particular theories within the context in which they achieved prominence. 1  2  1 2  Kuhn, SSR, pp. 2, 96, 140; ET, p. 226. SSR, pp. 2-3. 20  That out-of-date theories cannot be accurately deemed simply unscientific points to the lack of a set of overarching conceptual and practical directives which might be used to dictate the conclusion to any scientific question. Instead, the framework of conceptualisation and practice has undergone a series of transformations throughout scientific history. A researcher at any point in time brings a certain scientific background to her investigations. Further, scientific conclusions are influenced by such factors as accidents and the individual makeup of the researcher. These are all temporal elements. So there is no neatly packaged knowledge of "what it is to be scientific" which can be applied to scientific problems. If there were, there would be neither need nor place for a specifically historical study of science. Nevertheless, out-of-date theories can be recognised as having been produced by a roughly similar sort of activity to, and for the same sorts of reasons as, current scientific knowledge and research. The difficulty of the cumulativist view of science is underscored when we look more closely at the two possible ways in which we can consider out-of-date theories: as myths or as science. If they are to be relegated to the mythical, then their rough similarity to current science is puzzling. If we then decide that they are indeed to count as science, then we must conclude that science has, in the past, included bodies of belief which are strikingly incompatible with present beliefs. That there is some contextual set of received beliefs which the researcher brings to his study of scientific problems indicates that, while observation and experience~the foundations of the empiricist view of investigation-must have a hand in directing the range of admissible scientific belief, they do not alone determine the body of that belief. Instead, "research [is] firmly based upon one or more past scientific achievements, achievements that some particular scientific community acknowledges for a time as supplying the foundation for its further practice". This "tradition-bound" conduct is the essence of science as it is generally practiced, i.e., during times of scientific stability, and it is what Kuhn has labelled "normal science." 3  Normal, or Ordinary, Science  The most obvious feature of Kuhnian normal science (as it is described in his earlier writings) is the presence of a "paradigm", which Kuhn defines generally as a situation in which accepted examples of scientific practice (including law, theory, and instrumentation) provide a model leading to a coherent tradition of scientific research. The paradigmatic nature of what is today familiar to us as science can be seen in sharper focus when we consider what Kuhn (in earlier writings) referred to as "pre-paradigm science". This is exemplified by the state of physical optics before the time of Newton. In these early stages of a science's 3  Ibid., pp. 4, 6, 10.  21  development, one sees at most the existence o f various "schools". Since, for K u h n , the interpretation of data is o n l y possible w h e r e there is at least some foundation of theoretical a n d m e t h o d o l o g i c a l belief, each o f these schools w o u l d have to possess its o w n foundation, a n d it was i n the context o f such a m a t r i c a l foundation that theory-selection, -evaluation, a n d -criticism w o u l d go o n . Because such a n u n d e r l y i n g b o d y o f belief is thus i m p l i c i t i n the collection of facts, more t h a n "mere facts" are at h a n d . A l t h o u g h there was, for each school, a g r o u n d i n g o f agreed-upon scientific practice a n d v i s i o n w i t h i n w h i c h w o r k was carried o n , "fact-gathering" i n pre-paradigm science was still a more r a n d o m activity t h a n it has been i n paradigm-based science (because o f the p l u r a l i t y of research matrices i n the former). Since there was no single standard conceptual a n d m e t h o d o l o g i c a l corpus adopted b y the scientific c o m m u n i t y either as a w h o l e o r i n a particular area o f study at any given time, a scientist's choices i n terms o f experimentation a n d observation were made relatively freely. In the absence o f a universally accepted p a r a d i g m (at either the w h o l e scientific or the d i s c i p l i n a r y level), a l l o f the facts that c o u l d possibly pertain to the development o f a given science c o u l d seem equally relevant. 4  In the history of science, however, this i n i t i a l divergence i n schools of thought was eventually to disappear i n the various scientific disciplines, as a result of the t r i u m p h , i n each discipline, o f one of the pre-paradigm schools. In order to a c c o m p l i s h this, the b o d y o f theory a n d practice o f the successful school h a d to become accepted as a p a r a d i g m w h i c h was to guide the w o r k o f a l l researchers i n a given field. It h a d therefore to seem better t h a n its competitors, a l t h o u g h it need not e x p l a i n all the facts it was to encounter. The acquisition o f a p a r a d i g m is a sign o f m a t u r i t y i n the development o f a particular scientific field; it is a n i n d i c a t i o n of a n e w level o f confidence w h i c h encourages researchers to undertake more detailed, precise, a n d esoteric w o r k . This is because the constant ree x a m i n a t i o n of fundamentals w h i c h dogged pre-paradigm science is obviated b y the m o r e t i g h t l y directed fact-collection a n d theory-articulation demonstrated i n paradigm-based science; energy previously directed towards the c o n t i n u a l setting of foundations c o u l d be shifted into increased technical efficiency a n d m o r e specialised problems. Scientific w o r k c o u l d afford to become m o r e esoteric a n d oriented towards puzzle-solving once its foundations c o u l d be taken for granted by experimenters. This signalled a n e w attitude w h e r e i n current theory came to be more exploited, a n d less criticised. T h e transition to a mature science is m a r k e d b y the d i m i n i s h m e n t o f critical discourse. Hence, as each discipline, o r area o f research, developed sufficiently, non-dominant schools gradually disappeared, t h r o u g h the conversion o f seasoned practitioners, a n d the attraction of most o f the next generation's practitioners, to the n e w l y ascendant p a r a d i g m , as w e l l as t h r o u g h those schools b e i n g ignored b y the n e w scientific m a i n s t r e a m . Paradigmatic d o m i n a n c e is exemplified b y Ptolemaic or C o p e r n i c a n astronomy, Aristotelian or N e w t o n i a n dynamics, a n d corpuscular or wave optics.  4  Ibid., pp. 10, 13, 15-17.  22  One o f the basic characteristics o f a p a r a d i g m , then, is that its achievements are sufficiently unprecedented so as to attract adherents a w a y from c o m p e t i n g models. B u t this novelty cannot be a c o n t i n u i n g focus o f researchers i f the p a r a d i g m is to fulfil its essential role i n the developmental progress of the field. K u h n stresses that n o r m a l science does not a i m to produce unexpected novelties, a n d scientists n o r m a l l y do not a i m to invent n e w theories. W h e n n o r m a l science is successful, novelties o f fact or theory are not discovered; i n fact, if any such novelties threaten to disturb p a r a d i g m stability, they are typically suppressed. The congealment o f scientific attention into a successful p a r a d i g m is a result o f that paradigm's ability to achieve anticipated research results i n a n e w w a y , a w a y w h i c h constitutes a n i m p r o v e m e n t over the collective abilities o f the various schools o f the pre-paradigm p e r i o d , or, as w e shall see later, over the abilities o f the previously enshrined p a r a d i g m ( i n the case o f a n already-matured discipline). As I have mentioned, it is i n Kuhn's earlier w r i t i n g s that he refers to the science typified b y the various schools o f thought extant prior to the c o m i n g into d o m i n a n c e o f a single d i s c i p l i n a r y m a t r i x as "pre-paradigm" science. Somewhat later, he sought to qualify this b y observing that d i s c i p l i n a r y matrices are i n d e e d possessed b y any scientific c o m m u n i t y , i n c l u d i n g these schools o f the so-called pre-paradigm p e r i o d : "a rigorous t r a i n i n g i n convergent thought has been intrinsic to the sciences almost from their o r i g i n . " Paradigm-function i n relation to research-problems is a crucial feature o f science. Scientists are fundamentally "puzzle"-solvers, the d o m i n a n t criterion for most o f t h e m b e i n g the ability to recognise a n d solve puzzles posed b y Nature. W e r e it not for the stabilising effect o f the paradigm, the requisite security for the scientist's t a c k l i n g problems, especially those o f a more esoteric type, w o u l d be l a c k i n g . W h e n engaged i n a n o r m a l research p r o b l e m , the scientist must premise current theory as the "rules o f his game". The w o r k o f science is thus composed of these instrumental, conceptual, a n d mathematical puzzles, to w h i c h it must always be expected that there w i l l eventually be a solution, else c o m m i t m e n t to the scientific enterprise w o u l d w a n e . T h e corpus o f accepted current theory bestows m e a n i n g o n the problems of n o r m a l research, l e n d i n g support to the assurance that a solution to the puzzle w i l l be found. Problems w h i c h appear potentially insoluble are therefore not considered to be scientific problems: they m a y be rejected as metaphysical, as part o f another discipline, or as b e i n g too problematic to be w o r t h the effort. 6  T h e p a r a d i g m , then, functions to provide criteria for choosing problems that c a n reasonably be assumed to have solutions. W i t h i n it, the range o f anticipated a n d assimilable results is n a r r o w e d from the m u c h larger field supplied b y the experimenter's i m a g i n a t i o n . It serves to l i m i t the nature o f acceptable solutions a n d the steps b y w h i c h they m i g h t be obtained. Researchoutcomes w h i c h fail to fall w i t h i n this n o r m a l range w i l l , under the conditions of 5 5  ET, pp. 228, 295. SSR, pp. 35-7, 205; CGK, p. 4.  23  n o r m a l science, be d e e m e d research-failures. So, w h a t is b e i n g tested i n n o r m a l research is the i n d i v i d u a l scientist's ability to solve his p u z z l e ; w h a t is not b e i n g tested is the corpus of current science, w h i c h is instead required to form the b a c k g r o u n d against w h i c h p u z z l e - s o l v i n g is done. N o r m a l science thus "seems an attempt to force nature into the pre-formed a n d relatively inflexible b o x that the p a r a d i g m supplies", a n d n e w sorts o f phenomena w h i c h do not fit into this box are often not seen at a l l . P a r a d i g m procedures a n d applications, laws a n d theories serve to "restrict the p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l field accessible for scientific investigation at any given time", thus a l l o w i n g the scientific endeavour to have a conceivable m e t h o d of research. Nevertheless, the b o d y of admissible procedure cannot be over-specified: the p a r a d i g m must r e m a i n sufficiently open-ended so as to leave problems for it practitioners to resolve. But b e h i n d the issue o f problem-choice, the strictures o f the p a r a d i g m provide guidance i n respect of favoured conceptual, theoretical, a n d methodological commitments, as w e l l as o f preferred types of instrumentation a n d the ways i n w h i c h accepted instruments m a y legitimately be e m p l o y e d ; it m a y be necessary, for instance, that a n experimental apparatus be redesigned i n order that it produce results o f a better fit w i t h accepted t h e o r y . 7  The i n i t i a l success of a n adopted paradigm, however, is generally neither complete n o r widespread. It is instead largely a promise o f success i n some areas. T h e settled regime of n o r m a l science is typified by the actualisation o f a significant a m o u n t o f what has been p r o m i s e d b y the n e w p a r a d i g m . In this w a y , the p a r a d i g m becomes more accepted, but as it does so, it also becomes more elaborately articulated. Scientific problems are increasingly m o d e l l e d u p o n previous achievements. M u c h scientific research w i t h i n a t r a d i t i o n is a n attempt to adjust existing theory a n d observation into progressively closer agreement. It also involves extending existing theory into areas w h i c h it is expected to cover, but to w h i c h it has not yet been a p p l i e d . Some research w i l l thus be directed towards finding n e w applications o f the paradigm, or towards increasing the precision of applications that have already been i n t r o d u c e d . In this process of elaboration, a p a r a d i g m m a y be somewhat reformulated. T h e significant point here is that none o f these problems or adjustments w o u l d be considered w o r t h u n d e r t a k i n g b y anyone w h o h a d basic doubts about the v a l i d i t y of existing theory, or w h o leaned towards a n e w theory. As the discipline matures t h r o u g h the further a r t i c u l a t i o n a n d success o f the adopted p a r a d i g m , w e see increasing professional!sation a n d specialisation, a c c o m p a n i e d b y a g r o w i n g resistance to paradigm-change. M o r e o v e r , the development o f a n i n i t i a l p a r a d i g m spells the end o f any research done outside of a p a r a d i g m . A l l future research w i l l be contained w i t h i n one such m a t r i x or another. K u h n observes that the sciences acquired something like paradigms "at precisely the point w h e n the field began to make r a p i d a n d systematic progress". 8  It is crucial, i n understanding K u h n , to recognise that he regards science as an i m p o r t a n t l y c o m m u n a l enterprise. The p a r a d i g m achieves its success b y virtue 7  8  SSR, pp. 10, 24, 35, 38-40, 42, 60; CGK, p. 5. SSR, pp. 64, 79; ET, p. 230.  24  of its acceptance b y the relevant scientific c o m m u n i t y as a w h o l e , the group o f practitioners of a scientific specialty. Indeed, the p a r a d i g m m a y be said to govern not a subject-matter, but rather a group o f practitioners. Paradigms are a demonstration o f consensus. Scientific communities, o f course, exist at different levels. W i t h i n the overarching group o f natural scientists, w e can identify the divergent specialisations represented b y astronomers, physicists, chemists, a n d zoologists, for example. A t a level of further professional refinement, w e can distinguish, say, solid-state from high-energy physicists, a n d organic from inorganic chemists. Y e t further splitting u p o f scientific domains occurs as disciplines mature a n d their paradigms become ever more esoteric a n d n a r r o w l y focused. T h e m a i n b o d y o f each group, at whatever level, is u n i t e d a r o u n d the subject of its members' highest educational degree, membership i n professional societies, a n d publications i n journals. Consequently, paradigms w i l l also exist at different levels. Some w i l l guide the w o r k o f a broader group o f researchers; others w i l l be o f relatively more n a r r o w scope. F o r instance, w i t h i n the large a n d diverse c o m m u n i t y o f p h y s i c a l scientists, a l l w i l l have learned the laws of q u a n t u m mechanics, but a l t h o u g h they share the basic matrix, they do not a l l l e a r n the same applications o f these laws. Solid-state physicists are not w o r k i n g w i t h i n quite the same p a r a d i g m as are chemists. B e y o n d this, even w i t h i n the confines o f the more precisely specified p a r a d i g m , t w o i n d i v i d u a l researchers m a y differ i n the judgments w h i c h they d r a w from it. Scientists c a n agree o n their identification o f the p a r a d i g m i n general w i t h o u t agreeing o n their interpretation of it. Nevertheless, this disparity does not interfere w i t h the paradigm's ability to guide research: its guidance w i l l just be manifested i n slightly different w a y s . In order to l o o k w i t h greater resolution at the paradigmatic framework o f conceptualisation a n d practice i n the sciences, w e must t u r n to Kuhn's later revisions o f his o w n terminology, initiated i n the w a k e o f criticisms that his n o t i o n of a p a r a d i g m , as presented i n The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, was not sufficiently clear. Kuhn's later p r o g r a m m e refines this n o t i o n b y substituting the terms "disciplinary m a t r i x " a n d "exemplars" for the term "paradigm". The d i s c i p l i n a r y m a t r i x o f a professional discipline is composed o f three basic elements: 1. symbolic generalisations: the formal (or r e a d i l y formalisable) components o f the matrix; 2. m o d e l s : components w h i c h provide the permissible a n d preferred analogies a n d metaphors, or even a n ontology; 3. exemplars: concrete problem-solutions; the professional c o m m u n i t y ' s standard examples, to w h i c h students are heavily exposed i n their t r a i n i n g ( i n the form of textbooks, lectures, a n d laboratory exercises); a n d 4. values: e.g., theories are expected to be accurate, precise, simple, plausible, a n d compatible w i t h other current theories, as w e l l as b e i n g self-consistent; they must permit puzzle-formation a n d -solution, a n d are i d e a l l y relatively  25  more quantitative t h a n qualitative; u n a n i m i t y w i t h i n the c o m m u n i t y is a paramount value; the scope o f a theory is also to be considered. S y m b o l i c generalisations a l l o w the a p p l i c a t i o n o f logic a n d mathematics to problems. A n example w o u l d be the formal equation / = ma, or the verbal expressions "action equals reaction" a n d "elements c o m b i n e i n constant p r o p o r t i o n b y weight". Less specifically interpreted, these belong to the broader scientific c o m m u n i t y . B u t different subgroups o f that c o m m u n i t y w i l l more specifically interpret a n d apply t h e m i n different particular w a y s . M o d e l s w h i c h express analogies are o f clearly heuristic usage, such as w h e n one describes a gas as b e h a v i n g like b i l l i a r d balls i n r a n d o m m o t i o n . A n example of a m o d e l intended to provide a n ontology is found i n the explanation o f perceptible phenomena as b e i n g due to the m o t i o n a n d interaction o f atoms i n the void. Exemplars provide a demonstration of a n d practice i n problem-solving w h i c h help the student set the Gestalt w h i c h is typical of the d i s c i p l i n a r y m a t r i x . T h e y a l l o w the student to assimilate "a time-tested a n d group-licensed w a y o f seeing" . T h e student "is l e a r n i n g the language o f a theory a n d a c q u i r i n g the knowledge o f nature e m b e d d e d i n that l a n g u a g e " . This w i l l prove to be essential t r a i n i n g for the prospective scientist, since researchers solve puzzles b y m o d e l l i n g t h e m o n previous puzzle-solutions. Scientists "never l e a r n concepts, laws, a n d theories i n the abstract a n d b y themselves...[i]nstead, these intellectual tools are from the start encountered i n a historically a n d pedagogically p r i o r u n i t that displays t h e m w i t h a n d t h r o u g h their a p p l i c a t i o n s " . Thus, w e see that the cognitive content o f science is not strictly e m b e d d e d i n theory a n d rules o r criteria, w i t h exemplary problem-sets serving as a means t h r o u g h w h i c h students can merely gain facility i n the application of the theory. A great deal o f this content is also carried i n exemplary problem-sets. 9  10  11  Values tend to be more w i d e l y shared a m o n g various scientific c o m m u n i t i e s t h a n are symbolic generalisations a n d models. A l t h o u g h they m a y be shared generally throughout a given scientific c o m m u n i t y , they m a y not be applied i n the same w a y w i t h i n that c o m m u n i t y . K u h n insists that, rather t h a n encountering the w o r l d i n simplistic empiricist fashion, equipped o n l y w i t h a fresh tabula rasa, the science student is instead "programmed", i n her training, to recognise w h a t her prospective c o m m u n i t y already k n o w s . She learns that the m e a n i n g o f her community's endeavours inheres i n its members' ability to a p p l y labels u n e q u i v o c a l l y a n d d r a w conclusions as to what might be further expected. T h e m a t r i x w h i c h is learned i n scientific education is t h e n reinforced b y subsequent life i n the p r o f e s s i o n . 12  W e m i g h t be tempted to characterise this structure as a collection o f four fundamental types of rule-based activities. O n this v i e w , symbolic generalisations 9 10 11 1 2  SSR, p. 189. CGK, p. 272. SSR, p. 46. Ibid., pp. 43, 46, 182-90; CGK, pp. 21, 241, 272; ET, pp. 227, 297, 312.  26  w o u l d provide one set o f rules, models another, a n d so o n . B u t K u h n contends that the existence o f a disciplinary m a t r i x need not i m p l y the presence o f rules. Instead, scientists possess s o m e t h i n g more like a n intuitive knowledge o f w h a t w i l l count as research w h i c h fits the disciplinary m a t r i x . Indeed, i f the philosophers whose interest it is to pursue the abstract structure o f science ask scientists to come u p w i t h the "correspondence rules" w h i c h they use i n their business o f problem-solving ( a l l o w i n g t h e m to attach symbolic representations to Nature), scientists often deny the relevance o f such rules, a n d i f they d o not, the "rules" that they d o provide m a y w e l l v a r y from one i n d i v i d u a l to another, a n d may, i n a n y case, be defective. This is not to say that there is n o place for rules, or criteria, i n the explanation o f h o w science w o r k s . It is just to say that, i f w e are able to identify such criteria, it is because they have been abstracted from a n already functioning d i s c i p l i n a r y matrix, rather t h a n b e i n g the p r i o r determinants of that m a t r i x . In Kuhn's estimation, w e have no access to elements more m i n i m a l t h a n sense-data reports, such as m i g h t be exemplified b y "green there". In some sense, w e c a n v i e w these as "the given"; i n this respect, they are construed experientially. But understood theoretically, it is rather s t i m u l i w h i c h rank as given (although w e have access to these o n l y indirectly, v i a scientific theory), since w e c a n consider sensations to be the result o f a vast a m o u n t o f n e u r a l processing o f s t i m u l i . H o w does this experiential fundamentality o f sensations relate to science as non-criterial? K u h n offers a n analogy i n w h i c h one is teaching a c h i l d to discriminate a m o n g ducks, swans, a n d geese. T h e c h i l d w i l l come to be able to pick out swans as a l l similar to each other, for instance, but m a y w e l l be unable to tell y o u what a s w a n is, w h i c h is to say that she w i l l be unable to specify criteria for its identification a n d d i s c r i m i n a t i o n from ducks a n d geese. H e r l e a r n i n g has been p r i m a r i l y b y ostension. S i m i l a r l y , l e a r n i n g b y ostension is essential to the reconstruction o f scientific k n o w l e d g e : i n b o t h cases, such l e a r n i n g involves neural r e - p r o g r a m m i n g t h r o u g h reinforcement a n d correction. Elements w i t h i n the disciplinary m a t r i x are related to each other o n the basis o f their c o m m o n familial characteristics, b y the "network o f o v e r l a p p i n g a n d crisscross resemblances". T h e prospective scientist undergoes a similar process to the child's, i n l e a r n i n g to w o r k w i t h the exemplars o f his prospective scientific c o m m u n i t y ; "exposure to a series o f exemplary problem-solutions teaches [him] to see different physical situations as like each other". T h e practice o f n o r m a l science depends partly u p o n this learned ability to group objects a n d situations into similarity-classes, w i t h o u t a n answer to the question " S i m i l a r w i t h respect to 13  what?"  14  Seeking out criteria for p i c k i n g out the similarities a n d differences o n w h i c h a n y interpretation o f data w i l l depend is thus obviated b y this focus o n the acquisition o f exemplars, w h i c h provides the student w i t h t r a i n i n g i n seeing the  ET, p. 308. SSR, p. 46; CGK, pp. 273-5; ET, pp. 312-13.  27  Gestalt w h i c h is e m b o d i e d i n the disciplinary m a t r i x . T h e science student's basic qualification i n solving e x e m p l a r y problems "is a perception o f similarity that is b o t h logically a n d psychologically p r i o r to any o f the numerous criteria b y w h i c h that same identification of similarity m i g h t have been made". Further, "an acquired ability to see resemblances between apparently disparate problems plays i n the sciences a significant part o f the role usually attributed to correspondence rules." T h r o u g h her practice i n w o r k i n g w i t h exemplars, the science student w i l l come to see n e w problems as analogous to previously solved problems. There is a form o f correspondence here, i n that she sees i n the n e w problems the attachment to N a t u r e o f the symbolic consequences o f o l d problems. B u t despite this emphasis o n exemplars, K u h n advises that it is not "likely that v e r y m u c h h u m a n k n o w l e d g e is acquired a n d stored w i t h so little recourse to v e r b a l generalizations"; the effective ostension p r o v i d e d b y exposure to exemplars must be c o m b i n e d w i t h m o d e l l i n g a n d symbolic generalisations. Still, exemplars a n d models tend to be more effective determinants o f c o m m u n i t y substructure t h a n are symbolic generalisations, perhaps because the former are m o r e completely specified, w h i l e the latter r e m a i n relatively more sparse. O v e r a l l , it is largely i n the shared examples o f the c o m m u n i t y that scientists assimilate a n d store k n o w l e d g e . A similarity-based scientific p r o g r a m m e is preferable to one based o n criteria partly because the stricter class-boundaries o f the latter (that is, between familial groups identified a n d dealt w i t h b y the current theory) tend to foster a situation i n w h i c h class-boundaries w i l l have to be altered more frequently, i n order to accommodate n e w data. The m o r e "primitive" resemblance-programme handles cases o f n e w p h e n o m e n a m o r e often unproblematically, a n d w i t h o u t c o n t i n u a l adjustment. H o w e v e r , "[tjhere are appropriate occasions for s w i t c h i n g to the w e l l - k n o w n strategy that relies u p o n boundaries a n d rules": rules become advantageous w h e n the need to resolve a p a r t i c u l a r l y troublesome q u a n d a r y arises. 15  16  It is p r i m a r i l y philosophers w h o tend to w a n t to study scientific examples and derive correspondence rules from t h e m . B u t this practice has the effect o f distorting the v i e w o f the w a y i n w h i c h the scientific c o m m u n i t y gathers knowledge, b y substituting one means o f data-processing (rule- or criterion-based) for another (similarity-based). Hence it generates a n inaccurate picture o f the w a y i n w h i c h scientific k n o w l e d g e is a c q u i r e d a n d stored. K n o w l e d g e develops differently t h r o u g h disciplinary matrices i n general, a n d exemplars i n particular, from the w a y it develops t h r o u g h rules. If the cognitive process w e r e t r u l y to follow a fundamentally rule-based pattern, it w o u l d result i n a considerably w e a k e r endeavour. M a n i p u l a t i o n o f exemplars m a y be construed as practice i n the application of rules, but i f it is, then w e must recognise it as a n unconscious sort of practice, since no rules are made explicit i n the passing o n o f these p r o b l e m sets to the student. These shared examples p r o v i d e a sort of tacitly e m b e d d e d k n o w l e d g e . Rules are actually isolated after the fact, p r i m a r i l y as a n activity o f ET, pp. 306-8, 313. Ibid., pp. 316, 318.  28  philosophers w i s h i n g to erect a n abstract procedural structure. T h e y s h o u l d not be v i e w e d as the h a l l m a r k o f objectivity, as concrete puzzle-solutions s h o u l d not be v i e w e d as "subjective" or "intuitive"; the latter are u n d e n i a b l y systematic a n d corrigible. A typical a n d m i s g u i d e d w a y o f understanding exemplars is as evidence for the theory of w h i c h they are applications. But, although "some o f t h e m were part of the evidence at the time actual decisions were b e i n g made...they represent o n l y a fraction o f the considerations relevant to the decision process." B y the time m a n y o f these exemplary applications w e r e devised, the decisions pertaining to theory-choice o f w h i c h they m a y appear to be evidence have already been made. S u p p l y i n g evidence is not their p r i m a r y pedagogic function. If they were offered to science students w i t h such a n intent, the composers o f textbooks w o u l d be guilty o f "an extreme bias", t h r o u g h h a v i n g failed to offer alternative theories for equal consideration, as w e l l as any evidence against the accepted m a t r i x . In a d d i t i o n , as anyone w h o has been a science student knows, students do not accept theories o n the basis of h a v i n g favourably w e i g h e d the evidence for t h e m as presented i n exemplars, but rather o n the authority o f teacher a n d text. Clearly, students have not the scientific competence to do o t h e r w i s e . 17  Scientific Crisis, and the Transition into Revolutionary, or Extraordinary, Research If n o r m a l science w e r e a l l there were to the scientific endeavour, w e w o u l d have the cumulative m o d e l w h i c h I have indicated above that K u h n has l a b o u r e d so strenuously to dispel. A n accurate study o f the history of science reveals that the stability of the m a t r i x of m a n y scientific disciplines has, from time to time, been upset, a n e w m a t r i x subsequently eventually emerging. S u c h upsets are generally caused b y the a c c u m u l a t i o n of a c o l l e c t i o n of anomalies, discoveries w h i c h are at odds w i t h the current b o d y of theory. A n a n o m a l y is detected w h e n it is recognised "that nature has v i o l a t e d the p a r a d i g m - i n d u c e d expectations that govern n o r m a l science"; something has occurred w h i c h cannot "be aligned w i t h professional expectation". This m a y take the form o f a p r o b l e m w h i c h ought to be solvable b y k n o w n rules a n d procedures resisting solution, or of the failure o f a piece o f equipment. Initially i n the p e r i o d of stability, generally o n l y the anticipated a n d the usual are experienced. Researchers at first tend to see o n l y the types o f p h e n o m e n a for w h i c h previous experience w i t h i n the m a t r i x has equipped t h e m ; hence, the occasional discrepancy w h i c h crops u p w i l l not at this point be noticed. As the same discrepancies appear repeatedly, researchers w i l l b e g i n to become aware o f t h e m . Nevertheless, they are usually resolved b y n o r m a l means. This m a y involve a m i n o r adjustment of the matrix, so that the anomalous becomes the expected.  SSR,  p. 80;  ET,  p. 327.  29  Some discrepancies w i l l resist resolution, however. S u c h problems m a y be ignored, i f the researcher deems it m o r e scientifically profitable to move o n to attempt to solve other problems, setting aside recognised counter-instances for later w o r k . If u n s o l v e d anomalies cannot reasonably be placed a s i d e - f o r instance, i f too m a n y o f t h e m have a c c u m u l a t e d - then a certain a m o u n t of energy w i t h i n the scientific c o m m u n i t y concerned w i l l be directed towards their b e i n g eventually resolved. A t some point, however, the a c c u m u l a t i o n o f discrepancies w i l l reach its critical mass, so to speak, at w h i c h point it is fair to say that a state o f crisis has hit the discipline. There is the reappearance o f a significant amount of discourse of a critical flavour. Scientists begin to lose faith i n the adequacy o f their disciplinary matrix. A l t h o u g h they tentatively consider alternatives to it, they continue to resist its full-scale r e n u n c i a t i o n . A n o m a l i e s are still not treated even at this t i m e as genuine counter-instances of the m a t r i x . Increasing numbers o f researchers r a l l y to devote their professional attention to these difficulties; as a result, anomalies come to be isolated more precisely. A n y rules w h i c h m a y have been abstracted a n d identified as e x e m p l a r y o f the m a t r i x l o o m larger as its security begins to show strain; they provide a relatively more substantial handle w h i c h adherents to the o l d m a t r i x are able to grasp, as they labour to stretch that m a t r i x a r o u n d persistent anomalies. If scientists demonstrate a tendency to venture into the terrain o f p h i l o s o p h i c a l analysis as a help w i t h their p r o b l e m s that analysis being, as m e n t i o n e d previously, occupied largely w i t h the abstraction of a criteriological skeleton for scientific r e s e a r c h - t h e y w i l l d o so p a r t i c u l a r l y at this time. K u h n states that 1 8  [i]t is no accident that the emergence of Newtonian physics in the seventeenth century and of relativity and quantum mechanics in the twentieth should have been both preceded and accompanied by fundamental philosophical analyses of the contemporary research tradition. Nor it is an accident that in both these periods the so-called thought experiment should have played so critical a role i n the progress of research....the analytical thought experimentation that bulks so large i n the writings of Galileo, Einstein, Bohr, and others is perfectly calculated to expose the old [matrix] to existing knowledge in ways that isolate the root of crisis with a clarity unattainable in the laboratory. 19  L o o k i n g , for example, at the C o p e r n i c a n R e v o l u t i o n , w e m a y note that, as discrepancies were discovered i n Ptolemy's astronomical system, astronomers were at first able to eliminate t h e m as problems b y m a k i n g adjustments i n the system. B u t as this process continued, the system h a d to become ever more complex, i n order to encompass, as n e w l y solved problems, w h a t h a d been discrepancies w i t h i n it. W i t h time, the c o m p l e x i t y o f the system outstripped its accuracy. Further, m a n i p u l a t i o n o f the system i n one place often distorted it i n  SSR, pp. 5-6, 52, 64, 81-2, 112-13, 186. Ibid., p. 88.  30  another, g i v i n g rise to yet m o r e n e w anomalies. Ptolemaic astronomy h a d reached a state o f c r i s i s . This account o f the increasing manifestation o f a n o m a l y as a prelude to crisis clearly depends u p o n a n acceptance o f the description of n o r m a l science offered above. W i t h o u t this special apparatus (viz., n o r m a l science) w h i c h is constructed for the purpose o f describing a n d d e a l i n g w i t h anticipated functions, the results that lead u l t i m a t e l y to novelty w o u l d not be recognised as such. T h e detection of a n o m a l y occurs because the scientist k n o w s , w i t h precision, w h a t to expect i n his investigations. A n o m a l y must be h i g h l i g h t e d against the b a c k g r o u n d p r o v i d e d b y the d i s c i p l i n a r y m a t r i x o f n o r m a l science. Thus, the more precise the matrix, the more sensitive a n i n d i c a t o r o f a n o m a l y it is. Paradoxically, then, n o r m a l science prepares the w a y for its o w n temporary demise, l e a d i n g to change i n the regime. 20  D u r i n g the crisis-period, the d i s c i p l i n a r y restrictions w h i c h are essential to n o r m a l science are naturally relaxed, as the previously accepted m a t r i x functions increasingly less effectively. A typical s y m p t o m o f matrix-crisis is the proliferation of a n u m b e r o f different "articulations a n d ad hoc versions" of the extant theory; these are offered as attempts to stretch the theory such that it m i g h t be capable o f contributing a solution to intransigent anomalies. Otherwise, anomalies threaten to r e m a i n outside of any structure whatsoever, w h i c h w o u l d render scientific progress considerably m o r e elusive. The result is increasing theoretical vagueness a n d decreasing theoretical utility, as the proliferations m a k e it progressively m o r e difficult to identify w h a t the theory actually is. T h e d e c a y i n g m a t r i x guides research w h i c h more a n d m o r e resembles that characteristic of the p e r i o d p r i o r to the d o m i n a n c e o f any one matrix, w h a t K u h n h a d earlier called "pre-paradigm" science. K u h n notes that "by proliferating versions o f the [matrix], crisis loosens the rules o f n o r m a l p u z z l e - s o l v i n g i n ways that ultimately p e r m i t a n e w [matrix] to emerge." This is the d o m a i n o f "extraordinary", o r "revolutionary" science w h i c h is clearly of a more turbulent nature t h a n that p r o d u c e d i n n o r m a l periods. 21  A t this time, scientific attention is concentrated o n a n a r r o w area o f trouble, a n d anomalies are more consciously recognised as such t h a n they were before. N o r m a l science, i n fact, leads to revolutionary science m u c h m o r e surely than w o u l d pre-paradigm science, because it "[i]solates for continued a n d concentrated attention those loci o f trouble or causes o f crisis u p o n whose recognition the most fundamental advances i n basic science d e p e n d " . Still, the i m p e n d i n g full b r e a k d o w n o f the m a t r i x is o n l y v e r y rarely explicitly recognised as such. T h e atmosphere is rather one o f at-times-overwhelming confusion: about h o w Nature is to be v i e w e d , a n d about the conceptual framework a n d m e t h o d o l o g y w h i c h guide research. The relaxing o f the o l d order allows n e w things to be seen, a n d / o r o l d things to be seen i n a n e w light. C o m m i t m e n t to the 22  Ibid., p. 68 Ibid., pp. 24, 71-2, 78, 80, 87. ET, p. 234.  31  o l d p a r a d i g m has weakened, thus freeing u p the v i s i o n o f researchers, increasing its plasticity so that n e w visions m a y be forged. Progressively greater numbers of researchers become estranged from w h a t has been traditional, a n d behave i n a n ever more eccentric m a n n e r i n relation to that t r a d i t i o n . T h e speculative a n d less fully articulated theories o f the crisis-period thus play a n important role, i n that they point the w a y to discovery, whether or not such discoveries are indeed the ones anticipated b y the speculative theories. Sometimes w h a t w i l l u l t i m a t e l y w i n out as the n e w d o m i n a n t m a t r i x is foreshadowed fairly q u i c k l y a n d directly i n the shreds o f structure w h i c h scientists are attempting to b u i l d t h r o u g h their extraordinary research: [0]ften a new [matrix] emerges, at least i n embryo, before a crisis has developed far or been explicitly recognized...one can say only that a minor breakdown of the [matrix] and the very first blurring of its rules for normal science were sufficient to induce in someone a new way of looking at the field. What intervened between the first sense of trouble and the recognition of an available alternate must have been largely unconscious. 23  For that matter, a n e w m a t r i x m a y be anticipated l o n g before a crisis point even appears o n the h o r i z o n . This was the case w h e n Aristarchus proposed a heliocentric astronomical system i n the T h i r d C e n t u r y B . C . , d u r i n g the p e r i o d w h e n Ptolemaic geocentric astronomy was the n o r m . A c t u a l crisis a n d matrixtransformation d i d not occur u n t i l Copernicus' t i m e . Generally, however, n e w theories are not glimpsed p r i o r to the c r u m b l i n g o f the o l d , a n d further, the final stage o f the emergence o f the n e w w a y i n w h i c h ordered data w i l l be p r o d u c e d is inscrutable for quite some time even after the discipline has entered into crisis. In general terms, w h a t w i l l eventually be revealed as a superior m a t r i x to the o l d is that w h i c h exhibits the most coherent b o d y o f observation a n d theory, still being connected to the sensory i n p u t (the "given") w h i c h forms part of the g r o u n d i n g o f observations. In simple terms, w e m i g h t say that the preferred theory is the one w h i c h best fits the facts, although this m a y be thought to put the case i n a n overly e m p i r i c a l w a y . I w i l l have more to say o n this, i n relation to considerations of w h a t constitutes truth a n d knowledge, later. T h e n e w order must therefore promise to resolve problems left unresolved by the o l d matrix, w h i l e at the same time, p r o m i s i n g to preserve to a significant degree the problem-solving ability that has accrued to science t h r o u g h previous theories. D u r i n g this transition p e r i o d , there w i l l be a large, a l t h o u g h incomplete, overlap between the problems that can be solved b y the o l d a n d the n e w orders. Counter-instances to the o l d m a t r i x help to permit the emergence o f a n e w one i n w h i c h they are no longer a source of trouble: w i t h i n the n e w order, they m a y even appear tautologous. But although, to scientists, the ability o f the n e w m a t r i x to solve problems more effectively t h a n the o l d is generally "the most significant a n d persuasive" factor, it m a y not itself be a c o m p e l l i n g force i n theory-change. Sometimes, w h e n it is first proposed, the n e w m a t r i x has still not solved m a n y o f  SSR, p.  86.  32  the problems confronting i t , a n d it m a y not have dealt convincingly, o r effectively, even w i t h those it has solved. M o r e decisive arguments for the n e w m a t r i x tend to present themselves after it has h a d t i m e to become more w e l l developed. These arguments w i l l t h e n pass into the b o d y o f normal-scientific theory. Alternatively, values other t h a n p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g ability m a y be applied, w i t h variable amounts of w e i g h t . A shift m a y be facilitated i f the n e w m a t r i x displays a strikingly better quantitative precision t h a n the o l d one, or i f it is s i m p l y more quantitative. A g a i n , i n the i n i t i a l stages o f the shift, there m a y be benefits of the n e w theory w h i c h are not consciously appreciated. W e see this, for instance, i n general relativity's ability to account w i t h precision for the a n o m a l y w h i c h h a d emerged i n the m o t i o n o f Mercury's p e r i h e l i o n , but Einstein h a d not i n d e e d anticipated this. Later revelations o f this sort ( w h i c h result from routine performance o f research w i t h i n the replacement-matrix) stimulate a somewhat delayed vote o f confidence for that matrix. Still another value w h i c h m a y be i n v o k e d is aesthetic appeal: the n e w m a t r i x m a y be neater, simpler, o r considered m o r e suitable or appropriate t h a n the o l d . T h i s tends, at times, to be a rather w e a k e r factor t h a n some o f the others, however, o n account o f the crudeness o f the early versions o f most matrices; aesthetic appeal is not i n i t i a l l y particularly well-developed. B y the time the aesthetic force o f a theory is appreciated, other means o f persuasion have already taken effect. This is not to say, though, that the p o w e r o f this appeal ends up to be insignificant; it m a y still advocate strongly for the n e w theory, albeit w i t h some delay, a n d it can be helped i n this respect i f scientists w h o respond positively to aesthetic advantages are themselves i m p o r t a n t w i t h i n the scientific c o m m u n i t y . Recourse to these a n d other values i n j u d g i n g the appropriateness of a n e w m a t r i x are crucial to the progress o f science. K u h n states that " i f a n e w candidate for a [matrix] h a d to be j u d g e d from the start b y hard-headed people w h o e x a m i n e d o n l y relative p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g ability, the sciences w o u l d experience very few major revolutions". Sometimes, it is "only personal a n d inarticulate aesthetic considerations" that c a n "make at least a few scientists feel that the n e w proposal is o n the right track." K u h n cites t w o examples: w h e n first i n t r o d u c e d , Copernicus' astronomical theory d i d not have m a n y grounds of appeal other t h a n this, a n d Einstein's general theory o f relativity d r e w mathematicians p r i n c i p a l l y on aesthetic grounds. So acceptance o f a n e w m a t r i x grows t h r o u g h the interplay of a n u m b e r o f values w h i c h , i n a n y given case, w i l l exhibit different strengths i n persuasiveness. 24  25  A n e w interpretation o f Nature, w h i c h w i l l be offered up as a superior successor to the o l d a n d now-inadequate theory, emerges first i n the m i n d ( s ) o f one or a few i n d i v i d u a l s . Since n e w matrices are b o r n from the soil of o l d ones, they do incorporate m u c h o f the v o c a b u l a r y a n d apparatus o f the o l d . A t least part of the achievement o f a n y m a t r i x w i l l thus prove to be m o r e permanent. Ibid., pp. 78, 169. Ibid., pp. 157-8.  33  A d d i t i o n a l l y , a revolutionary change m a y not affect the w h o l e matrix, but o n l y one application of it. O v e r a l l , though, n e w matrices w i e l d the tools of the o l d i n a n e w w a y , setting u p n o v e l relationships between the elements i n v o l v e d . In this w a y , the n e w m a t r i x solves anomalies, revealing n e w regularities not previously known. In order to appreciate the magnitude o f change instituted b y a matrix-shift, a n d thereby dissociate it from the traditional picture o f s i m p l y c u m u l a t i v e science, w e need to l o o k more closely at the state o f "incommensurability" w h i c h characterises the gulf between successive matrices. After a shift to a n e w theoretical a n d experimental structure, w e can say, i n some sense, at least, that scientists find themselves i n a different w o r l d from the one i n w h i c h they were w o r k i n g before. A n example w i l l illustrate this: Aristotelians saw a s w i n g i n g suspended stone finally c o m i n g to rest a c c o r d i n g to their belief that a heavy b o d y is m o v e d b y its o w n nature from a higher position to a state o f natural rest at a l o w e r one. T h e stone s w u n g back a n d forth because it w a s falling w i t h difficulty, b e i n g constrained b y the string into this tortuous back-and-forth pathway. Galileo, however, saw i n this arrangement a p e n d u l u m : a b o d y that almost succeeded i n repeating the same m o t i o n ad infinitum. M u c h o f his n e w system o f dynamics was constructed a r o u n d the properties of this p e n d u l u m , a n d was governed b y a considerably different w a y o f seeing t h a n that w h i c h Aristotle h a d possessed: where Aristotle h a d seen a falling stone, Galileo h a d seen a p e n d u l u m . T h e n e w G a l i l e a n order was b o r n out o f a "flash of intuition", w h i c h revealed a n o v e l w a y of seeing the w o r l d . The researcher w h o offers tip a n e w m a t r i x for consideration must t h e n t o i l (along w i t h a n y w h o choose to risk f o l l o w i n g h i m at the outset) to develop this p r o g r a m m e to the point where it m a y function as a c o n v i n c i n g instrument for scientific progress. K u h n cautions, though, that the changes w r o u g h t t h r o u g h a matrix-shift, being less t h a n Jtotal, ensure that the scientists after the shift are, to some degree, still l o o k i n g at the same w o r l d as before. M u c h of the language a n d instrumentation r e m a i n the same, a l t h o u g h they are often e m p l o y e d differently from b e f o r e . 1  26  It s h o u l d be clear from this example that the proponents of different matrices (e.g., Aristotle a n d Galileo) effectively set different standards for w h a t is to count as proper science. W e can achieve finer resolution o f this point i f w e l o o k at still further shifts i n the e v o l u t i o n o f dynamics. F o r example, under Aristotelian a n d Cartesian dynamics, a theory o f m o t i o n was expected to e x p l a i n the cause o f the attractive forces between particles o f matter. B u t Newton's d y n a m i c s i m p l i e d that this sort o f explanation was unnecessary, since a l l the theory h a d to do was note the existence of such attractive forces. Hence, w i t h the a d o p t i o n o f Newton's theory, the question of the explanation of the attractive forces was essentially no longer considered to be a scientific concern. [ The r a d i c a l nature o f the difference of these standards renders pre- a n d post-revolutionary normal-scientific traditions (i.e., the o l d a n d the n e w matrices) "incommensurable", w h i c h is to say that one m a t r i x cannot flatly be translated Ibid., pp. 118-9, 122,129.  ;  34  into the other, for they carve u p the w o r l d , as it were, i n different w a y s . A l t h o u g h the vocabularies of alternative matrices superficially consist largely of the same set of terms, they a p p l y m a n y o f those terms to Nature i n remarkably different w a y s . S i m i l a r i t y relations between p h e n o m e n a change, such that objects are grouped into similarity-sets (learned v i a exemplars) differently i n the n e w matrix. A t one point, for example, metals w e r e transferred from the set o f c o m p o u n d s to that o f elements. Further, the content of the Copernican statement, "planets travel around the sun" cannot be expressed in a statement that invokes the celestial taxonomy of the Ptolemaic statement "planets travel around the earth". The difference between the two statements is not simply one of fact. The term Splanet' is a kind term i n both, and the two kinds overlap in membership without cither's containing all the celestial bodies contained in the other. A l l of which is to say that there are episodes in scientific development which involve fundamental change i n some taxonomic categories and which therefore confront later observers with problems like those the ethnologist encounters when trying to break into another culture. 27  W i t h these redistributions, researchers i n c o m p e t i n g matrices m a y respond to the same s t i m u l i i n incompatible w a y s . These incompatabilities w i l l "cluster most densely about the p h e n o m e n a u p o n w h i c h the choice o f theory most centrally d e p e n d s " . Because o f this, " [ c j o m m u n i c a t i o n across revolutionary divides is inevitably p a r t i a l " . It is important to see that problems o f i n c o m m e n s u r a b i l i t y are not o f a merely linguistic nature. This means that inter-matrix translation cannot be resolved t h r o u g h a simple re-stipulation o f terms. The difference between matrices, a l t h o u g h reflected i n their language, is actually p r i o r to the a p p l i c a t i o n of those languages. K u h n believes that a language-metaphor for describing alternative matrices w o u l d be too inclusive, given that w e are really d e a l i n g w i t h w h a t he calls a "lexical taxonomy", w h i c h describes the meanings o f a restricted class o f terms: natural kinds, artifactual kinds, social k i n d s . K u h n cautions that w e might m o r e appropriately t h i n k i n terms o f concepts, rather t h a n o f w o r d s . T h i s w o u l d make it something a k i n to a conceptual scheme, w h i c h is not a set o f beliefs, but "a particular operating m o d e of a m e n t a l m o d u l e prerequisite to h a v i n g beliefs, a mode that at once supplies a n d bounds the set of beliefs it is possible to conceive." This t a x o n o m y must therefore be i n place before a description o f the w o r l d c a n begin, because unproblematic c o m m u n i c a t i o n is o n l y made possible b y shared t a x o n o m i c categories: " [ i ] n discussion between members of c o m m u n i t i e s w i t h differently structured lexicons, assertability a n d evidence play the same role for b o t h o n l y i n areas (there are always a great many) where the t w o lexicons are congruent". It is these areas o f overlap w h i c h provide the necessary "bridgeheads" from w h i c h they endeavour to evaluate their differences, 28  29  RSS, p. 5. SSR, p. 201. Ibid., p. 149.  35  a n d w h i c h permit the members o f one group to attempt to acquire the lexicon o f the other i n order to assess its viability. P i n p o i n t i n g areas o f crisis, then, is tantamount to localising i n c o m m e n s u r a b i l i t y i n particular areas i n w h i c h t w o lexical taxonomies d i v e r g e . That n e w matrices characteristically p e r m i t predictions different from those a l l o w e d b y the o l d m a t r i x demonstrates the logical i n c o m p a t a b i l i t y o f t w o alternative matrices. W h i l e this is not to say that the logical inclusiveness o f t w o matrices is, i n principle, impossible, it is, a c c o r d i n g to Kuhn's observations, "a historical implausibility". Matrices at least appear to be logically exclusive. T h e i r "incompleteness of logical contact" ensures that proponents o f different matrices "talk t h r o u g h each o t h e r " . The recovery, b y the historian of science, of older meanings cannot therefore be a process of translation, since this is not possible w h e r e there is i n c o m m e n s u r a b i l i t y . The shift cannot, as a result, be made one step at a time, but must o c c u r a l l at once, a reflection, also, o f the m a t r i x as a fundamental unit for scientific research, one w h i c h cannot be fully reduced to logically atomic components. W e see, for instance, pockets o f inter-definition o f t e r m s - e x h i b i t i n g "local h o l i s m " ~ w h i c h render it necessary that m a n y o f the terms o f scientific lexicons be learned i n clusters. N e w t o n i a n "force" a n d "mass" exemplify this; moreover, these terms must be learned i n concert w i t h Newton's Second L a w of M o t i o n , w h i c h guides h o w one is to pick out N e w t o n i a n forces a n d masses. This renders the shift a process m o r e like a GestaZt-shift, the sort w h i c h produces "bilinguals", although not t h r o u g h translation-efforts. It is difficult for the proponents of alternative matrices to decipher h o w it is that they differ. T h e y must first recognise each other as members of different lexical c o m m u n i t i e s . In the i n i t i a l stages of theory-conversion, they w i l l attempt to translate each theory into the other. T h e y w i l l d o so b y first isolating the terms w h i c h are used u n p r o b l e m a t i c a l l y w i t h i n each c o m m u n i t y , but w h i c h are troublesome between the groups. T h e y w i l l attempt to predict w h a t the proponents of the c o m p e t i n g theory w o u l d see a n d say w h e n presented w i t h a particular stimulus. T h e y become more skilful at p r e d i c t i n g each other's behaviour. D u r i n g this period, it is important that they refrain from j u d g i n g anomalous responses as incorrect. T h e y w i l l also attempt to demonstrate to each other the technical advantages of their o w n theory. The demonstration of impressive concrete results o f the n e w theory w i l l persuade some adherents to the old to try to ascertain h o w those results were achieved. But they w i l l do so still operating i n the m o d e o f translation, attempting to foster the process b y r e a d i n g papers, t a l k i n g w i t h proponents o f the n e w theory, a n d w a t c h i n g t h e m a n d their students w o r k . If the proponents o f the o l d theory are unable to produce results as impressive as those of the n e w theory, the n e w theory begins to take h o l d , a n d those w h o h a d c l u n g to the o l d theory find that, at some point, they have ceased 30  31  32  RSS, pp. 4-5, 9, 12. SSR, pp. 97, 110. Ibid., pp. 11, 85; RTC, p. 566; RSS, pp. 4-5.  36  to translate, and instead have begun to speak the new language. "Exploring an alternative theory by techniques [such as these], one is likely to find that one is already using [the new lexicon] (as one suddenly notes that one is thinking in, not translating out of, a foreign language)." The depth of the taxonomic divide means that, if proponents of alternative matrices fail in their discussions to achieve bilingualism, they are bound to end up talking through each other somewhat. But a matrix-shift is not strictly similar to a Gestalt-shift, on account of the inability of the scientific enterprise to allow its practitioners to shift back and forth between Gestalten. We may see what appear to be reversals in the direction of shift, as in the greater resemblance of the explanation of gravitational attraction offered by Einstein to those of Newton's predecessors than to those of his successors. But this is, of course, not a genuine reversal, since the matrix promoted through Einstein's work was nevertheless a new one overall. Periods where this kind of instability does occur are notably periods of crisis (e.g., when light was sometimes believed to be a wave, and other times believed to be a particle). Further, the scientist does not see the matrix-shift in the same light as the psychological subject, for example, sees a Gestalt-shift. For instance, the scientist does not say that, looking at the moon, she once saw it as a planet, but now sees it as a satellite; her judgment is instead that, while she once saw the moon as a planet, she was mistaken. This speaks of a more solid commitment to a chosen matrix than the GestaZt-image would suggest. That we see incommensurability at all is an indication of the absence of an overarching language-or, more accurately, in Kuhnian terms-lexical taxonomy "capable of expressing, in its entirety, the content of [all lexicons] or even of any pair". This entails the absence of a neutral observation language, as well as of external standards by which one might judge a matrix to be inherently unscientific: "what occurfs] [is] neither a decline nor raising of standards, but simply a change demanded by the adoption of a new [matrix]." Adherents to the old and the new differ with respect to the desired "institutional matrix", and there is no "supra-institutional framework for the adjudication of revolutionary difference". This lack of an overarching scientific standard entails that whole theories in competition with each other for preferred-matrix status cannot be evaluated using the same sort of criteria that we can isolate as being used in judging a single theory's individual research-applications. We might put this another way, by saying that there is no such thing as an algorithm for theorychoice-a set of rules through the application of which scientists might make a clear determination of a superior theory. If there were such a thing as an algorithm for theory-choice, it would "eliminate all need for recourse to group values, to judgments made by minds prepared in a particular way". The presence of an algorithm would thus contradict Kuhn's emphasis on exemplars as an important means of training in the collective practice of scientists through 33  exposure to concrete scenarios.  34  SSR, pp. 148, 201-2; CGK, p. 277; ET, p. 339. SSR, pp. 93-4, 200-1; CGK, pp. 12, 238.  37  In truth, there is a n inaccuracy i n describing theory-choice i n terms o f decision at a l l , since theories are research-programmes to be evaluated over time, a n d there is no "conscious deliberation o n each issue p r i o r to the assumption o f a research stance". A t no point is the scientist aware o f h a v i n g reached a decision or made a choice. Thus, the transfer o f allegiance from one theory to another is better described as "conversion". Scientists come to evaluate the position i n w h i c h they find themselves as a result of their h a v i n g made the conversion. It is o n l y after the fact o f conversion to a n e w theory that terms such as "choice" a n d "decision" are a p p l i e d ; the true "nature o f the change [is] disguised i n later reports". 35  H a v i n g asserted a l l o f this, however, K u h n insists that the lack o f a neutral lexical t a x o n o m y does not point us to the intrinsic i r r a t i o n a l i t y o f scientific theory. Against the charges o f some o f his critics, he is not "trying to make science rest o n unanalyzable i n d i v i d u a l intuitions rather t h a n o n logic a n d l a w " . H e argues that one c a n still pick out g o o d reasons w h i c h take part i n the conversion from one theory to its r i v a l . T h e lack o f a n a l g o r i t h m for theory-choice means that arguments d e p l o y e d b y scientists i n favour o f particular theories are not logically c o m p e l l i n g . Some of Kuhn's readers have sharply criticised this n o t i o n , seeing it, i n one account, as l e a d i n g to a situation governed b y "mob p s y c h o l o g y " . This is a characteristically p h i l o s o p h i c a l complaint, since, "this m o d e o f development [which] requires a decision process w h i c h permits rational m e n to disagree" (i.e., revolutionary science as K u h n has described it) w o u l d be "barred b y the shared a l g o r i t h m w h i c h philosophers have generally sought". K u h n has taken pains (more t h a n s h o u l d have been required) to emphasise that rationality is essential to the scientific enterprise, i n times o f b o t h crisis a n d stability. F o r h i m , "rationality" a n d "justification" are inter-defined terms. I n c o m m e n s u r a b i l i t y is not a threat to the rational evaluation o f truth-claims. The lack o f logical c o m p u l s i o n w h i c h w e see i n inter-matrix arguments does not m e a n that scientists ever refrain from using logic a n d mathematics i n these arguments: "[t]o say that, i n matters o f theory-choice, the force o f logic a n d observation cannot i n p r i n c i p l e be c o m p e l l i n g is neither to discard logic a n d observation nor to suggest that there are not good reasons for favouring one theory over another". There is no i m p l i c a t i o n "that scientists m a y choose any theory they like so l o n g as they agree i n their choice a n d thereafter enforce it": "[o]ne scientific theory is not as good as another for d o i n g w h a t scientists n o r m a l l y do". It is perfectly possible for arguments to be logical, a n d yet u n c o m p e l l i n g . There m a y be a disagreement over premises, or over the m a n n e r i n w h i c h they are to be a p p l i e d - b o t h b e i n g a c o m m o n feature a m o n g scientists debating theory-changes. A t some point, one theory must assume d o m i n a n c e over the others; for scientists at times such as these, "their recourse is to persuasion as 3 6  37  CGK, pp. 238, 276-7; ET, p. 338. SSR, p. 191; CGK, p. 235; ET, p. 328. Lakatos, CGK, p. 178: "Thus, in Kuhn's  psychology."  view scientific revolution is irrational, a matter for mob  38  a prelude to the possibility o f p r o o f . Thus, decision-problems between alternative matrices cannot be resolved b y recourse to p r o o f - r a t h e r , they involve "techniques of persuasion, or...argument a n d counter-argument i n a situation i n w h i c h there can be n o p r o o f . This does n o t refer o n l y to proofs o f a logical sort; the c o m p e t i t i o n between matrices cannot be solved t h r o u g h appeal to e m p i r i c a l proofs, either, since proponents o f c o m p e t i n g matrices are generally u n w i l l i n g to grant the n o n - e m p i r i c a l assumptions o f the o t h e r s . 38  The arguments offered for the a d o p t i o n o f a m a t r i x b y its proponents are necessarily circular: each group must use the tools o f its o w n m a t r i x to argue i n its defence: The resulting circularity does not of course make the arguments wrong or even ineffectual. The man who premises a paradigm when arguing i n its defense can nonetheless provide a clear exhibit of what scientific practice w i l l be like for those who adopt the new view of nature. That exhibit can be immensely persuasive, often compellingly so. Yet, whatever its force, the status of the circular argument is only that of persuasion. It cannot be made logically or even probabilistically compelling for those who refuse to step into the circle. The premises and values shared by the two parties to a debate over [matrices] are not sufficiently extensive for that. As in political revolutions, so in [matrix] choice-there is no standard higher than the assent of the relevant community. To discover how scientific revolutions are effected, we shall have to study not only the impact of nature and of logic, but also the techniques of persuasive argumentation effective within the quite special groups that constitute the community of scientists. 39  The rationality i n v o l v e d i n theory-choice c a n be seen i n the struggle w h i c h scientists undergo w h e n a p p l y i n g the values m e n t i o n e d above to the question o f theory-choice-e.g., accuracy, precision, simplicity, plausibility, broad scope, enhanced qualitative function, i n t e r n a l consistency, compatibility w i t h other theories, a n d u n a n i m o u s (or, at least, as nearly as possible) acceptance throughout the relevant scientific c o m m u n i t y . These values are important i n that they provide the shared basis for theory-choice, i n a c o m m u n i t y w h e r e a shared g r o u n d i n g is v i t a l to its achievements. Because they are imprecise, however, i n d i v i d u a l scientists m a y legitimately differ about their a p p l i c a t i o n to concrete cases. Different scientists m a y disagree about the relative weights to be accorded to various values w h e n several o f t h e m are to be d e p l o y e d . A c c u r a c y is the most nearly decisive o f a l l the criteria: it is the least equivocal, a n d the predictive a n d explanatory powers so important to scientists d e p e n d u p o n it. But theories cannot always be d i s c r i m i n a t e d i n terms o f accuracy. F o r example, Copernicus' system was n o t m o r e accurate t h a n Ptolemy's u n t i l Kepler later drastically revised it, a n d this o n l y occurred because Kepler chose Copernicus' system for reasons other t h a n accuracy. Individual differences i n respect o f relative emphasis o n different values need violate n o accepted scientific practice. So values m a y conflict: accuracy m a y  SSR, pp. 148, 158, 198-9; CGK, pp. 234, 261-2, 264; ET, pp. 320, 332; RTC, p. 569; RSS, p. 3. SSR. p. 94.  39  dictate the choice of one theory, while other considerations-of scope, say-favour its competitor. Two different theories may each be more accurate or simple than the other, but in different areas of their operation or application. For instance, considering simplicity, the computational labour involved in predicting the position of a planet was pretty much the same within the Copernican and Ptolemaic theories, but Copernicus' system was much simpler in terms of the mathematical apparatus used to explain retrograde motion. No one value is sufficient on its own for theory-choice. So values function not as rules which determine theory-choice, but instead merely influence the choice. The revolutionary shift to a new matrix may involve a shift in the relative weighting and application of values. This constitutes a feedback loop. As I mentioned before, Kuhn stresses that science is inherently a group activity. A matrix shift, then, will require the consensus of the scientific community affected by it. Nevertheless, it is absurd to expect that all members of the community will become convinced of the wisdom of the change at the same rate. So rather than a single group-conversion, there will be "an increasing shift in the distribution of professional allegiances". Gradually, the number of experiments, instruments, and publications based oh the new order will multiply, and more researchers "will adopt the new mode of practicing normal science, until at last only a few elderly hold-outs will remain". But "after the last hold-outs have died, the whole profession will again be practicing under a single, but now a different, [matrix]". This last statement reflects a thesis which has caused Kuhn much difficulty with critics. It is that, in both the pressure for matrix-transformation which brings about crisis and the theory-choice which is demanded of scientists in times of crisis, there are factors at play of which notice is not typically taken in traditional accounts of science. Returning to the crisis leading to the Copernican Revolution, we see that, although the breakdown in normal technical puzzle-solving activity was the primary stressor on the old Ptolemaic system, there were other significant factors, as well: social pressure for calendar reform, medieval criticism of Aristotle, and the rise of Renaissance Neo-Platonism~i.e., a number of historical elements, which could not be counted as scientific in themselves. Similarly, there are a number of unscientific influences on theory-choice by researchers. For instance, those who arrive at a candidate for a new matrix are almost always "either very young or very new to the field". They are less "committed by prior practice to the traditional rules of normal science", and more likely to see the inadequacy of those rules as it begins to appear. On the other hand, those scientists who are immersed, through time and practice, within the old matrix tend to resist its demise, demonstrating greater faith than the new-comers that their time-tested matrix will eventually solve all of its problems. Theirs is a necessary trait for the progress of normal science. But in times of crisis, and especially at the later stages of crisis, and when a new matrix-candidate has 40  Ibid., pp. 152, 158-9.  40  reached the point o f serious consideration b y the relevant c o m m u n i t y , this attitude m a y prove to be unreasonably s t u b b o r n . Other non-logical a n d arguably unscientific influences m a y sit further afield from mere attachment to that to w h i c h one has become adjusted t h r o u g h thought a n d practice. In this regard, K u h n refers to "the sun w o r s h i p that h e l p e d make Kepler a C o p e r n i c a n " . C o n c e r n about one's reputation w i t h i n the scientific c o m m u n i t y m a y also influence the energy w i t h w h i c h one pursues the p r o m o t i o n of a n e w m a t r i x . Differences i n the environment w h e r e science is p r a c t i c e d - e . g . , different c o u n t r i e s - c a n also have a n effect o n research a n d t h e o r y - c h o i c e . Matrix-debates, then, are not strictly about relative p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g ability. The central issue concerns w h i c h m a t r i x s h o u l d guide future research o n problems, a n d this question is raised at a t i m e w h e n neither competitor is capable of resolving a l l o f its problems. The promise o f future success o f the m a t r i x directs the choice somewhat more t h a n does the past success o f the o l d order. It is thus largely o n faith that the scientist w i l l embrace a n e w m a t r i x . B u t this is not to say that such faith is b l i n d : it requires a basis, although this basis "need be neither rational nor u l t i m a t e l y correct". A t b o t t o m , significant factors w i l l be whatever scientists w i l l a l l o w to persuade t h e m to change their m i n d s . Certainly, as noted above, argumentation plays a considerable role i n this process, but Kuhn's controversial point is that choices are not dictated b y logic a n d experiment alone: socio-psychological imperatives are also i n v o l v e d . T h e Zeitgeist has a role i n intellectual affairs. C o n s i d e r i n g the nature o f the scientific enterprise a n d the attitude o f its practitioners, however, one w o u l d not expect such factors to be merely frivolous i n their nature. U n d e r s t a n d i n g w h a t scientific progress is requires a n understanding o f the value-system, or ideology, e m p l o y e d b y scientists. This system is transmitted a n d reinforced t h r o u g h the institutions w h i c h characterise science, a n d so the explanation o f progress w i l l , " i n the final analysis, be psychological or sociological". O n e o f Kuhn's " i r r e d u c i b l y sociological principles" is that "[wjhatever scientific progress m a y be, w e must account for it b y e x a m i n i n g the nature o f the scientific group, d i s c o v e r i n g w h a t it values, w h a t it tolerates, a n d w h a t it disdains." This position is "intrinsically sociological", or "ideological", departing from "dogmatic a n d naive" "justificationism a n d falsificationism". K u h n is not here i n t e n d i n g to i n v o k e a n i n d i v i d u a l ' s psychological idiosyncrasies, but rather "the c o m m o n elements i n d u c e d b y nurture a n d t r a i n i n g i n the psychological make-up o f the licensed membership of a scientific group". These elements are, at least i n principle, analysable. T h e "social psychology" to w h i c h K u h n is referring is "quite different from i n d i v i d u a l psychology reiterated n times". B u t neither is it a n idealised m i n d w h i c h practices n o r m a l science; there are, i n Kuhn's estimation, no such m i n d s - o n l y shared ideals w h i c h affect b e h a v i o u r . 41  42  43  Ibid., pp. 69, 90, 144, 151. ibid., p. 152; ET, p. 333. SSR pp. 79, 152, 157-8, 191; CGK, pp. 21-2, 237, 240; RSS, p. 3.  41  W i t h i n this social-psychological net o f influences offered to the scientist as part o f his t r a i n i n g , there is, nevertheless, r o o m for variability based u p o n divergence i n the i n d i v i d u a l emphasis placed u p o n particular factors. Some o f the factors relevant to theory-choice are: 1. the individual's previous experience as a scientist, e.g., h o w successful he has been i n his w o r k thus far, i n w h a t particular field he was w o r k i n g w h e n confronted b y the need to choose, a n d h o w m u c h o f his w o r k depended u p o n concepts a n d techniques affected b y the crisis; 2.  the individual's personality, e.g., the drive towards originality w i l l be stronger i n some researchers t h a n i n others, l e a d i n g to b o t h a relatively greater willingness to take risks a n d less ego-attachment to the theory; a n d 3. the individual's i n v o l v e m e n t i n or influence b y social movements, e.g., Kepler's i m m e r s i o n i n Neo-Platonic a n d H e r m e t i c movements, G e r m a n R o m a n t i c i s m ' s predisposing effect towards the acceptance of energy conservation, a n d nineteenth-century B r i t i s h social thought affecting D a r w i n ' s concept o f the struggle for existence. Every i n d i v i d u a l choice w i l l thus be the result o f the a p p l i c a t i o n o f a m i x t u r e o f relatively m o r e shared a n d relatively more i n d i v i d u a l values. But even the i n d i v i d u a l values are heavily tinged b y the t r a i n i n g w h i c h prepares the student for eventual acceptance into the scientific group, e.g., education a n d p r i o r pattern o f professional research. So, for instance, c o n c e r n - w i t h i n reason, that is~for the state o f one's professional reputation c o u l d plausibly be seen as heavily influenced by these shared ideals, or c o m m o n elements, since that reputation is a n important key to the legitimation o f the b o d y o f one's w o r k , a n d therefore o f one's c o n t r i b u t i o n to the progress of the scientific endeavour. This progress is obviously an essential c o n c e r n for scientists. It w o u l d be a rather dramatic overstatement, i n Kuhn's estimation, to label these socio-psychological influences as "irrational". H e has insisted that "[n]o process essential to scientific development c a n be labelled 'irrational' w i t h o u t vast violence to the term". H e prefers the m i l d e r t e r m "arational" to describe these factors w h i c h , w h i l e not i n t r o d u c i n g a w i l d c a r d into the scientific enterprise, nevertheless depart somewhat from strict logical c o n s i d e r a t i o n s . 44  C o n s i d e r i n g the variety o f influences w h i c h t u g at the scientist confronted w i t h a situation eventually d e m a n d i n g theory-choice, creative scientists must be able to tolerate l i v i n g w i t h a n "essential tension", l i v i n g " i n a w o r l d out of joint". This tension exists between "convergent" a n d "divergent" t h i n k i n g , a n d the ability to support it, even w h e n it "can occasionally become unbearable is one o f the p r i m e requisites for the very best sort o f scientific research". Convergent t h i n k i n g typifies consensus-bound research, w h i l e the divergent tendency has to do w i t h the flexibility a n d open-mindedness w h i c h a l l o w the i m a g i n a t i o n to p l a y w i t h u n l i k e l y possibilities, refraining from b e c o m i n g too attached to apparently selfevident facts or concepts. T h e j u d g m e n t called for at this t i m e of confusion mediates between the conservative retention o f the o l d order a n d the riskier leap CGK, p. 235; Horgan, p. 42.  42  to the n e w . The scientific group must simultaneously display the characteristics o f b o t h t r a d i t i o n a l i s m a n d i c o n o c l a s m . E v e n i f a n e w theory does begin to take h o l d --and most do n o t - m u c h theoretical a n d experimental w o r k is usually required "before the n e w theory can display sufficient accuracy a n d scope to generate w i d e s p r e a d conviction". A t this time, research g u i d e d b y b o t h the o l d a n d the n e w matrices w i l l be conducted. The scientist w i l l w i s h to preserve as m a n y of her group's puzzle-solutions as possible (constituting a force w h i c h speaks i n favour o f g u a r d i n g the integrity of the o l d m a t r i x ) , but she w i l l also w i s h to m a x i m i s e the n u m b e r o f puzzles that can be solved, a n d this m a y be better served b y the shift to a new matrix. 45  The i n d i v i d u a l i t y o f scientific value-judgments w i t h i n the c o m m u n i t y ( m e a n i n g the relative w e i g h t i n g o f the values listed above) is one of the tangled roots o f the scientific crisis. It plays a n important role i n fomenting the essential tension w h i c h mediates theory-change, i n terms of b o t h openness to imaginative alternatives to o l d theories a n d m o d e r a t i o n of the acceptance o f n e w ones. A n identification o f the general characteristics w h i c h typify good scientific theories is not b y itself sufficient to determine the decisions o f i n d i v i d u a l scientists. Individual choice i n respect of w h i c h c a n o n to follow must also be taken into account: "[o]ne c a n e x p l a i n , as the historian characteristically does, w h y particular m e n made particular choices at particular times". That the members o f the group do not a l l a p p l y the shared basic values o f the c o m m u n i t y i n the same w a y ensures that i n d i v i d u a l researchers respond to anomalies i n different w a y s : some w i l l detect the roots o f crisis where others w i l l see problems satisfactorily solvable b y the o l d w a y s . Some w i l l see crisis at a point at w h i c h others see " o n l y evidence o f a l i m i t e d talent for research". If researchers were to respond i n similar ways, they w o u l d , o n the one h a n d , collectively see each a n o m a l y as a source of crisis, w h i c h w o u l d i m p e l t h e m to embrace each n e w theory that came a l o n g . There w o u l d be none left to try to make the existing theory account for current apparent anomalies. S u c h fickleness w o u l d spell the e n d o f n o r m a l science, h a v i n g severe repercussions o n scientific progress. M o r e o v e r , that most proposals for n e w theories prove to be unwise, a n d u l t i m a t e l y insupportable, w o u l d deepen the folly of too free a n d easy a n attitude towards the t a k i n g o f theoretical risks. O n the other h a n d , it is necessary for the health of the scientific enterprise that somebody i n the c o m m u n i t y react to anomalies a n d n e w theories i n a higher-risk sort o f way; otherwise, the revolutions w h i c h have proved essential to the developmental progress o f science w o u l d be given no o p e n i n g to occur. W e m i g h t v i e w this i n d i v i d u a l divergence as a "hedging of bets", "the c o m m u n i t y ' s w a y o f d i s t r i b u t i n g risk a n d assuring the long-term success o f its enterprise". I n d i v i d u a l variability thus functions as a strength: i f a decision must be made u n d e r circumstances w h e r e there is a significant possibility o f a n error i n j u d g m e n t , it m a y be important that individuals j u d g e i n different w a y s .  SSR, SSR,  p. 186; CGK, p. 2 1 ; ET, pp. 226-7, 332. pp. 185-6; CGK, pp. 2 1 , 241, 248, 262; ET, p. 226-7, 324-5, 332.  43  In the end, the h i g h l y i m p o r t a n t v a l u e o f u n a n i m i t y w i l l require that the relevant scientific c o m m u n i t y w i l l converge a r o u n d a n e w m a t r i x deemed acceptable as that w h i c h determines the future tone a n d d i r e c t i o n o f n o r m a l scientific research. Decisions as to the preferred m a t r i x are made b y the c o m m u n i t y of specialists, not b y i n d i v i d u a l s . So the group behaviour w i t h respect to theory-choice " w i l l be affected decisively b y shared c o m m i t m e n t s " . 47  Empiricism, Kantianism, and the Spectre of Relativism N o r m a l science, w h i c h is w h a t occurs most o f the time, operates o n the assumption that the scientific c o m m u n i t y k n o w s w h a t the w o r l d is like. This assumption is necessary for the success of the enterprise, b e i n g closely connected to the suppression o f novelty w h i c h typifies n o r m a l science, since a sense of security i n one's knowledge o f the w o r l d requires a certain a m o u n t o f stability. The usual v i e w of w h a t occurs i n a matrix-shift is that there is a n alteration i n the scientist's interpretation o f observations w h i c h are fixed b y b o t h the nature of the environment a n d h u m a n perceptual abilities. O n this v i e w , a n inherently e m p i r i c a l one, proponents o f different matrices see the same w o r l d differently. B u t K u h n argues that data are not s i m p l y stable i n this w a y . Within a given matrix, the researcher is confident i n his k n o w l e d g e of w h a t counts as a d a t u m , w h a t instrumentation is needed to reveal it, a n d w h a t concepts are relevant to its interpretation. Therefore, w h i l e w e are i n d e e d justified i n m a k i n g reference to interpretation o f data as b e i n g part of w h a t is g o i n g o n i n science, w e c a n o n l y do so w i t h i n the confines o f a particular m a t r i x . Aristotle interpreted his observations o f the falling stones defined b y his m a t r i x ; Galileo interpreted his observations o f the p e n d u l a o f w h i c h his m a t r i x spoke. Interpretation c a n o n l y provide a n articulation o f a m a t r i x ; it is incapable o f correcting that m a t r i x . Interpretation is a logical exercise, a n d as such, w o u l d be logically l i n k e d to the experience o f a given n o r m a l scientific matrix. But i n revolutionary science, the "flash o f i n t u i t i o n " t h r o u g h w h i c h the beginnings o f a n e w m a t r i x are b o r n does not e m b o d y such logical l i n k a g e s . 48  In revolutionary science, then, w e see a difference i n w h a t constitutes data between the o l d order a n d the n e w . (Again, this w i l l not be total: at least some o f the o l d m a t r i x w i l l be carried t h r o u g h the shift.) So, for instance, it is not the case that a scientific observer sees a s w i n g i n g stone, a n d then interprets it as either a n object i n constrained fall or a p e n d u l u m . F o r the G a l i l e a n researcher, seeing a s w i n g i n g stone is no more elementary t h a n seeing a p e n d u l u m : the observation is dependent u p o n the m a t r i x w h i c h acts as a p r i o r definition o f observations. T h e observation o f a falling b o d y is a v i s i o n t h r o u g h one m a t r i x ; that o f a p e n d u l u m is a v i s i o n t h r o u g h another. So measurements or retinal i m p r i n t s cannot be taken as  SSR, p. 200; CGK, p. 241. SSR, pp. 120-3.  44  foundational, since they must already be part o f a m a t r i x i n order to be intelligible at a l l . T h i s is the o n l y w a y that w e can pose any questions about such measurements or i m p r i n t s . If the m a t r i x changes, so do the questions w e ask: these questions "presuppose a w o r l d already perceptually a n d conceptually subdivided i n a certain w a y " . In order for a scientist even to enquire w h a t measurements or retinal imprints m a k e the p e n d u l u m w h a t it is, she must first be able to recognise a p e n d u l u m . This connects to Kuhn's assertion that w e do not l e a r n to see the w o r l d item-by-item, since the recognition o f something as a particular t h i n g occurs w i t h i n a n accepted framework o f similarity-relations (i.e., 49  w i t h i n a context). It must be understood, though, that the a priori structure, set out b y the operative matrix, w h i c h defines the scope a n d m e a n i n g o f n o r m a l research does not, for K u h n , provide a criterial conceptual framework w h i c h w o u l d a l l o w the scientist to specify i n advance whether or not each imaginable observation w i l l fit or falsify the theory. T h e necessary presence o f a framework o f i n t e l l i g i b i l i t y ~ o n e w h i c h allows the recognition and, therefore, c o n t i n u e d observation of pendula, for i n s t a n c e - m u s t not be construed as obviating a m e n d m e n t o f the framework b y observation. F o r example, one cannot seek a c r i t e r i o n w h i c h w o u l d specify, at the outset, that a l l swans are w h i t e , such that the discovery o f a black s w a n falsifies that theory. The discovery o f a black b i r d w h i c h strongly resembled swans i n other respects w o u l d eventually cause a crisis for the theory. There w o u l d be a n ensuing focus o n research i n this troublesome area, a n d this w o u l d include the search for m o r e black birds o f this type. In the end, either the theory w i l l be a m e n d e d to i n c l u d e black swans, or a n e w natural family made u p of these birds w i l l be i n t r o d u c e d . W h i c h occurs w i l l depend largely u p o n the strength o f the theoretical belief that colour is important for characterising natural families such as this. T h e point to note here is that both logical considerations and observation of concrete particulars w i l l play a significant part i n the outcome, whether this be the adjustment o f the existing theory or the creation o f a n e w t a x o n o m i c group. T h e lack o f a criterial basis for theory reconstruction dovetails w i t h Kuhn's description, o u t l i n e d previously, o f the g r o w t h o f theory t h r o u g h the b u i l d i n g o f similarity-relations, based o n ostension. Some o f these relations w i l l be altered t h r o u g h revolution, so that objects a n d situations are grouped differently from h o w they were before. So the o l d e m p i r i c a l picture o f sensory experience that is fixed a n d neutral no longer functions effectively. T h e scientist o n l y sees his data once "his research is w e l l advanced a n d his attention f o c u s e d " . M a k i n g sense o f fixed a n d neutral sensory experience probably w o u l d require the discovery of a pure observationlanguage, a n d this w o u l d depend u p o n the construction of a satisfactory theory o f perception a n d of the m i n d , to w h i c h w e are not even close. V e r y different s t i m u l i can produce the same sensations i n different i n d i v i d u a l s , the same stimulus can produce v e r y different sensations, a n d the route from stimulus to sensation is 50  Ibid., pp. 127-9. Ibid., p. 126.  45  conditioned, i n part, b y education a n d socialisation. " [ S ] t i m u l i receive m u c h neural processing before a n y t h i n g is seen o r any data are given to the senses." If the members o f t w o divergent research-groups have systematically different sensations u p o n receipt o f the same stimuli, then, in some sense, they live i n different w o r l d s . These w o r l d s not o n l y diverge a m o n g communities, b u t also alter w i t h t i m e . Individuals o f the same group share a c o m m o n b a c k g r o u n d i n education, language, experience, a n d culture. Thus, w e have g o o d reason to suppose that their sensations are s i m i l a r . T h e y also exhibit coherently connected c o m m u n i c a t i o n a n d behaviour. But, w i t h the differentiation a n d specialisation o f groups, w e have n o evidence for the i m m u t a b i l i t y o f sensation. Hence, it m a y be parochial to assume that the route from stimulus to sensation is the same for everyone. W e d o not even have direct access to s t i m u l i , since these are o n l y k n o w n , themselves, t h r o u g h elaborate theory. O n p a i n o f solipsism, though, w e must regard the s t i m u l i to w h i c h observers are exposed as the same for everyone. 51  52  It is along the pathway from stimulus to sensation that the various groupings o f observations w h i c h distinguish alternative matrices w i l l be learned. K u h n says, I think it likely myself that much or all of the clustering of stimuli into similarity sets takes place in the stimulus-to-sensation portion of our neural processing apparatus; that the educational programming of that apparatus takes place when we are presented with stimuli that we are told emanate from members of the same similarity class; and that, after programming has been completed, we recognize, say, cats and dogs (or pick out forces, masses, and constraints) because they (or the situations in which they appear) then do, for the first time, look like the examples we have seen before. 53  A t a n y rate, K u h n asserts that w e s h o u l d not over-emphasise the differences i n experience between either i n d i v i d u a l s or c o m m u n i t i e s . W e do, after all, consider ourselves to share i n a c o m m o n sort o f general neural apparatus, however divergent the " p r o g r a m m i n g " w h i c h influences this biological structure m a y be: "[d]oubtless some aspects o f that lexical structure are biologically determined, the products of a shared phylogeny." B e y o n d even the biological, m u c h of the " p r o g r a m m i n g " o f i n d i v i d u a l s must also be similar, given their sharing o f a significant a m o u n t of their history, perhaps o f a language a n d a n everyday w o r l d , as w e l l as most o f their scientific w o r l d . Really, even i n great revolutions, the area u n d e r dispute is relatively n a r r o w . G i v e n w h a t they share, a n d e m p l o y i n g sufficient w i l l , patience, a n d tolerance of the threat o f ambiguity, scientists o c c u p y i n g divergent viewpoints can nevertheless come to find o u t m u c h about h o w they differ. T h e i r c o m m o n a l i t y provides a resource u p o n w h i c h they can rely w h e n v e n t u r i n g into the uncertain territory w r o u g h t b y a state o f c r i s i s . 54  CGK, p. 276. SSR, pp. 126, 128, 193, 196; CGK, p. 276; ET, p. 308; RSS, p. 10. CGK, p. 276. Ibid., RSS, p. 10. 46  Even though the proponents of different matrices practice, in many respects, in different worlds, "that is not to say that they can see anything they please...or not at all". Kuhn insists that there is an integrity to perception, one which is born of the selection process which is driven by survival value; the experience and knowledge of Nature are embedded in the stimulus-to-sensation route. Thus, the neural process that transforms stimuli to sensations has a number of built-in characteristics: 1. it is transmitted through education; 2. it has been found, through trial-and-error, to be more effective than its historical competitors; and 3. it is subject to future change through further education, and through the discovery of a lack of fit with the environment. Clearly, then, given his reference to stimuli and goodness-of-fit with the environment, Kuhn is not proposing an understanding of knowledge as strictly constructed by humans. The stimulus is that which is "given" by Nature, although it can only be rendered intelligible to us when we perceive it through a human template of some sort. Although the acts of judgment which feed into scientists' rejection of a previously accepted theory and acceptance of a new one involve the comparison of theories with each other, they are always based upon more than this: they also entail a comparison of those theories with the world. Empirical observation is an essential part of the scientific enterprise: "[m]ost of the puzzles of normal science are directly presented by nature, and all involve nature indirectly". Both normal and revolutionary science, in their respective ways, strive to bring theory and fact into closer agreement. While the nature of facts is, to some degree, determined by the matrix through which they are observed, they include some measure of the "given". It is in this respect that observation is so important. Different matrices should then be understood as telling us different things about the entities of which Nature is composed, and how they behave. "They are not simply about names or language but equally and inseparably about nature." In scientific progress, then, it is fair to say that we see an increasingly detailed and refined understanding of Nature. The student's contemplation of the exemplars of her prospective profession is an essential part of her learning how the currently accepted laws of science attach to Nature: in short, how the world behaves. 55  We must take care, then, in understanding the reconstructive nature of science to refrain from falling into the belief that the world is somehow mind-dependent, perhaps an invention or construction of the creatures which inhabit it, and i n recent years such suggestions have been widely pursued. But the metaphors of invention, construction, and mind-dependence are i n two respects grossly misleading. First, the world is not invented or constructed. The creatures to whom this responsibility is imputed, i n fact, find the world already i n place, its rudiments at their birth and its increasingly full actuality during their educational  SSR, pp. 77, 80, 125, 145, 150, 170, 195-6; CGK, p. 262, 274, 276; RSS, p. 10.  47  socialization, a socialization in which examples of the way the world is play an essential part. That world, furthermore, has been experientially given, i n part to the new inhabitants directly, and in part indirectly, by inheritance, embodying the experience of their forebears. As such, it is entirely solid: not i n the least respectful of an observer's wishes and desires; quite capable of providing decisive evidence against invented hypotheses which fail to match its behavior. Creatures born into it must take it as they find it. They can, of course, interact with it, altering both it and themselves i n the process, and the populated world thus altered is the one that w i l l be found i n place by the generation which follows. The point closely parallels the one made earlier about the nature of evaluation seen from a developmental perspective: there, what required evaluation was not belief but change i n some aspects of belief, the rest held fixed i n the process; here, what people can effect or invent is not the world but changes i n some aspect of it, the balance remaixiing as before. In both cases, too, the changes that can be made are not introduced at will. Most proposal [s] for change are rejected on the evidence; the nature of those that remain can rarely be foreseen; and the consequences of accepting one or another of them often prove to be undesired. 1  56  This is perhaps a n o v e r l y vigourous attempt to defend the retention o f a sense o f there b e i n g a c o m p o n e n t o f experience w h i c h is "given" b y N a t u r e . It should be clear from the discussion o f Kuhn's w o r k so far that he does not here m e a n to i m p l y the absence of a further component o f experience, supplied b y the m i n d as a formal structure o f some sort, one w h i c h organises the "given" into experience w h i c h is understood i n a particular w a y . This w o r l d , even t h o u g h partially m e n t a l l y constituted, a n d partially "given", c a n nevertheless rightfully be referred to as the "real w o r l d " . After all, it provides the environment for life, p l a c i n g constraints o n that life, so that c o n t i n u e d existence depends u p o n adaptation to those constraints. Science functions as a n important contemporary tool for that adaptation. "What more can reasonably be asked o f a real w o r l d ? " The p a r t i a l l y m e n t a l l y constituted, partially "given" nature of the experienced w o r l d is reflected common-sensically i n that, w h e n w e v i e w a c o m m u n i t y from the outside, w e see it as a d a p t i n g to its environment, w h i l e , from a vantage-point inside a c o m m u n i t y , our emphasis is o n the m e d i a t i o n o f o u r interactions w i t h our environment t h r o u g h "something like a mental representation". In Kuhn's v i e w , then, m e n t a l representations have, to some extent, a w o r l d - c o n s t i t u t i n g r o l e . 5 7  58  U n d e r this scheme, fact a n d theory are not categorically separable. The assimilation o f a n e w theory requires the reconstruction o f both p r i o r theory a n d fact. This is because a fact is the result o f the integration o f the "given", a n d the formal m e n t a l elements p r o v i d e d b y the matrix. In a revolutionary re-formulation of the preceding scientific tradition, there is no piecemeal e v o l u t i o n o f a theory to fit facts that w e r e always there. W e encounter no rules for i n d u c i n g theories from  56  RSS, p. 10.  5 7  ibid. Ibid, p. 11.  5 8  48  facts, since theories are not i n d u c e d at a l l , but are rather "imaginative posits". Theories "fit the facts" b y transforming previously accessible i n f o r m a t i o n into facts that h a d not existed for the p r e c e d i n g m a t r i x ; they emerge together i n a tapestry w i t h the facts they fit. Similarly, as a result of a matrix-shift, some of the o l d problems m a y come to be designated as unscientific, a n d effectively cease to exist as problems, w h i l e others previously so labelled come to assume significance. The r e v o l u t i o n changes the standards b y w h i c h the profession determines w h a t counts as admissible problems a n d legitimate solutions. The boundaries between science a n d metaphysical speculation change. The relationship between science a n d N a t u r e is knowledge-mediated, c h a n g i n g as matrices d i e out a n d are replaced b y n e w ones. The concept o f "element", for instance, has not r e m a i n e d the same throughout history. A n y concept gains its full significance o n l y w h e n related to other scientific concepts, procedures, a n d applications; it is thus contextdependent. In this sense, discovery is a c o m p l e x process (as opposed to a n event); it involves b e c o m i n g aware of something new, but not fully understood, as w e l l as further experimentation w h i c h defines the properties o f that w h i c h has been n e w l y f o u n d . It is a situation o f not o n l y finding that s o m e t h i n g is, but also what it is. Discovering that a n d what together o n l y occurs w i t h i n a n established m a t r i x . W h a t is fundamentally at stake here is the correspondence theory o f t r u t h . The question at h a n d is w h e t h e r or not theories correspond to a n external, m i n d independent w o r l d . Certainly, a n y K a n t i a n b r a n d o f epistemological programme, i.e., one w h i c h specifies the presence o f a n a priori structure, acting i n concert w i t h a sensible "given", necessitates the rejection o f a simple e m p i r i c a l correspondence theory. Kuhn's contention is that this latter n o t i o n o f truth must vanish, a l o n g w i t h foundationalism i n general. Nevertheless, whatever replaces it w i l l still require "a strong c o n c e p t i o n o f t r u t h " : 59  60  we must learn to get along without anything at all like a correspondence theory of truth. But something like a redundancy theory of truth is badly needed to replace it, something that will introduce minimal laws of logic (in particular, the law of noncontradiction) and make adhering to them a pre-condition for the rationality of evaluations...On this view, as I wish to employ it, the essential function of the concept of truth is to require choice between acceptance and rejection of a statement or a theory i n the face of evidence shared by a l l . 6 1  To declare a statement a candidate for a j u d g m e n t o f truth or falsity is to accept it as part o f a "language-game", the rules o f w h i c h forbid the assertion o f b o t h a statement a n d its contrary: v i z . , the l a w of non-contradiction. A n y attempt to conduct discourse against this rule endangers the integrity o f the scientific lexical c o m m u n i t y , c o n t r i b u t i n g to the b r e a k d o w n o f discourse. Language-games conducted w i t h o u t the benefit o f logical rules reduce to metaphor, poetry a n d  SSR, pp. 6-7, 55-7, 66, 103, 140-1; CGK, pp. 2, 12; ET, p. 338.  RSS, p. 6. Ibid., p. 8.  49  m y s t i c i s m . Adherence to logical rules is thus a presupposition o f the sort o f discourse d e m a n d e d b y n o r m a l science. In order to decide i f a statement is to qualify as scientific, one must first determine w h e t h e r or not it is a truth-value c a n d i d a t e - w h e t h e r or not it makes sense to attempt to judge it as either true o r false. T h e answer w i l l be d e t e r m i n e d by the constraints o f the lexicon e m b o d i e d i n the disciplinary m a t r i x . It is t h r o u g h this lexicon that one assesses the rational assertability o f the statement. F o r this, "something like the n o r m a l rules o f evidence" w i l l be e m p l o y e d . A statement a w a r d e d truth-value c a n d i d a c y i n one m a t r i x m a y therefore not enjoy the same status i n another. W h a t counts as evidence for a n assertion i n one case m a y not i n the other. This w i l l serve to deepen the sense o f crisis at the t i m e o f i m p e n d i n g matrix-change, since previously viable statements re-cast i n the n e w lexicon m a y appear s i m p l y to be the expression o f unscientific nonsense. This is w h y the m u l t i l i n g u a l historian of science must clearly take it u p o n herself to remember i n w h i c h l e x i c o n she is speaking at any one time, o n p a i n o f severely m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g assertions m a d e i n historical contexts, a n d thus r u n n i n g the clear risk o f 62  caricaturing the scientists of the past. W h a t has been fashioned, then, i n this account, is a n "mrra-theoretic" use of the n o t i o n o f "truth": members of a scientific c o m m u n i t y " w i l l generally agree w h i c h consequences o f a shared theory sustain the test o f experiment a n d are therefore true, w h i c h are false as theory is currently applied, a n d w h i c h are as yet untested". This understanding o f t r u t h eschews any sense o f "metaphysical realism" w h i c h one m i g h t be tempted to attach to the assessment o f theories w h e n l o o k i n g at t h e m from the outside. The t r a d i t i o n a l questions o f metaphysics are out of place here because there is no theory-independent w a y b y w h i c h to determine w h a t is "really there". W e see this i n m o v i n g historically from Aristotelian to N e w t o n i a n to Einsteinian mechanics: there is n o t h i n g identifiable as a coherent d i r e c t i o n o f ontological development. The v i s i o n of successive theories a p p r o x i m a t i n g ever closer to the t r u t h is a n ontological one. But justification, rather t h a n a i m i n g at a goal external to the historical situation, seeks to i m p r o v e the available problem-solving tools w i t h i n that situation. T h e w a y i n w h i c h the historian ought to approach historical theories, then, is dictated b y hermeneutics (an attitude a n d process to w h i c h I w i l l return i n Chapter Three), w h i c h invokes a similar pattern to that seen w h e n the proponents o f c o m p e t i n g theories struggle to understand each other across a revolutionary d i v i d e . L o o k i n g inter-theoretically, the historian o f science cannot judge either theory o f a n historical pair to be true: he cannot justifiably consider even the later, victorious, m a t r i x to be a better a p p r o x i m a t i o n to the t r u t h t h a n the earlier, v a n q u i s h e d one. T o d o so w o u l d risk b e i n g ethnocentric, or W h i g g i s h . This becomes clear w h e n w e remember the i n c o m m e n s u r a b i l i t y w h i c h separates alternate orders: the lack o f "a neutral language adequate to the c o m p a r i s o n of...observation reports". Thus, l o o k i n g back, w e cannot say that Galileo's observation o f a p e n d u l u m exhibited a m o r e accurate or objective v i e w t h a n Aristotle's observation o f a falling stone. In i b i d , p. 9.  50  considering our sense o f progress, "[w]e may...have to r e l i n q u i s h the n o t i o n , explicit or implicit, that changes o f [matrix] carry scientists a n d those w h o learn from t h e m closer a n d closer to the truth". It is thus not o p e n to us to v i e w science as a n e v o l u t i o n towards anything, even t h o u g h "[w]e are a l l deeply accustomed to that g o a l " . 63  T h a t historical disciplines require description i n their o w n terms, as opposed to b e i n g i m p o r t e d into our current context, is underscored b y the fact that m o d e r n disciplines have not evolved one-for-one from earlier disciplines. F o r example, even t h o u g h w e m a y say that, i n H e l l e n i c society, science a n d p h i l o s o p h y were one, there was no enterprise quite classifiable as either science or philosophy, w h i c h makes it v e r y difficult for us to conceive o f a single discipline represented b y their u n i o n . A rather stubborn adherence to a n out-going m a t r i x cannot, therefore, be d e e m e d a failure to a d m i t error i n the face o f a confrontation w i t h proof. A s I have already noted above, matrix-resistance or -change cannot be justified b y a n appeal to proof. Resistance to scientific change is neither illogical n o r s i m p l y w r o n g , a l t h o u g h it m a y prove to be unreasonable. A revisitation o f Kuhn's description o f matrix-shift illustrates this: At the start, a new candidate for [matrix] may have few supporters, and on occasions the supporters' motives may be suspect. Nevertheless, if they are competent, they w i l l improve it, explore its possibilities, and show what it would be like to belong to the community guided by it. A n d as that goes on, if the [matrix] is the one destined to w i n its fight, the number and strength of the persuasive arguments i n its favor w i l l increase. Most scientists w i l l then be converted, and the exploration of the new [matrix] w i l l go on. Gradually the number of experiments, instruments, articles, and books based upon the matrix will multiply. Still more men, convinced of the new view's fruitfulness, w i l l adopt the new mode of practicing normal science, until at last only a few elderly hold-outs w i l l remain. A n d even they, we cannot say, are wrong. Though the historian can always find men...who were unreasonable to resist for as long as they did, he w i l l not find a point at which resistance becomes illogical or unscientific. At most he may wish to say that the man who continues to resist after his whole profession has been converted has ipso facto ceased to be a scientist. 64  In culture, K u h n remarks that the recognition o f parallelism i n respect o f the truth of different theoretical positions m a y lead to a sentiment o f relativism. Indeed, it is precisely w i t h manifesting this sentiment that m a n y o f Kuhn's critics have charged h i m . B u t he counters that, i n science, the r e c o g n i t i o n o f this parallelism, a n d the consequence that, i n some sense, c o m p e t i n g theoretical groups m a y a l l be correct, is not merely relativistic. K u h n has attempted to describe science as a u n i d i r e c t i o n a l a n d irreversible process, w h e r e later theories are necessarily j u d g e d to be practical a n d explanatory improvements over earlier ones (considering a l l the values referred to above: accuracy, simplicity, scope,  SSR, pp. 119, 170-1, 206; CGK, pp. 264-6, 277; RTC, p. 568; RSS pp. 7, 10. SSR, p. 159.  51  n u m b e r o f problems solved, etc.). If he has succeeded i n d o i n g this, t h e n he has also succeeded i n salvaging some n o t i o n of scientific progress, even i f this not entail the traditional n o t i o n o f a n e v o l u t i o n towards some ultimate truth. D u r i n g periods of n o r m a l science, the o n l y viable w a y , i n fact, for the scientific c o m m u n i t y to conceive o f its w o r k is as progressive. This is, i n part, due to the fact that, i n the absence o f the c o m p e t i n g schools o f "pre-paradigm" science, researchers refrain from questioning each other's aims a n d standards. Certainly, there is n o c a l l to d o so: the c o m m o n m a t r i x has freed the c o m m u n i t y from constantly re-examining its fundamental principles. (We might s i m i l a r l y identify a sense o f progress, however, within each i n d i v i d u a l school o f the "prep a r a d i g m " period.) "In its n o r m a l state, then, a scientific c o m m u n i t y is a n i m m e n s e l y efficient instrument for solving the problems or puzzles that its [matrices] define": the results "must i n e v i t a b l y be progress". Doubts about progress are i n point o n l y d u r i n g times of crisis. Adherents to the o l d m a t r i x v i e w the prospective one as threatening to deter or set back scientific progress. In contrast, those w h o promote a n e w order cannot see their p r o g r a m m e as h e r a l d i n g a n y t h i n g other t h a n progress. T h e r e w r i t i n g o f scientific literature a n d the re-casting o f earlier matrices either as incorrect or as special cases o f the n e w p r o g r a m m e help to paint the t r a d i t i o n a l picture o f progress, w h i c h has l e d to the m i s r e a d i n g o f science as a cumulative process overall. K u h n speaks o f a "cognitive evolution", w h i c h manifests i n the discursive exchange of, o n the one h a n d , the statements w i t h i n a relatively stable c o m m u n i t y (as i n n o r m a l science), a n d o n the other, the statements of c o m p e t i n g matrices ( d u r i n g the crisis p e r i o d w h i c h spawns r e v o l u t i o n a r y science). H e likens this to the exchange o f genetic material w h i c h occurs i n biological e v o l u t i o n . Kuhn's is to some extent a D a r w i n i a n v i s i o n : the scientific c o m m u n i t y selects the fittest w a y i n w h i c h future science is to be practiced. The increased refinement i n theoretical articulation, a n d instrumental design a n d proficiency is punctuated b y the relatively dramatic leaps o f revolutionary selection. A s D a r w i n proposed i n his theory o f biological evolution, this scientific epistemological process seems to have occurred w i t h o u t the benefit o f a set goal (i.e., non-teleologically). B u t i n this case, that means w i t h o u t "a permanent fixed scientific truth, of w h i c h each stage i n the development o f scientific k n o w l e d g e is a better exemplar." This points to his description of his position as "a sort of p o s t - D a r w i n i a n K a n t i a n i s m " . Like the K a n t i a n Categories, the lexical t a x o n o m y o f w h i c h K u h n speaks w o r k s to s u p p l y the pre-conditions o f possible experience. B u t Kuhn's lexical sort o f Categories, u n l i k e Kant's Categories, transform w i t h the passage from one c o m m u n i t y to another, whether that be t h r o u g h time (i.e., historical shifts o f matrix) or across the d i v i d e separating contemporaneous disciplines. Because o f the fundamental character o f these Categories, their m o v a b i l i t y t h r o u g h r e v o l u t i o n can result i n huge effects o n the conceptions, practice, a n d achievements o f science, even i n cases where o n l y relatively s m a l l adjustments i n m a t r i x have been m a d e . 66  Ibid, pp. 163, 166. Ibid, p. 172; RSS, pp. 11-2; Horgan, p. 44.  52  This shifting set o f categories furnishes "a m o v i n g , historically-situated, A r c h i m e d e a n platform", the shifting a priori g r o u n d i n g o f science. It is this, and not single scientific knowledge-claims, w h i c h is b e i n g evaluated i n theory-choice. T h e shared beliefs o f a m a t r i x already i n place provide a n A r c h i m e d e a n point for the comparative assessment o f c o m p e t i n g theories. A n y o v e r a l l t r u t h or falsity o f these shared beliefs is irrelevant to the rationality o f the evaluation. For the historian o f science, too, the set o f beliefs w h i c h define a m a t r i x provide a point from w h i c h she investigates that m a t r i x . T h e details o f actual scientific practice i n historical cases are not as important for the historian's understanding as is the perspective, or ideology, w h i c h she uncovers i n e x a m i n i n g these cases. 67  Summary of the Relationship Between Normal and Revolutionary Science. In s u m m a t i o n , the major point, perhaps, to be taken a w a y from a n encounter w i t h Kuhn's p r o g r a m m e i n general is that our usual n o t i o n o f science is inaccurate. Revolutions are t y p i c a l l y v i e w e d i n the light o f simple additions to scientific knowledge, and the progression o f science is seen as a m u c h m o r e smoothly c u m u l a t i v e process t h a n it, i n fact, is. N o r m a l science is quite specifically the o n l y phase d u r i n g w h i c h the scientific enterprise c o u l d be properly described as cumulative, although it is true that n o r m a l science is w h a t occurs most o f the t i m e . B u t the textbooks o f science, a n d the p h i l o s o p h i c a l a n d p o p u l a r w o r k s m o d e l l e d o n t h e m function as a source o f authority w h i c h "systematically disguises...the existence a n d significance o f scientific revolutions". W h a t these tools are t r u l y d o i n g is recording the "stable outcome of past revolutions". T h e y tend to supply a m i n i m u m o f i n f o r m a t i o n as to h o w the current normal-scientific t r a d i t i o n came about. Textbooks are re-written, w h o l l y o r partially, after a scientific r e v o l u t i o n , since they are "pedagogic vehicles for the perpetuation o f n o r m a l science". A p r i m e influence here is the "omnipresent and perennial" temptation to "write history b a c k w a r d " . This distorted picture is fostered b y the tendency o f science to depreciate historical fact, as w e l l as b y the remarkable security enjoyed b y scientific practitioners d u r i n g the stable periods o f n o r m a l science, w h e n a deep c o m m i t m e n t to t r a d i t i o n is h i g h l y i m p o r t a n t . 68  A further covering o f the tracks, as it were, occurs because scientists operating w i t h i n a later m a t r i x (say, a N e w t o n i a n one) often re-interpret the w o r k of scientists operating w i t h i n a n earlier m a t r i x (e.g., a G a l i l e a n one) a c c o r d i n g to that later m a t r i x . This further disguises the r a d i c a l difference between their v i e w s . W e see something o f this sort going o n i n Einstein's attempt to demonstrate that N e w t o n i a n dynamics was properly a special case o f E i n s t e i n i a n d y n a m i c s . T h i s w o u l d have saved N e w t o n i a n dynamics, but w o u l d have done so b y restricting it  RSS, pp. 6-7. SSR, pp. 52, 96, 136-8, 160; CGK, p. 2.  53  to applications that satisfied m u c h n a r r o w e r conditions t h a n were c l a i m e d i n i t i a l l y for the N e w t o n i a n programme. In order to v i e w a n out-of-date theory as a special case of its successor, the scientist must specifically transform it for that purpose. (Arguably, one c o u l d expect there to be a l i m i t to the degree to w h i c h one m a t r i x c o u l d be stretched to cover another, anyway.) B u t this v i e w effectively denies the occurrence of revolutionary periods i n the history of science; it promotes, instead, the c u m u l a t i v e m o d e l (against w h i c h K u h n is arguing), w h e r e i n there is always o n l y one matrix, w h i c h becomes progressively expanded a n d refined as science advances. Thus, w o r k a l o n g lines such as this essentially prevents any established m a t r i x from being challenged b y a prospective one, since it w o u l d prohibit scientists from speaking "scientifically" about any p h e n o m e n o n w h i c h failed to fit w i t h the established m a t r i x . A m a t r i x c o u l d t h e n p r o v i d e no critical anomalies, a n d this w o u l d signal the end o f the research t h r o u g h w h i c h science w o u l d develop. It w o u l d t h e n appear to be the cumulative enterprise for w h i c h it has so c o m m o n l y been mistaken. As such, it c o u l d no longer be considered a researchprogramme, a n d w o u l d have become m e r e l y a t o o l for engineering. But no active scientific-research m a t r i x ever solves a l l o f its problems. T h e r a d i c a l a n d irreconcilable d i f f e r e n c e s - w h i c h often show up i n problem-solving a b i l i t y between successive matrices are necessary. Revolutions need not be instigated b y crisis, but they almost always are. That crisis, however, also need not affect the same professional group w h i c h p r o v o k e d it: "[n]ew instruments like the electron microscope o r n e w laws...may develop i n one specialty a n d their a s s i m i l a t i o n create crisis i n another". Scientific revolutions need seem revolutionary o n l y to those w h o s e matrices are affected b y t h e m . T h e C o p e r n i c a n R e v o l u t i o n was one for everyone; the discovery o f o x y g e n was one o n l y for chemists. Upheavals m a y affect o n l y a s m a l l c o m m u n i t y , several communities, o r a l l of s c i e n c e . Kuhn's remarks about scientific development are intended to be read as b o t h descriptions a n d prescriptions; the descriptive a n d the normative are inextricably m i x e d . In order to qualify recognisably as mature science, the research endeavour must a n d does demonstrate a n alternating relationship (although not a regular or predictable one) between the stable periods o f n o r m a l research a n d the upheaval of the revolutionary crisis out o f w h i c h a n e w n o r m a l order is eventually b o r n : "extended periods o f convergent research are the necessary p r e l i m i n a r y to" the relatively rare revolutionary shifts i n scientific t r a d i t i o n . In the i n i t i a l emergence o f a mature scientific discipline, theory a n d technique coalesce into a d o m i n a n t set o f concepts, practices, a n d instruments w h i c h consistently w o r k together to supply concrete problems a n d solutions for the practice of the field. There s h o u l d be r o o m left for refinement a n d increasing sophistication. The range a n d precision o f existing theory are enhanced. A t this time, it is important for researchers to focus o n the s m o o t h operation o f their matrix, a n d not o n all the anomalies o r incompletely understood p h e n o m e n a 69  SSR, pp. 92-3,181; CGK, p. 276.  54  w h i c h are l u r k i n g i n the wings, i n order that they be able to m a i n t a i n some faith i n their o w n w o r k t h r o u g h their h a v i n g made some h e a d w a y i n i t . Since no m a t r i x ever sees the solution o f a l l o f its problems, there is never any research w h i c h does not generate counter-instances to the theory, or anomalies, i.e., a potential source o f crisis. The difference between n o r m a l a n d extraordinary science is not, then, that the former does not c o m e up against counter-instances, w h i l e the latter does. N o r m a l science must encounter t h e m i n order to pass into the transformative revolutionary phase w h i c h accelerates progress i n the discipline. W h e t h e r a p r o b l e m is seen as a counter-instance to the theory o r as m e r e l y a p u z z l e depends u p o n from w h i c h m a t r i x the p r o b l e m is b e i n g considered. W h a t proponents of the n o r m a l m a t r i x see as a p u z z l e can be seen, from the point o f v i e w o f the prospective m a t r i x as a n a n o m a l y . W h a t Ptolemaic astronomers attempted to continue v i e w i n g as puzzles to be solved by their theory, Copernicus v i e w e d as anomalies. There is no sharp d i v i d i n g line between puzzles a n d counter-instances. T h i s is w h a t generates the vagueness at times o f potential crisis as to whether the currently d o m i n a n t theory w i l l continue to h o l d sway, o r give w a y to the emergence of a n e w research-structure. 7 0  A matrix-shift, once it occurs, accommodates, or assimilates, discoveries w h i c h h a d proven to be destructive to the o l d order. T h r o u g h it, scientists become able~at least after a sufficient p e r i o d o f new-matrix-development has been a l l o w e d - to account for a w i d e r range of p h e n o m e n a t h a n before, or to account for previously k n o w n p h e n o m e n a w i t h greater precision. It is crucial to understand that no scientific theory can be declared i n v a l i d i n the absence of an available alternative. T o reject a m a t r i x w i t h o u t simultaneously substituting another is either to reject science altogether, or at least to make the inexplicable move of a l l o w i n g it to return to a state of i m m a t u r i t y . R e v o l u t i o n also often contributes to the g r o w t h of science b y generating n e w cognitive specialties, o r fields o f k n o w l e d g e . As a result o f the crisis, there m a y be a n a r r o w i n g o f the scope of a particular c o m m u n i t y ' s professional concerns, increasing its extent o f specialisation, a n d l i m i t i n g its capacity for c o m m u n i c a t i o n w i t h other scientific groups, not to m e n t i o n heightening its alienation from the laity. W e might t e r m this a "lexical divergence", l e a d i n g to a lexical heterogeneity o f science i n general. This is fostered b y the importance o f the value of u n a n i m i t y w i t h i n the c o m m u n i t y : to m a i n t a i n this, the specialty m a y have to be s u b d i v i d e d . This illustrates the supreme significance o f the approval o f the scientist's w o r k w i t h i n his specialist group. Specialisation a n d the n a r r o w i n g of the range o f expertise are the price o f increasingly powerful cognitive tools. Clearly, this process w o r k s against the unity o f k n o w l e d g e ; but the pursuit o f such u n i t y m a y place the growth of k n o w l e d g e at risk. So specialisation permits the sciences collectively to solve the problems o f a w i d e r range o f natural p h e n o m e n a t h a n w o u l d be possible w i t h lexical homogeneity. Incommensurability is thus an important isolating m e c h a n i s m , p e r m i t t i n g overall scientific progress. 71  CGK, pp. 233, 237, 245; ET, pp. 227, 236. SSR, p. 170; CGK, p. 21; RSS, pp. 7-8. 55  The Distinction Between Science and Non-science  Kuhn states that the arts and science cannot readily be distinguished "by the application of the classic dichotomies between, for example, the world of value and the world of fact, the subjective and the objective, or the intuitive and the inductive". "Close analysis must again be enabled to display the obvious: that science and art are very different enterprises or at least have become so during the last century and a half." Both science and the arts face persistent technical problems which must be resolved in the pursuit of their endeavours. Both are guided by aesthetic considerations, and are governed by established modes of perception. But too much attention to these similarities obscures their important differences. According to Kuhn, the artist's goal is to produce aesthetic objects, and he resolves technical puzzles to do so. The scientist's goal is the solving of the technical puzzle, and the aesthetic can be one of the tools for doing this. In fact, in order to qualify as a science, a discipline must operate according to the function of puzzlesolving, and this requires, as we have seen, an accepted matrix. In the sciences, despite the importance of aesthetics as a scientific value which helps to guide theory-selection, it is seldom an end in itself, the way it often is in the arts; and if it were an end, it would not be the primary one. Aesthetic considerations must always be subsumed to the unlocking of the puzzle at hand: "only if the scientist's aesthetic turns out to coincide with nature's, does it play a role in the development of science". Otherwise, research-styles and aesthetic responses tend to be more private, or individual, and often end up being eliminated from the finished, public work. Another difference is that, while artists generally have a public audience, the only true audience for a scientist is comprised of other scientists, and this audience becomes particularly narrow in the case of specialised sub-disciplines. A scientist generally seeks approval for her work strictly within her own specialised group. Despite the fact that scientific development demonstrates, more clearly than does the development of any other field, a succession of tradition-bound periods, punctuated by non-cumulative breaks, Kuhn nevertheless says that he has borrowed this notion from his observation of other fields, such as literature, music, art and politics. These other fields also show periodisation, from revolutionary breaks in style, task, and institutional structure. They also produce products which are modelled upon one another, rather than being produced in conformity to rules; we see the same sort of process in science, which operates primarily in accordance with set, concrete exemplars. 72  73  ET, pp. 340-1. CGK, pp. 10-11; ET, pp. 342-3.  56  Thus, i n b o t h the arts a n d science, the historian can discover stable periods ( d u r i n g w h i c h practice conforms to a tradition) a n d periods o f relatively r a p i d change ( i n w h i c h one t r a d i t i o n gives w a y to another). I n the arts, however, u n l i k e i n science, the success o f one artistic t r a d i t i o n does not render a previous t r a d i t i o n i n v a l i d . Artists can, a n d sometimes do, v o l u n t a r i l y undertake dramatic changes i n style. S u c h changes i n the career o f a n i n d i v i d u a l scientist are more rare, a n d are not voluntary, but rather are forced b y acute internal difficulties w i t h i n h e r tradition, o r b y a successful i n n o v a t i o n p r o d u c e d b y someone else. I n science, u n l i k e i n art, to change one's "style" is "to confess that one's earlier products a n d that o f one's masters are w r o n g " . So art can support, far more t h a n science, a n u m b e r o f simultaneous, i n c o m p a t i b l e traditions o r schools. A s a consequence, w h e n controversy arises, i t is solved far more r a p i d l y i n science t h a n i n a r t . T h i s is particularly true o f science at a mature stage, b y w h i c h time a d o m i n a n t research-matrix has emerged. 74  The past products o f artistic activity continue to be v i t a l parts o f the artistic scene. O l d scientific w o r k s , o n the other h a n d , are generally o n l y read b y historians o f science. A s scientific orders are succeeded b y subsequent ones, n e w breakthroughs initiate the r e m o v a l o f out-dated books a n d journals. " U n l i k e art, science destroys its past." T h e i n t e r n a l crises o f science w i l l be m u c h m o r e intense t h a n those i n art. This is as w e w o u l d expect, given the importance i n science o f allegiance to some sense o f truth, the relative dependence u p o n a g u i d i n g matrix, a n d the pressure to achieve pragmatic results, i.e., to develop theories w i t h sufficient explanatory p o w e r to solve puzzles. Crisis i n science signals a real need for i n n o v a t i o n , a n d directs the attention o f scientists towards the area w h e r e fruitful i n n o v a t i o n m a y arise. It must be remembered, however, that i n n o v a t i o n is n o t i n itself a p r i m e value for scientists, a n d i f pursued for its o w n sake, w o u l d be c o n d e m n e d b y a scientific research c o m m u n i t y w h i c h is necessarily to some degree conservative. Innovation really o n l y is a d m i t t e d o n the heels o f crisis. A scientific avant-garde w o u l d threaten the steady w o r k o f science w h i c h is w h a t occurs most o f the t i m e . So i n n o v a t i o n is a n often reluctant response to challenges to the d o m i n a n t m a t r i x . In contrast, artists d o make i n n o v a t i o n a p r i m a r y value; even t h o u g h the avantgarde m a y not i m m e d i a t e l y find institutional expression, i t is still more appreciated t h a n it is i n the sciences. Artistic w o r k is n o t required to progress i n the same steady fashion w h i c h is crucial to most scientific research. So it is n o r m a l science w h i c h most clearly distinguishes science from other enterprises, since the stable periods o f science are m o r e m a r k e d l y so t h a n are any w h i c h appear i n the arts. T o say that science is cumulative a n d art is not is to mistake the developmental pattern i n b o t h fields, although the relatively greater cumulative nature o f science does indicate the relatively l o w e r value placed u p o n i n n o v a t i o n i n the sciences. 75  W e c a n s u m u p the differences o f science from other fields as follows: ET, pp. 348-9. Ibid., p. 345.  57  1. There is a relative scarcity o f c o m p e t i n g schools i n the sciences, due to the fact that science has achieved a level o f maturity w h i c h other fields have not attained; it is this w h i c h renders science m o r e capable o f r e g a r d i n g itself as ahistorical, a n d w h i c h strengthens its stable periods to the p o i n t where the prospect o f change creates greater tension. 2. Science is more insular t h a n other fields. 3. Puzzle-solving is a p r i m a r y goal i n science; aesthetics is secondary. 4. Science has its o w n set o f specific values, as does a n y area o f culture. Despite a l l of this, however, w e d o not generally identify necessary a n d sufficient conditions for any given discipline, i n c l u d i n g science. Instead, w e recognise a group's activity as, for example, "scientific", partly b y its resemblance to other fields w h i c h w e already have come to recognise as scientific, a n d b y its difference from the activities o f other, non-scientific, d i s c i p l i n a r y clusters. Partly, a particular discipline is identified by its p o s i t i o n i n the semantic field w h i c h contains a l l these disciplines.  The E n d of Science Despite the facilitation o f scientific progression granted b y the pattern o f m u t u a l l y e n h a n c i n g alternation between o r d i n a r y a n d extraordinary research, there is n o t h i n g to guarantee that the process w i l l continue indefinitely. S p e a k i n g of science, K u h n says, There was a beginning to it....There are lots of societies that don't have it. It takes very special conditions to support it. These conditions are now getting harder to find. Of course it could end. 6  H e indicates that science c o u l d also w i n d d o w n i f scientists, even given adequate resources, failed for whatever reason to make further headway. If w e keep i n m i n d Kuhn's rejection o f a correspondence-based construal o f truth, the d o o r is left more o p e n to a pragmatically oriented understanding o f science. K u h n enunciates this himself: I think this way of talking and tiiinking that I am engaged i n opens up a range of possibilities that can be investigated. But it, like any scientific construct, has to be evaluated simply for its utility-for what you can do with i t . 77  W e r e the usefulness o f the special activities w h i c h constitute science to prove exhausted at some point, then, the particular picture o f knowledge to w h i c h w e have become accustomed i n this culture w o u l d presumably give w a y to  Horgan, pp. 44, 46. Ibid. 58  something v e r y different. This, i n itself, w o u l d be a dramatic i l l u s t r a t i o n of Kuhn's point: a r a d i c a l shift i n a priori structure, a l t h o u g h o f a m o r e general order t h a n the sort seen w i t h i n science itself.  59  3 Allies or Adversaries: the Troubled Meeting of Rorty and Kuhn Nature, Mind, and Correspondence Theories T h e most obvious area o f agreement l i n k i n g R o r t y a n d K u h n lies i n their rejection o f the sort o f "traditional" m o d e l typified b y correspondence theories o f k n o w l e d g e . I have referred to this i n point one o f the list, i n c l u d e d i n m y i n t r o d u c t i o n , o f similarities w h i c h R o r t y sees between h i m s e l f a n d K u h n . N e i t h e r R o r t y n o r K u h n wants to promote the v i e w w h e r e i n knowledge is gained t h r o u g h the mind's achieving a n accurate representation o f a mind-independent, external reality. B o t h w o u l d recognise that such representation w o u l d probably require the discovery o f a pure observation-language, i.e., one free o f significant perspectival influence, the existence o f w h i c h b o t h deny. R o r t y observes that the t r a d i t i o n a l v i e w entailed that procedures of justification, i n order to be t r u l y rational, must lead to the truth, to correspondence to reality. This picture is a straightforward metaphysical-epistemological one, antithetical to b o t h Rorty's post-modern o u t l o o k o f shifting, criterionless discourses a n d Kuhn's basically K a n t i a n v i e w w h e r e i n the w o r l d is, i n part, constituted b y a n a priori template. W h a t they are rejecting, i n particular, is the m i n d as b l a n k slate-Locke's tabula r a s a - w h i c h receives ideas as sensations from a w o r l d outside the m i n d . B u t despite this c o m m o n a l i t y , they repudiate the correspondence m o d e l for strikingly different reasons. R o r t y cannot entertain a n y framework w h i c h makes use o f a n o t i o n o f the m i n d , so l o n g as he advocates the abolishment o f this n o t i o n altogether. Since he takes h i m s e l f to be r e m o v i n g a l l elements w h i c h m i g h t serve as a foundation for epistemology, he is also hostile to the n o t i o n o f there b e i n g a n y t h i n g at a l l w h i c h m i g h t v i a b l y count as k n o w l e d g e . K u h n , o n the other h a n d , shows no interest whatsoever i n t h r o w i n g out either the n o t i o n o f m i n d o r o f k n o w l e d g e . 1  I believe that K u h n w o u l d see it as a p l a i n v i o l a t i o n o f c o m m o n sense to argue against m i n d a n d m e n t a l experience. T h i s is reflected i n his assertion that w e have n o elements more basic t h a n sense-data reports, such as "green there". This is not to say that w e need i m p u t e to K u h n a metaphysical belief i n m i n d as m e n t a l substance, o r sense-data as m e n t a l entities. K u h n - a g a i n , like Rorty, a l t h o u g h for different reasons-eschews the m a k i n g o f metaphysical claims i n epistemic talk. F o r K u h n , metaphysical claims w o u l d reflect a n expectation o f o u r h a v i n g knowledge o f a mind-independent w o r l d . Since, for h i m , o u r k n o w l e d g e is 1  See pp. 1-2.  60  to some degree a world-constituting affair, metaphysical claims are totally out o f place. There is no theory-independent w a y to determine w h a t is really there. A w o r l d not understood t h r o u g h a particular m e n t a l template is a n unintelligible one. B u t K u h n does not w a n t to abandon entirely the n o t i o n o f a w o r l d "out there"; this is evidenced b y his insistence that the " g i v e n " - h o w e v e r nebulous it m a y be w i t h o u t the application of a t e m p l a t e - i s a n essential element of experience, a n d thus of k n o w l e d g e (the template itself b e i n g the other essential element). H e understands N a t u r e as "giving" the stimulus, w h i c h is determined into a sensation b y means of b e i n g perceived t h r o u g h a h u m a n template o f some sort. This leaves discovery as part o f w h a t is i n v o l v e d i n the acquisition o f k n o w l e d g e . Therefore, for K u h n , the question cannot m e r e l y be one o f language , as it w o u l d be for Rorty, i f the latter were even to a l l o w for something as robust as k n o w l e d g e . T h i s relates back to point t w o i n m y i n t r o d u c t o r y list o f putative similarities between R o r t y a n d K u h n ; Kuhn's retention o f discovery as a n essential part o f knowledge-acquisition clearly speaks o f a c o m m i t m e n t to the n o t i o n o f observation, i n contrast to Rorty's rejection of this n o t i o n . 2  Rorty's re-conception o f certainty as a matter o f conversation between persons, rather t h a n a matter o f interaction w i t h n o n - h u m a n reality w o u l d be far too w e a k a thesis for K u h n . W i t h o u t some sense of certainty conferred b y their research-matrix, scientists w o u l d be u n l i k e l y to develop the c o m m i t m e n t to that m a t r i x w h i c h is necessary for n o r m a l scientific research to proceed. T h e m a t r i x helps t h e m to formulate their understanding o f N a t u r e . D u r i n g a revolution, that sense of security is shaken, but it w i l l inevitably (for as l o n g as science lasts) be restored b y convergence o f the c o m m u n i t y a r o u n d a n e w d o m i n a n t m a t r i x i n w h i c h scientists' sense of certainty w i l l come to be invested. Scientists must have some c o n v i c t i o n where the most basic o f their professional beliefs are concerned. But even t h o u g h these procedures o f what w e m i g h t call social justification ( w i t h i n the scientific c o m m u n i t y ) are e m p l o y e d to delineate w h a t is to count as knowledge, they are not i n v o k e d i n a climate d e v o i d of input from the natural w o r l d . Further, to say that social justification is a matter o f conversation implies that it is less structured-less g r o u n d e d i n a conceptual a n d m e t h o d o l o g i c a l f r a m e w o r k - t h a n the w a y i n w h i c h K u h n believes it to operate i n the matrix-based system o f m o d e r n science. E v e n w h e r e conversation is understood to be g u i d e d b y a set o f conventions, those conventions are more easily subject to change (i.e., w i t h less resistance a n d dependence u p o n a critical need for change, a n d w i t h considerably less sense o f crisis) t h a n i n matrix-changes i n science. T h e scientific m a t r i x is relatively more robust t h a n are conversational conventions. This point renders Rorty's belief as expressed i n point five of m y introductory list of putative similarities inaccurate. In contrast, R o r t y rejects the metaphysical o n account o f his ultimate rejection of any w o r l d at a l l b e y o n d the various a n d specific linguistic patterns w h i c h make up the p l u r a l i t y o f discourses; he takes the stance that the "given" is n o t h i n g but empty a n d m i s l e a d i n g baggage, a n d that a l l attempts to m a k e sense 2  See p. 47.  61  of a n y sort o f w o r l d "out there" have p r o v e n utterly fruitless. Consequently, a n d o n the basis o f Rorty's rejection of the input of any special m e n t a l processes, w e arrive at the p o s i t i o n where the w o r l d is n o t h i n g at a l l m o r e t h a n a linguistic creation. W h i l e for K u h n , the w o r l d as w e k n o w it is the product o f a process w h i c h includes b o t h discovery a n d creation, Rorty's w o r l d (not something w h i c h c a n really be said to be k n o w n ) is strictly a creation. K u h n has r e m a r k e d o n the recent p o p u l a r i t y o f conceptions o f this sort, p l a c i n g t h e m u n d e r the rubric o f proposals advocating a mind-dependent w o r l d , although, for obvious reasons, the l e x i c o n o f Rorty's p h i l o s o p h y w o u l d have to be adjusted somewhat to accommodate the sort of v i e w w h i c h K u h n is d r i v i n g at: a human- or languagedependent w o r l d , perhaps. T h e question of scepticism w h i c h R o r t y finds so t r o u b l i n g as a legacy o f correspondence theories o f knowledge, is not a n irritant i n his o w n programme, because m i n d , w o r l d , a n d a l l considerations o f k n o w l e d g e fall away, a n y w a y . F o r K u h n , the situation is somewhat different: w e w o u l d not expect scepticism to appear as a p r o b l e m h a u n t i n g any p r o g r a m m e w h i c h defined k n o w l e d g e as b e i n g partially constituted b y a priori m e n t a l components. This K a n t i a n sort o f picture is not conducive to w o r r y about w h e t h e r o r not w e c a n k n o w the w o r l d as it r e a l l y is, independent o f our m i n d s . Because the k n o w n w o r l d is not mind-independent, w e d o not have to be concerned about h o w w e c o u l d possibly bridge a gap between it a n d our m i n d s . O n e m i g h t advance to the question o f by what o r whom this R o r t i a n w o r l d is created. Clearly, it cannot be a creation of the m i n d , for the m i n d is barred from the R o r t i a n picture. W e seem to be left w i t h some sort o f materialistic neuropsychological framework of understanding w h i c h R o r t y insists that w e refrain from v i e w i n g i n ontological terms. W e are instructed to treat this as a metaphor for our discourse o n w h a t remains o f experience i n the R o r t i a n v i e w . B u t one does not need to have o n t o l o g i c a l sentiments i n order to have a w o r k i n g reference to m i n d , or to the ideas a n d r a w feels connected w i t h it. E v e n i f w e d o not w a n t to posit m i n d as a n o n t o l o g i c a l entity, it w o u l d nevertheless probably strike K u h n as counter-intuitive to a v o i d mentalistic talk completely, a n d resort to stimulusoriented talk, w h i c h is set at a remove from experience, a n d w h i c h is the product of elaborate theory; w e d o not have direct access to s t i m u l i . Kuhn's belief i n the p r i m i t i v e nature o f the p h e n o m e n a l ("green there") supports this. H e prefers to talk i n terms of experience (and observations), rather t h a n o f the theoretical elements w h i c h s t i m u l i are. Rorty's preferred d i s c o u r s e - c e n t r i n g o n stimulated C fibres, for instance, a n d i n w h i c h p h e n o m e n a l experience is d e n i e d a l t o g e t h e r operates at a strictly theoretical level, one w h i c h is at a remove from experience itself. Consistent w i t h his retention o f the m i n d , then, a n d i n clear o p p o s i t i o n to Rorty, K u h n preserves the n o t i o n o f "something like a m e n t a l representation" , w h i c h w e understand from o u r vantage-point inside a c o m m u n i t y to mediate o u r interactions, a n d those o f the rest o f o u r c o m m u n i t y , w i t h the environment. K u h n 3  3  See p. 48.  62  also speaks o f the perspective from outside a c o m m u n i t y , from w h i c h w e see it adapting to its environment. I w o u l d expect that m e n t a l representations w o u l d be i n v o l v e d i n this perspective, as w e l l , since observation is i n v o l v e d . R o r t y describes W i l l a r d v a n O r m a n Q u i n e as r e b u k i n g such writers as K u h n "for w a n t i n g to drop the n o t i o n of observation altogether". W h i l e R o r t y disagrees w i t h Quine's belief i n the w o r t h of retaining this n o t i o n , it does not appear that he takes any issue w i t h Q u i n e o n the point of the latter's reading of K u h n as w a n t i n g to d r o p it (assuming that R o r t y has h i m s e l f read Q u i n e correctly). B u t i f w e can conclude from this that Rorty, like Q u i n e , sees K u h n as w a n t i n g to d r o p the n o t i o n o f observation, t h e n it appears that R o r t y has not o n l y o v e r l o o k e d a n important feature of Kuhn's K a n t i a n project, but also has rendered K u h n far m o r e distant from the traditional epistemological picture t h a n he, i n fact, is. 4  Overcoming Epistemology R o r t y re-casts the terms "knowledge" a n d "objective" ( i f they are to be retained at all) as applicable to areas o f discourse w h e r e unforced agreement is relatively frequent a n d easy to obtain; the terms "matter o f o p i n i o n " a n d "subjective", i n contrast, are to be a p p l i e d to areas w h e r e unforced agreement is relatively infrequent a n d achieved w i t h greater difficulty. Therefore, it is not surprising that one o f Rorty's few criticisms o f K u h n is that he s h o u l d have discarded the epistemological project altogether, rather t h a n seeking, as he d i d , a n alternative epistemology to the traditional variety. But Kuhn's c o m m i t m e n t to a p r o g r a m m e w h i c h reserves due place for epistemic considerations~as opposed to Rorty's, w h i c h emphatically does not~reflects a sentiment that m a n y o f us w o u l d find it too j a r r i n g to a b a n d o n : that w e w a n t to be able to believe that w e can k n o w w h a t the w o r l d is like, even i f o u r beliefs i n this regard are inescapably subject to change. Hence, for most of u s ~ a n d apparently K u h n , as w e l l ~ t h e m o r e traditional picture o f selves i n h a b i t i n g a w o r l d about w h i c h they justifiably struggle to learn s o m e t h i n g - s u c h learning c u l m i n a t i n g i n k n o w l e d g e of that w o r l d - h a s greater v i a b i l i t y t h a n does the picture w h i c h R o r t y paints. T h i s m o r e traditional v i e w is also particularly important w h e r e the n o r m a l operation o f science is concerned, since it forms part o f the force o f m a t r i x - c o m m i t m e n t w h i c h inspires a n d fuels research w i t h i n a given conceptual framework. R o r t y complains that " K u h n grants too m u c h to the epistemological tradition", this b e i n g revealed i n the latter's suggestion "that the p h i l o s o p h y o f science has quite a distinct m i s s i o n from the hermeneutic activities o f the historian o f science". K u h n distinguishes the historical enterprise from that w i t h w h i c h the p h i l o s o p h y of science typically concerns itself, i n that " [ u j n l i k e history...[the p h i l o s o p h y o f science] is comparatively little concerned w i t h the 5  4  5  Rorty, PMN, p. 225. Ibid. p. 340n20.  63  t e m p o r a l development o f theory, e m p h a s i z i n g instead the theory as a static structure, a n example of sound knowledge at some particular, t h o u g h unspecified, t i m e a n d place....Philosophy's business is w i t h rational reconstruction, a n d it need preserve o n l y those elements of its subject essential to science as sound k n o w l e d g e " . This is to say that p h i l o s o p h y is generally concerned w i t h w h a t counts as k n o w l e d g e , a n d not w i t h h o w w h a t counts as knowledge has changed, or even that it has changed. F o r Rorty, this has the unfortunate consequence o f preserving "intact the m y t h that there is something called 'the nature of sound knowledge' for philosophers to describe, a n activity quite distinct from w h a t counts as justification w i t h i n the various disciplinary matrices constituting the culture o f the d a y " . But for K u h n , although p h i l o s o p h y w o u l d d o w e l l to take some lessons from history, a historically enlightened p h i l o s o p h y o f science w o u l d still occupy itself w i t h the search for a n account o f w h a t is to be accepted as s o u n d k n o w l e d g e . Kuhn's observation that criteria o f k n o w l e d g e have transformed, sometimes dramatically, over t i m e does not jeopardise the v a l i d i t y o f a n epistemic orientation per se. 6  7  This consideration highlights the fact that, w h i l e b o t h R o r t y a n d K u h n regard sensitivity to historical circumstance as i m p o r t a n t , their respective understandings o f the overall context i n w h i c h one is to express this historical sensitivity are radically divergent. F o r K u h n , this awareness ought to i n f o r m o u r approach to a n understanding o f w h a t it is to have k n o w l e d g e ; for Rorty, such a project is m i s g u i d e d a n d counter-productive. W e are also brought again to the inaccuracy inherent i n Rorty's belief as expressed i n m y i n t r o d u c t o r y point five. 8  The Need for an A Priori Framework Experience a n d the knowledge-acquisition w h i c h m a y follow from it reflect, for K u h n , a process w h i c h is part discovery (taking account o f the "given" from Nature) a n d part creativity (taking account o f a priori matrices). T h e m a t r i x is the movable template t h r o u g h w h i c h whatever is "given" is rendered intelligible experience. The l e a r n i n g of a m a t r i x w h i c h determines sensations i n this w a y is not just a matter o f l e a r n i n g to assume p o s t u r e s - o r make linguistic utterances~in response to s t i m u l i . It is l e a r n i n g h o w to see or hear or feel s t i m u l i as particular sensations. A s K u h n has advised, w e d o not just discover that something is (and later interpret what it is), but rather discover what something is from the start. The matrix, then, plays a crucial role i n the generation o f facts, as w e l l as of beliefs about w h a t sensations one has experienced. One of Kuhn's points w i t h respect to the role o f the m a t r i x relates precisely to this situation. The m a t r i x determines, a n d thus makes possible, the  6  7  8  Kuhn, ET, p. 14. Rorty, PMN, p. 340n 20. See point eight in my introductory list.  64  observations w h i c h scientists m a k e . O n e o f the facets o f K u h n i a n i n c o m m e n s u r a b i l i t y is that alternative matrices w i l l generate alternative sets of observations, not a l l of w h i c h w i l l be commensurable. Observations w i l l be a part of w h a t is different between alternative discourses. Different matrices tell us different things about Nature. Evidence plays a considerable role i n the acceptance or rejection o f a t h e o r y . K u h n suggests that, i f w e subtract accuracyof-fit-to-Nature from the set o f scientific values, "the enterprise that results m a y not resemble science at a l l " . So K u h n is clearly not advocating that w e dispense w i t h observation-talk. R o r t y m a y be s u r m i s i n g that K u h n is so advocating, o n account o f the latter's rejection o f a single, overarching, neutral observationlanguage. 9  1 0  11  Rorty's observation that w e have so far failed to identify causal mechanisms l i n k i n g r a w feels to neural-stimulation events is echoed i n Kuhn's remarks o n the insufficiency o f our understanding o f h o w the m i n d w o r k s i n perception. Still, K u h n - u n l i k e R o r t y - t a k e s the general p o s i t i o n that there is a route from stimulus to sensation, a n d that the presence o f such a pathway (acted u p o n as it is b y the influences o f genetic predisposition, education, a n d socialisation) is w h a t allows us to make sense o f the idea that different matrices can generate different facts or beliefs. Rorty's dismissal o f a generalised framework of thought a n d experience leads h i m to emphasise particulars~"from the sound of a w o r d t h r o u g h the color of a leaf to the feel o f a piece o f s k i n " ~ w h i c h c a n "dramatize a n d crystallize a h u m a n being's sense of self-identity". B u t the K u h n i a n point w h i c h speaks against the ability to do this is that there can be no particulars w i t h o u t the presence o f a general framework b y means of w h i c h particulars are picked out i n the first place. A given Gestalt is set b y a matrix, a n d particulars are fragments o f a specific Gestalt, w h i c h must be set before particulars c a n be p i c k e d out o f it. If the Gestalt shifts, the character o f identifiable particulars m a y also change, a n d possibly radically enough that w h a t were distinct particulars before are no longer, w h i l e n e w ones emerge. 12  R o r t y appeals to i m a g i n a t i o n as a force w h i c h generates a particular discourse, a n d habit as one w h i c h sustains it for a t i m e as the status quo. In a K u h n i a n scientific w o r l d , i m a g i n a t i o n a n d habit no doubt have a role o f some magnitude or other, but the story runs m u c h deeper t h a n that. A l l the values w h i c h I have m e n t i o n e d i n Chapter T w o - p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g abilities, scope, etc.~ come into play here m u c h more strongly t h a n d o these relatively superficial elements w h i c h R o r t y employs to describe the b i r t h a n d success of discourses. R o r t y asserts that the justificatory process cannot operate outside o f reference to already-accepted beliefs a n d language-practices. So it w o u l d seem that the structure o f the "web o f beliefs" w o r k s to justify w h a t further beliefs c a n  9  1 0  1 1  1 2  See quote, p. 49. Kuhn, ET, p. 331. See introductory point two. See p. 13.  65  be incorporated into that w e b , w h i l e retaining coherence. B u t n o w it looks as t h o u g h w e are approaching b e i n g able to abstract a set o f criteria o f intelligibility from the b o d y o f the discourse, o r at least to identify similarity-relations, u p o n w h i c h it seems to m e that a "web" w o u l d have to depend. Specific sets of similarity-relations are w h a t are r e q u i r e d to set discourses off from each other. Indeed, R o r t y wants to be able to judge "particular present situations a n d options as similar to or different from particular past actions or events". Further, he describes his v e r s i o n of pragmatism as geared towards r e p l a c i n g the n o t i o n o f true beliefs w i t h "successful rules for action" ( m y e m p h a s i s ) . B u t i f this is w h a t w e end u p w i t h , t h e n Rorty's system is b e g i n n i n g to l o o k m o r e like Kuhn's, m a k i n g R o r t y K u h n i a n i n a w a y w h i c h he w o u l d not w a n t to be, a n d w h i c h he w o u l d not even recognise as K u h n i a n . It is difficult, though, to p i n d o w n precisely to w h a t degree R o r t y is K u h n i a n i n this w a y , since he b o t h wants to m a i n t a i n something like a n evaluative framework (albeit a n unhelpfully vague one) t h r o u g h w h i c h assertions i n a discourse c a n be justified, a n d yet disparages a n y t h i n g w h i c h m i g h t resemble criteria (presumably i n c l u d i n g the less-abstract similarity-relations), favouring a sort o f lightly structured (if structured at all) poetic, self-creative urge. R o r t y underlines this by describing h i m s e l f as "auxiliary to the poet rather t h a n to the p h y s i c i s t " . A l l of this renders any similarity between R o r t y a n d K u h n o n the issue of a n accepted conceptual a n d practical f r a m e w o r k considerably less likely. F o l l o w i n g this poetically oriented line, R o r t y states that 13  14  15  [t]he craftsman typically knows what job he needs to do before picking or mventing tools with which to do it. By contrast, someone like Galileo, Yeats, or Hegel (a "poet" i n my wide sense of the term-the sense of "one who makes things new") is typically unable to make clear exactly what it is that he wants to do before developing the language i n which he succeeds i n doing it. His new vocabulary makes possible, for the first time, a formulation of its own purpose. It is a tool for doing something which could not have been envisaged prior to the development of a particular set of descriptions, those which it itself helps to provide. But I shall, for the moment, ignore this disanalogy. I want simply to remark that the contrast between the jigsaw-puzzle and the "tool" models of alternative vocabularies reflects the contrast between...the will to truth and the will to self-overcoming. Both are expressions of the attempt to represent or express something that was already there and the attempt to make something that had never been dreamed of before. 16  But it is difficult to see w h a t w o u l d motivate someone towards the construction o f a n e w v o c a b u l a r y i f he h a d no i d e a w h a t he was t r y i n g to d o . Since n e w K u h n i a n matrices arise out o f the soil o f the o l d , some guidance i n the construction o f a new order w i l l be p r o v i d e d b y the o l d framework. Also, the previously m e n t i o n e d (Chapter T w o ) general values w h i c h guide theory-choice contribute to the  Rorty ORT, p. 65. Rorty, CIS, p. 8. See again introductory point five. Rorty, CIS, pp. 12-13.  66  scientist's sense of w h a t needs to be done; foremost a m o n g these is the a i m o f problem-solving. W h i l e some of the problems u p for discussion w i l l disappear subsequent to a matrix-shift, a n d others not yet encountered w i l l develop, m a n y problems w i l l subsist t h r o u g h the change. Leaving aside Yeats a n d Hegel, w e c a n see that it m a y be somewhat premature to expect somebody such as Galileo to have a full picture of w h a t n o r m a l scientific research under his n e w regime w o u l d l o o k like, at the t i m e that he proposed it. Still, K u h n states that "[t]he m a n w h o premises a p a r a d i g m w h e n arguing i n its defense c a n nonetheless provide a clear exhibit o f w h a t scientific practice w i l l be like for those w h o adopt the n e w v i e w of n a t u r e " . Further research u n d e r the n e w order w o u l d serve to deepen, refine, a n d extend its "vocabulary". O n e c a n at least say w i t h some plausibility that Galileo p r o m o t e d a heliocentric system to answer concerns o f calendar-reform, a n d to deal w i t h the b u i l d - u p of anomalies under the geocentric Ptolemaic system. B o t h o f these demands p r o v i d e d specific motivations w h i c h w o u l d have instilled i n G a l i l e o some i d e a o f w h a t his task was. This is not to say that imaginative i n p u t a n d "flashes o f i n t u i t i o n " are alien to the b i r t h o f a n e w matrix; K u h n has m a d e us aware o f their importance. But it is to say that there is greater structure i n f o r m i n g even i m a g i n a t i o n a n d i n t u i t i o n , w h e r e scientific projects are the focus, t h a n w e see i n the construction o f poetry. If w e must w i d e n the m e a n i n g o f the t e r m "poet" to the extent w h i c h R o r t y seems to be advocating, w e d o so at the expense of valuable clarity. Rorty's poetically oriented account o f discourse-alteration offers no explanation o f why motives change i n the particular w a y that they d o . 17  Rorty's contention that "[t]he application o f such honorifics as 'objective' a n d 'cognitive' is never a n y t h i n g more t h a n the presence of, or the hope for, agreement a m o n g i n q u i r e r s " rings rather h o l l o w w h e n w e begin to enquire w h y those areas of the culture w h i c h enjoy a greater degree of a g r e e m e n t - n o t a b l y science, as K u h n has e x p l a i n e d - h a v e gotten to that point. The K u h n i a n argument is precisely that w e have come to be able to expect to achieve relatively greater agreement w i t h i n the sciences (at least, d u r i n g the periods o f n o r m a l stability w h i c h are by far the most prevalent periods) because of the presence o f a c o m m o n l y accepted a priori m a t r i c a l structure. So the advantage is conferred not o n l y b y the existence o f a m a t r i c a l structure at all, but also b y the fact that, i n a mature science, there w i l l be o n l y one such structure operative at any one time, increasing scientists' sense o f security i n their o w n w o r k . Scientists w o r k towards the facilitation o f agreement b y first striving to determine a n appropriate structure for research, a n d then b y seeking to prevent the decay o f that structure at times w h e n it comes under stress (as i n the recognition of a n a c c u m u l a t i o n of anomalies). Hence, it is not m e r e l y a matter o f chance, as it appears that it w o u l d have to be i n Rorty's estimation, that agreement is achieved i n specific areas of culture; rather, it is quite b y design. 18  R o r t y asserts that w e c a n e x p l a i n the observations w h i c h scientists m a k e b y reference to their "psychologies a n d sensibilities"; w e c a n e x p l a i n their See p. 39. Rorty, PMN, p. 335.  67  propensities to react w i t h certain sentences to certain s t i m u l i b y reference to their u p b r i n g i n g . Scientists have been " p r o g r a m m e d " so as to respond to certain retinal patterns w i t h statements such as "[T]here goes a neutrino". There are t w o points w h i c h need be made here. One is that, for K u h n , there is clearly more to the question of " p r o g r a m m i n g " of scientists than w h a t w e m i g h t call mere "psychologies a n d sensibilities", a l t h o u g h factors such as this w o u l d be expected to have their influence. W h a t K u h n is interested i n elucidating, however, is that this " p r o g r a m m i n g " is deliberately built in--and i n a quite sophisticated m a n n e r to the t r a i n i n g o f prospective scientists, i n the form o f the conceptual m a t r i x w h i c h w i l l define their future scientific research, a n d most especially i n the form of the exemplars w h i c h are offered to the student as concrete cases w h i c h illustrate the application of m a t r i c a l concepts. The stronger the presence o f a collectively a n d deliberately designed framework, the less r o o m for influence b y i n d i v i d u a l psychological idiosyncrasies. The second point is the crucial one, that this " p r o g r a m m i n g " o f w h i c h R o r t y speaks is, again, significantly reminiscent o f K u h n i a n matrices, a n d w e are brought back r o u n d to the point that R o r t y has not effectively escaped the structural tone w h i c h K u h n has m a i n t a i n e d throughout his o w n thesis, whether R o r t y has detected it or not. 9  O n the issue o f the presence of m a t r i c a l elements, one m i g h t take Rorty's a n d Kuhn's respective positions to be similar, i n that w e can substitute R o r t i a n discourses for K u h n i a n matrices, or vice versa. Rorty, himself, views his discussion of discourses to be a generalised account of the more specific K u h n i a n "discourses". Support for this v i e w m i g h t be assumed to be found i n b o t h Rorty's a n d Kuhn's d e n i a l of criteria, or rules, as b e i n g important i n h o w w e approach the w o r l d . B u t Rorty's discourses are more superficial t h a n Kuhn's matrices. W e see this i n the miscibility o f Rorty's discourses w i t h each other, as i n the sentence "If w e h a d just stuck i n a n electrode i n the right place i n the cortex, he w o u l d never have d e c i d e d he was N a p o l e o n " . Here, w e have a n e u r o p s y c h o l o g i c a l vocabulary side-by-side w i t h a behavioural-psychological one. K u h n i a n matrices, on the other h a n d , c o u l d not possibly co-exist i n the same c o m m u n i t y at the. same time, for they represent a conception o f Nature, a n d alternative conceptions o f Nature cannot receive simultaneous c o m m i t m e n t from a homogeneous group. It is clear from their relation to a sense o f the w a y i n w h i c h the w o r l d is, that K u h n i a n matrices must r u n deeper t h a n R o r t i a n vocabularies. As such, they w i l l be more significant i n g u i d i n g action. T h i s leaves us, i n a R o r t i a n w o r l d , w i t h a severely w e a k e n e d framework for belief, a n d hence for action. 20  This w e a k e n i n g is reflected i n the fact that Rorty's dismissal o f criteria for j u d g m e n t is far m o r e r a d i c a l ~ a n d more c o m p l e t e - t h a n is K u h n ' s . K u h n diminishes the importance o f criteria really o n l y d u r i n g times o f m a t r i c a l stability, w h e n the n o r m a l investigative process occurs t h r o u g h the construction of similarity-relations between things a n d events i n the w o r l d . L e a r n i n g a particular w a y o f c a r v i n g up the w o r l d , so to speak, is achieved t h r o u g h particular instances 19 20  Rorty, ORT, p. 56. Seep. 11. 68  of ostension more than through the learning of general rules. It is possible to abstract rules from the accepted beliefs and procedures of the matrix, although this is generally done after the fact of the construction of the matrix. The need for abstracted rules becomes much more evident during times of matrix-instability. This is clearly a far more subtle position than is Rorty's, where the acceptance or rejection of criteria seems to be an all-or-nothing affair, and no allowance is made for any sort of framework guiding the construction of even similarity-relations. Again, this underscores the inaccuracy of Rorty's evaluation of the similarity of Kuhn's programme to his own, as expressed in my introductory point five. Rorty's allowance-albeit a begrudging one~for the remote possibility of "innatist" views of a genetically "wired-in" language of thought reveals further potential for an embarrassing slide into Kuhnian territory. Possibly such a language of thought counts as part of that to which Kuhn is referring in his talk of the genetic elements which people share, which includes the common ground provided for through biological determination of lexical structure. This relates to the perceptual integrity of which Kuhn speaks, which is born of the selection process, driven by survival-pressure. Rorty's dismissal of the importance of our determining which elements of human behaviour would be directed by an innate genetic matrix, and which not, is further illustration of a regrettable lack of subtlety in his programme. Distinguishing that which is innate from that which is not can only help to advance our self-knowledge, and to yield improved discriminating-power with respect to what it is possible for us to alter in our thought and behaviour, and what remains more fixed. If we duly recognise the significant function of some sort of matrix through which we necessarily experience the world, then clarification as to which elements of that matrix are more fluid and which more solid proves to be of epistemic importance. This would be a matter of concern to Kuhn. Rorty's denial of the importance of the distinction between fixed and movable elements has led him into some unfortunate confusion. He warns us that allowance for any fixed language of thought should not slide into the premise that that language is immune to correction on the basis of experience. But we are not accustomed to viewing genetically fixed elements as subject to correction on the basis of experience, anyway, at least not directly. What will be experientially corrigible are the transformable elements of non-innate matrices, such as Kuhn describes for science: his movable Archimedean platforms. If Rorty is allowing for these, this again brings him closer to Kuhnian structure. Moreover, Rorty's reference to Fodor is evidence of his own recognition of the identifiability of at least some sort of a priori structure. 21  Rorty seems to be attempting to further his argument against the tendency to formulate methodologies of any sort by objecting that the view that science operates on the basis of our knowing in advance in what sort of discourse an explanation of concept-formation shall be formulated "takes us around a rather  See p. 46. 69  tiny circle". Certainly, K u h n has recognised that the w a y i n w h i c h science must operate is inherently circular: it cannot function w i t h o u t first delineating w h a t is to count as acceptable scientific questions a n d answers. It sets out its o w n a priori parameters before proceeding a c c o r d i n g to t h e m ; this is precisely w h a t it is to have a matrix. B u t K u h n reminds us that not a l l circularities are vicious.  Rationality and Solidarity O n e o f the chasms o n account o f w h i c h it becomes evident that R o r t y a n d K u h n are t a l k i n g past each other results from their strikingly different conceptions of rationality. This contrast seriously undermines the w a y s i n w h i c h R o r t y sees h i m s e l f a n d K u h n to be similar that I have noted i n m y introductory points three a n d especially four. This is yet another t e r m w h i c h R o r t y has undertaken to define non-standardly. W e are offered a frustratingly loose description o f w h a t it is to be rational, i n the form o f a) the recognition o f b e i n g part o f one's o w n c o m m u n i t y , w h i c h derives from the c o m m o n dictates o f the c o m m u n i t y a n d its language, a n d b) v i c t o r y or persuasiveness i n argument. T h e latter rendering is s o m e t h i n g w e w o u l d consider to be consistent w i t h K u h n , since he does acknowledge the importance o f persuasiveness i n theory-choice. B u t because K u h n defines "rationality" i n the standard manner, he does not come to equate it w i t h persuasiveness, as does Rorty, a n d is therefore able to cite b o t h rational a n d n o n rational influences o n the persuasiveness of attempts to promote a n e w theory. A g a i n , his characterisation achieves greater subtlety t h a n does Rorty's. K u h n also maintains a strong c o m m i t m e n t to traditional reasoning, w h i c h b o t h must constitute the rational elements o f the consideration of n e w matrix-candidates, a n d must figure p r o m i n e n t l y i n the internal logical w o r k i n g s o f a n accepted m a t r i x d u r i n g periods of n o r m a l stability. So for K u h n , the social practice cannot entirely define w h a t is to count as rational, because rationality, although to some degree defined specifically b y the internal logic of a given m a t r i x (roughly a k i n to a specialized case o f Rorty's social practice), is also to some degree a n element w h i c h enters into the choice o f a particular social practice, or, i n more precise K u h n i a n terms, theory-choice (although not i n a form sufficiently complete to generate a n a l g o r i t h m ) . The scientist's recourse to persuasion does not suggest a lack of v e r y good reasons for c h o o s i n g a t h e o r y . K u h n comments that "[t]o suppose...that w e possess criteria of rationality w h i c h are independent o f our understanding of the essentials of the scientific process is to open the d o o r to cloud-cuckoo l a n d " . Presumably, the same goes for suppositions that w e do not possess standard criteria o f rationality at a l l . Adherence to logical rules is a presupposition o f n o r m a l scientific discourse. 23  2 4  Rorty, ORT, p. 57. Kuhn, CGK, p. 261. Ibid., p. 264.  70  Rorty asks, "Is the sort of community which is exemplified by scientific inquirers and by democratic political institutions a means to an end, or is the formation of such communities the only goal we need?" He considers debates about Kuhn's "irrationalism" to boil down to this question. It seems that Kuhn's "irrationalism" relates to this issue on account of the presence of standard rationality pervading the traditional adjustment of means to ends. Refusing to see something in terms of this adjustment would have the beneficial effect of obviating standard rationality. But I believe that Kuhn would see scientific communities not as ends in and of themselves, but rather as instruments functioning to further science as an epistemic organ. The community exists for a quite specific purpose: to promote growth of the body of scientific knowledge. The maturation of a science to the point where one dominant community has replaced a plurality of competing schools furthers the realisation of this end, since the unified matrix of the mature scientific community need no longer expend energy in disputes over the fundamentals of the research-matrix. It is not here just a matter of a single scientific school demonstrating greater solidarity than a diverse collection of such schools simply for the sake of increased comradeship, which we may imagine to be the case in other sorts of endeavours, very different from the scientific one. So the scientific community described by Kuhn is clearly a means to an end. In fact, to some degree, it functions as an expression of the matrix. This latter point seems not so far-fetched, if we consider that matrical shifts, in reorganising and re-defining what is to count as scientific, may result in established members of the community being edged-out, on account of what might be seen as an obstinate tendency to remain faithful to a dying matrix, while a group of researchers perhaps new to the field, having proposed the new matrix, gains ascendancy in the field as that matrix becomes dominant. In this respect, the matrix, as the tool exercised by the dominant majority of scientists within the community (dominant since the ascendancy of this new matrix), can exert an effect upon the constitution of that community, even though the primary influence is probably in the other direction-i.e., wherein a specific community of practitioners is united by their disciplinary matrix, which then becomes an expression of the community. 25  Rorty invokes Dewey as having argued (in speaking of morals) that we only know what we want after we have seen the results of our attempts to get what we once thought we wanted, and that the use of new means changes ends Rorty sees the case of "post-positivistic philosophy of science" as analogous. It is probable that Kuhn would agree that Dewey's picture of morality corresponds plausibly with his own view of science. The fact that we are moved continually to adjust our ends-sometimes upon the introduction of previously unknown meansis perfectly consistent with the conception of science put forward by Kuhn. There are two processes going on here, in the statements which Rorty is attributing to Dewey. Firstly, a matrix may be required to shift as it becomes evident that its 2 6  Rorty, ORT, p. 43. Ibid., p. 68.  71  problem-solving ability is b e g i n n i n g to w a n significantly--it is failing to y i e l d w h a t was desired, a n d w e see that the results o f our attempts to get w h a t w e once thought w e w a n t e d are less t h a n satisfactory. A shift ushers i n a n e w set o f goals, at least to some degree, such that w h a t w e w a n t has changed. The n e w m a t r i x is expected to provide w h a t is desired more effectively t h a n the o l d one p r o v e d able to do, but it is clear that w h a t is desired m a y exhibit a quite different form after the shift from before. The n e w regime m a y b r i n g pressure to bear u p o n the scientific c o m m u n i t y to hasten the development o f n e w instrumentation w i t h w h i c h to gather evidence b y means o f w h i c h the n e w m a t r i x m a y be refined a n d extended. B u t alternatively, a n d this is the second aspect o f w h a t R o r t y is attributing to D e w e y ~ n e w instrumentation m a y be devised w h i c h w i l l so revolutionise the p h e n o m e n a available for discovery that the ends of research w i l l be altered to keep pace w i t h it. The development o f the electron microscope provides a n example o f this, a n d is cited b y K u h n as a n instance w h e r e a n occurrence i n one scientific field has the effect o f instigating a r e v o l u t i o n i n another. In this w a y , the i n t r o d u c t i o n o f novel means c a n transform the ends w h i c h are sought. But this D e w e y - K u h n correspondence does not provide evidence i n favour of Rorty's characterisation o f science as more like a p a r a d i g m case of m u d d l i n g t h r o u g h "than like a series of choices between alternative theories o n the basis o f observational r e s u l t s " Kuhn's account o f w h a t must go o n i n science is considerably more exact a n d structured t h a n Rorty's v i e w o f discourses. F o r K u h n , alternative theories become necessary, often because observational results b e g i n to reveal a progressive b u i l d - u p o f anomalies. E v e n d u r i n g a crisis-period, it does not seem appropriate to characterise w h a t is g o i n g o n as " m u d d l i n g though", given that the threads o f the out-going m a t r i x still provide some residual structure for conceptualisation, a n d that, at a n y rate, the w a y out o f the state o f relative chaos w i l l be a i d e d b y the constancy o f the various scientific values w h i c h I listed i n Chapter T w o . The further point might be m a d e here that, even i f there is some adjustment to be m a d e i n w h a t w e expect a theory to d o for us, the adjustment o f m e a n s - w h i c h really amounts to the adjustment o f a methodology-is not equivalent to a lack o f such methodology. 27  R o r t y also cites D e w e y as saying that intellectual progress u s u a l l y occurs t h r o u g h the sheer abandonment o f questions: rather t h a n solving them, w e get over t h e m . Kuhn's position is again divergent: the v e r y constant existence o f some set o f questions or other is v i t a l i n demarcating the m a t r i x o f scientific r e s e a r c h the m a t r i x stipulates admissible questions. W e c a n m a k e no sense o f the crucial m o t i v a t i o n o f problem-solving w i t h o u t a c k n o w l e d g i n g the need to solve questions. W e m i g h t say that this v e r y need is the engine w h i c h drives research. E v e n t h o u g h revolutionary shifts i n m a t r i x lead to the " o v e r c o m i n g " o f some questions, other questions w i l l nevertheless survive the shift, a n d moreover, n e w questions w i l l be generated as a result of it.  Ibid, p. 69.  72  R o r t y states that w h a t he calls the "objectivist t r a d i t i o n " seeks a n ahistorical h u m a n nature; it is this nature, as shared c o m m o n ground, w h i c h is supposed to b i n d h u m a n i t y together. T h e t r a d i t i o n a l n o t i o n o f rationality figures p r o m i n e n t l y i n the general account o f w h a t it is to be h u m a n . B u t this "metaphor of i n q u i r y a n d h u m a n activity generally" is one o f convergence a n d unification; it is, for Rorty, inaccurate, because h u m a n activity demonstrates proliferative tendencies, a n d a movement towards diversification. W e need "to t h r o w out the 28  last residues of the n o t i o n of 'transcultural r a t i o n a l i t y ". In this connection, he notes w i t h approval that, i n K u h n , the p h i l o s o p h y o f science becomes increasingly historicist a n d decreasingly logical. T o h i m , this is beneficial, since our understanding o f w h y the n e w science was superior to Aristotle's w o r k , a n d of the relations between the n e w science a n d mathematics, c o m m o n sense, theology, a n d m o r a l i t y is aided by our t u r n i n g outwards, towards the social context o f justification, instead o f b y our t u r n i n g inwards, towards the relations between i n n e r representations. Typically, the t u r n i n w a r d s has relied u p o n the e m p l o y m e n t of reason as a quintessentially h u m a n m o d a l i t y , one w h i c h unifies a n d defines a l l of h u m a n i t y . In contrast, social contexts of justification as R o r t y envisions t h e m tend towards p l u r a l i s m . Still, R o r t y argues for the preservation o f the intellectual, social, a n d p o l i t i c a l "habits" w h i c h were n u r t u r e d by the Enlightenment, although he does not w a n t to see these justified b y traditional conceptions of rationality a n d truth, but rather b y "a conception of rationality as criterionless m u d d l i n g through, a n d by a pragmatist conception o f truth". T h e sense o f rationality w h i c h R o r t y advises us to discard is that w h i c h directs us to be m e t h o d i c a l , to have criteria for success l a i d d o w n i n advance. In R o r t i a n terms, this is the stronger sense o f rationality, o f w h i c h science is generally taken to be the p a r a d i g m : w e t r a d i t i o n a l l y expect to have clear criteria for the success o f scientific theories, b y means o f w h i c h their ability to predict is augmented. Strong rationality is associated w i t h objective truth, correspondence to reality, m e t h o d , a n d criteria. Rorty's re-envisioning o f rationality leads us i n a rather different d i r e c t i o n : towards m o r a l virtues, such as tolerance, respect for others' opinions, a willingness to listen, a n d reliance o n persuasion i n place of force. T o be rational, then, is to be "sane" a n d "reasonable". Rationality is not the exercise of a faculty called "reason", a faculty w h i c h stands i n some determinate r e l a t i o n to reality. W e define the t e r m m o r e i n r e l a t i o n to b e i n g " c i v i l i z e d " t h a n to being "methodical": " W e s h o u l d a v o i d the idea that there is some special virtue i n k n o w i n g i n advance w h a t criteria y o u are g o i n g to satisfy, i n h a v i n g standards b y w h i c h to measure progress". Holistic p r a g m a t i s m wants to h o l d o n to the materialistic w o r l d - v i e w that typically forms the b a c k g r o u n d o f contemporary liberal self-consciousness, w h i l e refraining from a d v a n c i n g the c l a i m that this v i e w has been established t h r o u g h a m e t h o d . T h e f o r m u l a t i o n o f m e t h o d o l o g i c a l principles is considered to be generally a waste o f time, anyway, since one often ends u p o n l y w i t h "a string o f platitudes, h o o k e d up to l o o k like a n  Ibid., p. 32.  73  a l g o r i t h m " . In a v o i d i n g c r i t e r i a , w e a v o i d d o g m a t i s m , d e f e n s i v e n e s s , a n d righteous indignation.  9  T h e r e are a couple of elements here w h i c h I find problematic. Firstly, the t y p e o f p i c t u r e w h i c h R o r t y h e r e p a i n t s , a n d w h i c h h e i m p l i e s is i n c o n c e r t w i t h K u h n ' s v i s i o n , is q u i t e s t r i k i n g l y a n t i t h e t i c a l t o w h a t K u h n is a t t e m p t i n g t o s h o w .  3 0  W h i l e for K u h n , criteria, or rules, are not the n o r m a l m e a n s b y w h i c h prospective s c i e n t i s t s a r e t r a i n e d i n t o t h e i r a d o p t e d s c i e n t i f i c t r a d i t i o n , i t is p o s s i b l e t o abstract s u c h criteria f r o m t h e m a t r i c a l f r a m e w o r k after the fact o f t h e l a y i n g d o w n o f that f r a m e w o r k . So, w h i l e criteria d o n o t p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h e b u i l d i n g o r c o m m u n i c a t i o n o f t h e m a t r i x , t h e y can b e m a d e s e n s e of, i f w e w i s h t o f o c u s attention o n the skeleton of the m a t r i x - a n e e d w h i c h w i l l b e c o m e m o r e apparent w h e n t h e m a t r i x a p p e a r s i n d a n g e r o f c r u m b l i n g , i.e., a t t i m e s o f c r i s i s . A t a n y rate, t h e m a n i p u l a t i o n o f similarity-relations b e t w e e n t h i n g s a n d events i n the w o r l d w h i c h o c c u r s as t h e m a t r i x is r e f i n e d a n d e x t e n d e d d u r i n g p e r i o d s o f n o r m a l s c i e n c e is n o t a p r o c e s s w h i c h is c l e a n o f r a t i o n a l j u d g m e n t s . S o  Rorty's  statement that "Kuhn's defenders [among w h i c h he counts himself]...typically d r a w the line between the rational a n d the non-rational sociologically (in terms of a distinction b e t w e e n persuasion a n d force) rather t h a n m e t h o d o l o g i c a l l y terms of the distinction between possession a n d lack of explicit c r i t e r i a ) " a n i r o n y : K u h n h i m s e l f w o u l d not espouse the p o s i t i o n w h i c h his  (in 3 1  reveals  supposed  d e f e n d e r s take. S e c o n d l y , R o r t y a p p e a r s to b e d i r e c t i n g his p o l e m i c against a sort o f scientistic r o m a n t i c i s m w h i c h r e g a r d s scientific r e s e a r c h s o m e w h a t as a s h o w o f virtue i n the battle o f k n o w l e d g e a n d e n l i g h t e n m e n t versus ignorance a n d the chaos of irrationality. W h i l e K u h n c o u l d certainly be expected similarly to t u r n a w a y f r o m t h i s p i c t u r e o f s c i e n c e , it is c l e a r , n e v e r t h e l e s s , t h a t h e w a n t s t o m a i n t a i n a definite distinction between the attitude a n d m e t h o d o l o g y of science, a n d the tone of other cultural endeavours.  3 2  So w o r k i n g w i t h a n  a priori  matrical  f o u n d a t i o n , w h i l e n o t n e c e s s a r i l y " v i r t u o u s " , is at l e a s t u s e f u l . E v e n a n u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f o n e ' s r e s e a r c h as c o n t r i b u t i n g t o a n e l u c i d a t i o n o f N a t u r e d o e s n o t n e c e s s a r i l y s u g g e s t t h e s o r t o f m o r a l r i g h t e o u s n e s s i n s c i e n c e t h a t R o r t y is h o l d i n g up for scorn. T h e e m p l o y m e n t of rational methods does not entail, or e v e n a l w a y s reflect, the scientific tradition's h a v i n g m a d e " t h e n a t u r a l scientist i n t o a n e w s o r t o f p r i e s t " , e v e n i f w e v i e w h e r r o l e as p r o v i d i n g " a l i n k b e t w e e n the h u m a n a n d the n o n - h u m a n " .  3 3  C o n s i d e r i n g the issue o f w h e t h e r h u m a n activity s h o u l d p r o p e r l y be c h a r a c t e r i s e d as c o n v e r g i n g a n d u n i f y i n g , o r p r o l i f e r a t i n g a n d d i v e r s i f y i n g , f r o m K u h n ' s p o i n t o f v i e w , t h e q u e s t i o n is n o t p e r h a p s so s i m p l e . I n t h e e v o l u t i o n o f a scientific d i s c i p l i n e into the m o r e m a t u r e stage t y p i f i e d b y w o r k b e i n g d o n e u n d e r  2 9  3 0  3 1  3 2  3 3  Ibid., pp. 28, 36-7, 62, 65. See again my introductory point five. Rorty, ORT, p. 48. See pp. 56-8, and the next section of this chapter; this issue also relates back to point seven of my introduction. Rorty, ORT, p. 37.  74  a single d o m i n a n t matrix, clearly w e see a convergent pattern. B u t there is a corresponding proliferation, over time, as the matrices o f scientific disciplines become m o r e detailed, a n d as a result, more specialised a n d n a r r o w i n their focus; K u h n has described h o w this tendency leads to single disciplines splitting u p to produce n e w sub-disciplines, w h i c h eventually become quite separate scientific c o m m u n i t i e s i n their o w n right, complete w i t h their o w n distinct defining matrices. R o r t y m a y be m a k i n g the mistake o f equating the traditional search for a n ahistorical scientific conceptual a n d m e t h o d o l o g i c a l framework w i t h the acknowledgement o f the presence o f such a framework per se. B u t this w o u l d provide a rather crude analysis, as a n e x a m i n a t i o n o f K u h n ' s writings indicates. The movable a priori w h i c h is a fundamental feature o f Kuhn's K a n t i a n type o f programme is clearly b o t h sensitive to historical fluctuations a n d responsive to the need for a framework o f some sort t h r o u g h w h i c h investigation is facilitated. Indeed, the use o f a given framework, t h o u g h it is stable o n l y for periods o f variable longevity, is, according to K u h n , the n o r m . 3 4  R e t u r n i n g to the n o t i o n o f a transcultural rationality, w e m i g h t identify a central feature o f such a rationality as the process o f i n d u c t i o n . A s w e ought to expect, one o f Rorty's complaints against K u h n is that K u h n "occasionally makes too large concessions to the tradition, particularly w h e n he suggests that there is a serious a n d unresolved p r o b l e m about w h y the scientific enterprise has been d o i n g so n i c e l y lately". H e quotes K u h n as l i n k i n g this to the p r o b l e m o f induction: 3  Even those who have followed me this far w i l l want to know how a value-based enterprise of the sort I have described can develop as a science does, repeatedly producing powerful new techniques for prediction and control. To that question, unfortunately, I have no answer at all, but that is only another way of saying that I make no claim to have solved the problem of induction. If science d i d progress by virtue of some shared and binding algorithm of choice, I would be equally at a loss to explain its success. The lacuna is one I feel acutely, but its presence does not differentiate my position from the tradition. 36  R o r t y argues that the desire to provide such a n explanation as K u h n seeks "is one m o r e result o f hypostatizing the Platonic focus imaginarius-truth as disjoined from agreement~and a l l o w i n g the gap between oneself a n d that u n c o n d i t i o n a l ideal to m a k e one feel that one does not yet understand the conditions o f one's existence". B u t the point, for K u h n , is not to understand the conditions o f one's existence, b u t to seek to understand the conditions o f knowledge, a n d specifically, of scientific knowledge. T h e desire to e x p l a i n the success o f science, w h i c h , at its root, entails the desire to solve the p r o b l e m o f i n d u c t i o n , does not entail a 37  See again point five in the Introduction. Rorty, PMN, p. 340 Kuhn, ET, pp. 332-3, quoted in Rorty, PMN, p. 340. Rorty, PMN, p. 340.  75  disjoining o f truth from agreement. Indeed, it is the desire to e x p l a i n h o w such agreement m i g h t reliably be reached at a l l . It appears, i n this particular instance, that R o r t y is i m p o r t i n g a correspondence-view into the question, i m p u t i n g to K u h n a certain degree of slippage back into that territory from w h i c h he has m o v e d away. B u t K u h n need not be, a n d I t h i n k it is clear is not, influenced by correspondence-theory models, i n his concerns about the p r o b l e m o f i n d u c t i o n .  38  R o r t y argues that Kuhn's w o r r y about t r y i n g to e x p l a i n h o w science as a value-based enterprise c o u l d evolve powerful techniques for p r e d i c t i o n a n d control reflects Kuhn's desire to solve "the p r o b l e m o f fact a n d value". H e contends that [w]hat we need, rather than a solution to the 'problem of induction', is the ability to think about science in such a way that its being a "value-based enterprise" occasions no surprise. A l l that hinders us from doing so is the ingrained notion that "values" are "inner" whereas "facts" are "outer". 39  But I do not t h i n k that it is Kuhn's purpose to lean v e r y h e a v i l y o n any inner-outer distinction o n this issue. H i s concern here is to e x p l a i n h o w it is that the level of agreement w h i c h science characteristically a t t a i n s - a n d w h i c h permits its s u c c e s s is achieved at a l l ; it is to this end that he explores the v i t a l importance o f the matrical structure o f n o r m a l science. Values manifest u l t i m a t e l y as facts, t h r o u g h their influence o n theory-choice, given that particular sets o f facts are generated by particular theories. Induction is one o f the means t h r o u g h w h i c h this process happens. So e x p l o r i n g the p r o b l e m o f i n d u c t i o n c a n offer a means b y w h i c h w e are enabled to see that it is not surprising that science operates a c c o r d i n g to certain values.  Science and Cultural Holism In some moods, R o r t y speaks favourably o f the prospect o f the t e r m "science", as w e l l as the distinctions between science a n d other aspects of the culture, g r a d u a l l y fading away. H e claims that there is n o t h i n g to be gained from differentially v a l u i n g explanations as either "scientific" or "unscientific". There is just, rather incidentally, a greater degree o f agreement a m o n g people i n , say, scientific activities t h a n a m o n g those i n v o l v e d i n m a n y other activities. M y rejection of traditional notions of rationality can be summed up by saying that the only sense in which science is exemplary is that it is a model of human solidarity. We should think of the institutions and practices which make up various scientific communities as providing suggestions about the way i n which the rest of culture might Rorty, in fact, does, in general, recognise that Kuhn's programme is not one which is compatible with correspondence-theorisation. See introductory point one. Rorty, PMN, p. 341.  76  organize itself. When we say that our legislatures are "unrepresentative" or "dominated by special interests", or that the art world is dominated by "fashion", we are contrasting these areas of culture with areas which seem to be i n better order. The natural sciences strike us as being such areas. But on this view, we shall not explain this better order by thinking of the scientists as having a "method" which the rest of us would do well to imitate, not as benefiting from the desirable hardness of their subjects compared with the undesirable softness of other subjects. If we say that sociology or literary criticism "is not a science", we shall mean merely that the amount of agreement among sociologists or literary critics on what counts as significant work, work which needs following up, is less than among, say, microbiologists. 40  But it would appear that Rorty has failed to see that this stance is anything but Kuhnian. Much of Kuhn's point is that this state of being in better order is hardly accidental: it is achieved through the presence of the matrix which guides thinking and research. Pragmatic order does not appear ex nihilo, but rather is actively and deliberately sought. It is because of the convergently matrical nature of the mature natural sciences that they do enjoy the relatively heightened degree of agreement that Rorty cites as advantageous. Rorty claims "open-mindedness" to be an optimal posture for the sciences to assume, an attitude which would, for instance, permit the Royal Society "to reinvent phlogiston if that happened to be what the next scientific revolution demanded". But this sort of move is proscribed by Kuhn's account of the history of science as demonstrating a unidirectional and irreversible progression of successive matrices. The most that we might expect to happen in the direction of re-invention of theories or their elements, if we rely on historical precedent to guide our expectations, would be the appearance of a theory which, if circumstances demanded it (and if someone thought of it), was somewhat more similar in some way(s) to the old phlogiston-theory than to the newer oxygentheory. Kuhn mentions a situation similar to this in the history of science: "in some important respects, though by no means in all, Einstein's general theory of relativity is closer to Aristotle's [theory] than either of them is to Newton's". But a wholesale re-introduction of a previous matrix is not the pattern which science has demonstrated, according to Kuhn, and most likely for good reason. We would not expect a previously discarded matrix, be it phlogiston-chemistry, Aristotelian mechanics, or whatever, to be re-introduced, if only on the grounds that it has already proven itself inadequate to the tasks demanded of it, which was precisely why it came to be replaced on the heels of a period of scientific crisis. 41  42  Rorty sees Kuhn as having taken us further towards dismantling the grip which rationality had on human endeavour, by promoting an understanding of human activity which replaces a static and universal human nature with a historically situated and variable one, as well as by bringing our attention to the myriad of non-rational influences on human behaviour. Thus, Kuhn's "pragmatist Rorty, ORT, pp. 39-40. Ibid, p. 59. Kuhn, SSR, pp. 206-7.  77  friends (such as [Rorty]) routinely congratulate him on having softened the distinction between science and nonsciehce". This leads pragmatists of Rorty's stripe to try to enlist Kuhn in their campaign to drop the subjective-objective distinction altogether, substituting the idea of "unforced agreement" for that of "objectivity". In fact, we ought to break down "all the old philosophical oppositions between mind and world, appearance and reality, subject and object, truth and pleasure". He presumes that the resulting "rhetoric of culture" 43  would be more Kuhnian, i n the sense that it would mention particular concrete achievements-paradigms-more, and "method" less. There would be less talk about rigor and more about originality. The image of the great scientist would not be of somebody who got it right but of somebody who made it new. The new rhetoric would draw more on the vocabulary of Romantic poetry and socialist politics, and less on that of Greek metaphysics, religious morality, or Enlightenment scientism. A scientist would rely o n a sense of solidarity with the rest of her profession, rather than a picture of herself as battling through the veils of illusion, guided by the light of reason. 44  Rationality will thus no longer be seen to be an intellectual virtue, leaving scientists with no general virtues other than reliance on persuasion (rather than force), respect for the opinions of their colleagues, and curiosity with respect to new data and ideas. O n this view there is no reason to praise scientists for being more "objective" or "logical" or "methodical" or "devoted to truth" than other people. But there is plenty of reason to praise the institutions they have developed and within which they work, and to use these as models for the rest of culture. For these institutions give concreteness and detail to the idea of "unforced agreement". Reference to such institutions fleshes out the idea of "a free and open encountef'-the sort of encounter i n which truth cannot fail to win. O n this view, to say that truth w i l l w i n such an encounter is not to make a metaphysical claim about the connection between human reason and the nature of things. It is merely to say that the best way to find out what to believe is to listen to as many suggestions and arguments as you c a n . 45  But Rorty is too eager to read Kuhn as an anti-rationalist, and to enlist him in the crusade to abolish all of the traditional dichotomies which Rorty lists. I would expect that Kuhn would favour some sense of an overall human commonality, based on his acknowledgment of general genetic similarity, for instance, as well, perhaps, as an overall similar environment. Moreover, even historical situation and variability in human nature do not of themselves speak against the employment of reason, traditionally conceived. Kuhn's recognition of the impossibility of an algorithm for theory-choice, combined with his allegiance to the standard conception of rationality, is indicative of a position where  Rorty, ORT, p. 38. Ibid., p. 44. Ibid., p. 39.  78  traditional rationality can be e m p l o y e d i n variable ways, d e p e n d i n g u p o n the particular A r c h i m e d e a n platform considered scientifically appropriate at the time. The presence o f non-rational influences o n theory-choice do not function to chase away a l l rational influences. W h a t K u h n outlines is a situation i n w h i c h both rational and non-rational factors affect the b i r t h o f a n e w m a t r i c a l candidate as w e l l as its eventual success i n achieving d o m i n a n c e over c o m p e t i n g candidates. This point qualifies the similarity w h i c h R o r t y sees between h i m s e l f a n d K u h n , that I have noted i n m y Introductory point three. 46  N o n e o f this is intended b y K u h n to "[soften] the d i s t i n c t i o n between science a n d n o n s c i e n c e " . In fact, as I illustrated i n Chapter T w o , K u h n has certainly made efforts to e x p l a i n i n some detail h o w scientific disciplines are distinct from non-scientific ones. Some o f these differences relate quite directly to the e v o l u t i o n of science towards ever greater efficiency a n d effectiveness i n the problem-solving w h i c h is its chief a i m . Furthermore, it w o u l d be quite peculiar i n d e e d i f K u h n were to be interested i n softening this distinction, given that his p r o g r a m m e is specifically designed to explicate the w o r k i n g s o f science; he does not offer his thesis as a n e l u c i d a t i o n o f general h u m a n c u l t u r a l activities. Rorty's interpretation o f K u h n as espousing "pragmatist h o l i s m " is therefore less t h a n accurate. D i s s o l v i n g the distinctions between subject a n d object, m i n d a n d w o r l d , appearance a n d reality, a n d t r u t h a n d pleasure are acts w h i c h I w o u l d expect K u h n to find unhelpful, as far as scientific activity is concerned. Science, as K u h n describes it, needs to be able to distinguish between w h a t is to count as truth a n d reality, a n d w h a t is d e e m e d pleasure a n d appearance. After a l l , that is w h a t a m a t r i x is for. Rorty's tendency to v i e w such distinctions as necessarily i n t e r t w i n e d w i t h fidelity to correspondence theories ignores the fact that one can make perfectly good use o f these distinctions w h i l s t a d h e r i n g to a K a n t i a n type o f framework, as K u h n does: r e p u d i a t i n g correspondence theories o f knowledge, a n d refraining from ontologising any part o f these distinctions. T o speak o f observation, a n d o f the subject's role i n constituting objects (recalling the K a n t i a n v i e w o f objects c o n f o r m i n g to o u r k n o w l e d g e o f t h e m , rather t h a n the other w a y round) requires that some sense be made of a subject-object d i s t i n c t i o n . 47  48  W h i l e R o r t y sees his n e w "rhetoric o f culture" as "more K u h n i a n " t h a n the traditional v i e w , his description of it reveals it to be decidedly u n - K u h n i a n . H e equates "particular concrete achievements" w i t h paradigms, i n d i c a t i n g that the emphasis o n these signals a de-emphasis o n "method". B u t K u h n i a n "paradigms" ( w h i c h K u h n later broke d o w n into the t w o categories o f conceptual d i s c i p l i n a r y matrices a n d concrete exemplars) are the very vehicle o f methodology. T o be sure, K u h n was concerned to stress that typical accounts o f science fail to acknowledge the importance o f a recognition o f concrete particulars; these are See again point four in the Introduction. See p. 19 and point seven in my Introduction. Rorty, ORT, p. 65.  79  embodied within the training of future scientists, in the form of exemplars. But these exemplars encompass both the concrete results achieved by science and the methodology which was employed in the generation of those results. Moreover, concrete achievements are important in demonstrating the character and worthiness of a particular conceptual matrix. Concrete achievements are only seen as achievements through their being sanctioned by the matrix of which they are representative. After a matrix changes, what were seen to be valuable scientific achievements at one time may indeed not even be considered scientific at all, which certainly entails their being rejected as achievements. The conceptual commitments and associated methodology which are prescribed by the matrix of a particular scientific discipline in a particular period are inextricably tied to the concrete achievements of that discipline in that period; the exemplars provide a voice through which conceptual commitments and their associated methodology may speak effectively. So one cannot celebrate the former and turn away from the latter. Adherence to a matrix is, moreover, a sign of valuation of rigor in research. Originality is admittedly necessary for the emergence of new matrical candidates, something which becomes crucial at times of serious impending decay of an old matrix. But, during periods of normal science, an undue orientation towards originality and novelty would be a hindrance, rather than an aid, to scientific functioning. This is why Kuhn refers to the balance which must be kept between conservatism and originality within the scientific community as a whole. Such a balance will serve to maintain the stability of an old matrix until such time as the build-up of anomalies, and possibly various other pressures, will truly indicate the wisdom of its abandonment; thus, it ensures that matrix-change will not occur so easily as to impede the stability necessary for rigor in ordinary scientific research. On the other hand it will always ensure that new ideas are ready to move into the emerging vacuum created by a crumbling old order. So rigor~as well as reason-is important in promoting the necessary sense whereby science can see itself to be seeking truth and knowledge. Solidarity within the scientific community only exists for this purpose. Thus, it is inherently part of the scientific attitude to seek to "[get] it right", as opposed to "[making] it new". A thrust towards novelty would indeed be anathema to most scientists immersed in problems defined by the current matrix, at least without there being an undeniable state of crisis. Curiosity will play a role in both periods of normal science (propelling the refinement and extension of the extant matrix in regular problem-solving), and in periods of revolutionary science (fostering the genesis of new matrical Gestalteri). Without the notion of "battling through the veils of illusion" (although perhaps conceived with less dramatic flourish), the Kuhnian scientist's commitment to her matrix will falter. Some sense of what is to count as truth must be present. Further, solidarity cannot forge a commitment to any particular matrix. We would not be able to make any sense out of an assertion that quantum physics, for example, exemplifies more (or less) solidarity within the community of physicists than does Newtonian physics.  80  Kuhn's statements regarding persuasion as a n instrument for theory-change are not meant to advocate the opposition to t r a d i t i o n a l rationality w h i c h R o r t y is p r o m o t i n g . Reason a n d intellectual thought w i l l be significant virtues i n this process. Kuhn's point is that reasoning w i l l not be the only tactic used b y proponents o f a n e w m a t r i x i n their p r o m o t i o n o f it; n o r w i l l it be the only factor h e l p i n g to establish the routine acceptance o f a fledgling m a t r i x . This relates t o the absence o f a n a l g o r i t h m for theory-choice. 49  To a certain extent, praising the "institutions" w h i c h science has developed is tantamount to praising scientists for being m o r e "objective", "logical", "methodical", o r "devoted to t r u t h " t h a n other people. After a l l , a m o n g the institutions o f science are just those methodologies a n d practices w h i c h direct research towards the goals of objectivity a n d the search for t r u t h (aided b y logical thought), even i f these are not to be taken i n some absolutist ontological sense. Rorty's b i d t o praise scientific institutions, w h i l e t u r n i n g entirely a w a y f r o m objectivity, logic, m e t h o d , a n d t r u t h is therefore confusing: it is unclear just w h a t he envisions scientific institutions to be. E v e n i f these institutions "give concreteness a n d detail to the i d e a o f 'unforced agreement' ", this s h o u l d not be meant to say that they d o not contribute a significantly robust structure to the ways i n w h i c h such agreement can be obtained. It is this structure w h i c h is exemplified i n the methodology w h i c h marks t h e m a t r i x . Finally, for a K u h n i a n scientist, advocating that "the best w a y to find out w h a t to believe is to listen to as m a n y suggestions a n d arguments as y o u c a n " is to offer a hopelessly vague prescription: there must, i n the end, be some w a y o f m a k i n g decisions o n scientific matters w h i c h is directed towards a c h i e v i n g the particular goals w h i c h characterise the scientific endeavour. In n o r m a l science, i t is the m a t r i x w h i c h offers guidance as to w h a t beliefs are to be considered plausible; i n revolutionary science, the struggle to find a n e w scheme o f guidance makes recourse to the scientific values detailed i n Chapter T w o . Matrices are c r u c i a l l y e m p l o y e d to place limits o n precisely w h i c h suggestions a n d arguments w i l l be deemed w o r t h y o f being listened t o . Clearly, scientific models, specific as they are to the very specialised projects o f science, are not adaptable t o the activities o f the culture at l a r g e . Quite explicitly, then, K u h n does n o t share Rorty's b r a n d of cultural "holism". 5 0  51  Pragmatism I t u r n n o w t o the question o f pragmatism, a type o f doctrine to w h i c h R o r t y makes frequent reference. I have n o t encountered i n R o r t y m u c h detail w i t h respect to his concept o f pragmatism; i t remains a rather fuzzy n o t i o n , w h i c h m a y  5 0  5 1  See again my introductory points three and four. See again point five in the Introduction. See again point seven in the Introduction.  81  i n d e e d be the w a y w h i c h R o r t y w o u l d prefer it to be, g i v e n the tenor o f his philosophy. B u t w h a t it serves to do is indicate that the m o t i v a t i o n for discourse is not to reach something called "truth" i n the style o f t r a d i t i o n a l epistemology, but to adjust means to ends i n a n o p t i m a l l y practical manner, although against the b a c k g r o u n d o f a sentiment o f tolerance. If w e w i s h to make use o f the t e r m "truth" at a l l , w e re-describe it i n terms of w h a t it is good for us to believe, transforming it into a n expression o f c o m m e n d a t i o n . A t some future time, i f a better proposal for w h a t it is good to believe were to appear, o u r j u d g m e n t o f c o m m e n d a t i o n w o u l d shift to the n e w proposal, a l o n g w i t h o u r assessment o f w h a t is true. T h i s w i l l be a collective affair, truth attaching to proposals u p o n w h i c h general cultural agreement has been bestowed. Rorty's pragmatic outlook is seated i n a c o n t i n u a t i o n of discourse o n l y u n t i l its participants are "satisfied". H e envisions this as a settled state o f c u l t u r a l agreement. H o w e v e r , the details of w h a t is to count as agreement are also missing, there b e i n g no i n d i c a t i o n as to whether it is to be based u p o n a sort o f majority rule, consensus, or some other arrangement. T o make even this decision of w h a t sort o f agreement is to be sought subject to the discursive approach w h i c h R o r t y describes w o u l d be to enter into a n unfruitful infinite regress. Kuhn's understanding o f w h a t satisfaction m i g h t entail bears a far harder edge: satisfaction, i f w e w i s h to c a l l it that, is achieved t h r o u g h the smooth operation of a research-matrix. Hence, the researchers i n Kuhn's p r o g r a m m e are w o r k i n g w i t h a robust framework, one w h i c h w o u l d be intolerant o f the k i n d of infinite regress o f propositions i n discourse w h i c h R o r t y believes to be not at a l l problematic. Researchers w o r k i n g w i t h i n a m a t r i x must set some basic assumptions as inviolable, a n d as the g r o u n d i n g for a l l others; these constitute the most foundational elements o f the m a t r i x . One need consider the c h a i n of justification o n l y as far back as these fundamental elements, at least d u r i n g periods o f n o r m a l c y . It is the presence of this n e t w o r k o f fundamental elements w h i c h sets off n o r m a l from revolutionary science; i n the latter, m u c h energy is devoted to the re-establishment of some such framework for agreement w h i c h w i l l render future research coherent. K u h n does consider his m o d e l o f science to be largely motivated by pragmatic considerations, given the importance o f problem-solving, w h i c h is aided b y such values as aesthetics, simplicity, etc. W h e n R o r t y speaks o f pragmatism, however, his position is rather more enigmatic, since he refuses to a l l o w for a n y t h i n g w h i c h w o u l d provide a solid g r o u n d for the evaluation o f w h a t is to count as pragmatic. Surely scientific judgments based u p o n pragmatic concern w i l l achieve sufficient c o m p l e x i t y to require some logical orientation o r other w h i c h w i l l help to sort out the more effective solutions to questions or problems from those o f lesser effectiveness. Rorty's "criterionless m u d d l i n g t h r o u g h " fails adequately to acknowledge the importance o f the l e a r n i n g process to such pragmatic endeavours. T h i s l e a r n i n g process is to be f o u n d i m p o r t a n t l y i n K u h n i a n scientific exemplars. P r a g m a t i s m ought to be a i d e d b y a certain level o f efficiency, w h i c h is, i n turn, fostered b y the l e a r n i n g o f w h a t w o r k s a n d w h a t does not, a n d m u c h of this l e a r n i n g involves the similarity-relations w h i c h form the  82  b u l k o f Kuhn's matrices. R o r t y does w a n t to acknowledge learned responses to s t i m u l i ; our assessment that a n a n i m a l w r i t h i n g a r o u n d before us is i n p a i n a n d m a y require help reflects our learned response o f a j u d g m e n t o f "pain" u p o n the stimulus of our observation of this behaviour. B u t that responses s h o u l d be learned at all~for instance, as part o f a coherent framework o f understanding i n s c i e n c e - i s m o r e consistent w i t h a m o d e l w h i c h incorporates the presence of matrices a n d exemplars w h i c h guide the l e a r n i n g process w h i c h leads to understanding a n d action t h a n w i t h the "fuzzier" articulations of Rorty's philosophy w h i c h he sometimes advances. W h i l e R o r t y recognises K u h n as h a v i n g encouraged a pragmatist position, he is d i s m a y e d at w h a t he sees as the tetter's h a v i n g d r a w n a w a y from it i n desiring a n explanation for w h y science w o r k s . Pragmatists o f the R o r t i a n school do not search for a n explanation o f the success o f science. This reveals some o f the exceedingly p u z z l i n g features of Rorty's v e r s i o n of pragmatism. T h e suggestion that seeking a n explanation o f w h y science w o r k s betrays a d r a w i n g - a w a y from pragmatic concern seems to me frankly unintelligible. Kuhn's description o f science as strongly directed towards the development o f problem-solving ability indicates a clearly pragmatic m o t i v a t i o n , a point w h i c h K u h n h i m s e l f has emphasised. Thus, e x a m i n i n g the workings o f science is a p a r a d i g m example of w h a t it is to be practically motivated. It m a y be instructive i n this connection to note that, i n some moods, at least, R o r t y appears to be more hostile to p r a g m a t i s m t h a n p r o m o t i n g of it, as w h e n he asks what is so special about prediction and control? Why should we think that explanations offered for this purpose are the "best" explanations? 2  And, Nietzschean history of culture, and Davidsonian philosophy of language, see language as we now see evolution, as new forms of life constantly killing off old forms-not to accomplish a higher purpose, but blindly. 53  This attitude betrays a stance w h i c h has m o v e d v e r y far from the concerns w h i c h K u h n addresses. Certainly, p r e d i c t i o n a n d c o n t r o l figure p r o m i n e n t l y i n the m o t i v a t i o n a n d operation o f science, b y K u h n ' s account, o r a n y standard account, for that matter. M o r e o v e r , the r e m o v a l o f p r e d i c t i o n a n d control from pragmatic concern makes it difficult to see w h a t m i g h t be left. A l s o , discovering a G a l i l e a n vocabulary to be practically superior to a n Aristotelian one w o u l d h a r d l y be a n example, for K u h n , of a blind replacement. R o r t y describes the pragmatic v i e w as one i n w h i c h theory follows after, rather t h a n b e i n g pre-supposed by, concrete a c h i e v e m e n t . A s I have noted 54  Rorty ORT, p. 58. Rorty, CIS, p. 19.  83  earlier, the particulars which are concrete achievements, in a Kuhnian system, can only exist by virtue of the general framework which contributes to the determination of those particulars in the first place. All observations are theorydependent, which is at the root of why we are unable to isolate a neutralobservation language. It does not help to contend that concrete achievements are simply self-creating acts, for these, too, must be counted as observations in relation to any theory which incorporates them. If theory is to follow after the identification of particulars, then we have moved back in the direction of the correspondence theories which both Rorty and Kuhn have rejected. Rortian pragmatists recommend that we worry only about the choice between two hypotheses, rather than about whether or not there is something which makes either true. This is supposed to rid us of questions of objectivity of value, rationality of science, and viability of language-games. We replace these with pragmatic questions about whether or not we ought to keep our present values, theories, and practices, or replace them with others. Pragmatists interpret the goal of enquiry as an appropriate mixture of unforced agreement and tolerant disagreement; what is appropriate is determined by trial-and-error. For Kuhn, the question of truth is integral to the acceptance, by the relevant scientific community, of any particular matrix. The Kantian orientation of Kuhn's programme removes the notion of truth from the sphere of correspondence-theories. But that scientists envision their work as a search for truth is still an essential motivating factor, as I have mentioned in Chapter Two. Rorty seems to be missing the subtlety that, even if we reject the scientific realists' search for non-perspectival truth-attained upon our matching our theories with the way in which the world is, in some ontological sense-we need not reject entirely all notions of truth. Neither would Kuhn be prepared to give up the notions of the objectivity of value, the rationality of science, or the viability of language-games. Devoid of a grounding in correspondence-theorising, objectivity of value comes to look more like intersubjectivity of value: agreed-upon standards of thought and methodology, which are expected to be informed also, however, by the basic presence of the common "given". I have already discussed in this chapter the importance of reasoning in Kuhn's account of science. If "viability of language-games" is to mean how well various vocabularies function in facilitating communication, then this surely must be an aspect with which Kuhn is deeply concerned, given all that he has written on the question of the incommensurability of the vocabularies of different matrices, as well as the vital role played by the relatively static vocabularies of normal science. Even just in general terms, we would expect the fulfilment of pragmatic goals to be aided by effective communication. Rorty's neglect of Kantian-type epistemological frameworks is also evident in the following passage:  Rorty, ORT, p. 79.  84  When the notion of "description of the world" is moved from the level of criteriongoverned sentences within language-games to language-games as wholes, games which we do not choose between by reference to criteria, the idea that the world decides which descriptions are true can no longer be given a clear sense. 55  But "the w o r l d " does not have to be the source o f criteria for there to be criteria (or better, similarity-relations) at a l l . In Kuhn's description o f science, patterns o f similarity-relations originate w i t h the scientific c o m m u n i t y ; they are not read off of Nature, as a scientific realist o r empiricist w o u l d believe. Also, one can m o v e the analysis to w h o l e language-games (or w h o l e matrices) from single sentences (or isolated observations), as R o r t y observes that K u h n has done, w i t h o u t jettisoning the n o t i o n that c r i t e r i a - i n the form o f scientific values, for e x a m p l e have something to do w i t h theory-choice. R o r t y seems to be unfortunately i m p e d e d b y the n o t i o n that "[t]he temptation to l o o k for criteria is a species of the more general temptation to t h i n k o f the w o r l d , or the h u m a n self, as possessing a n intrinsic nature, a n essence". A s w e have seen w i t h Kuhn's programme, this is not the o n l y spirit i n w h i c h w e c a n conduct the search for paradigms for belief a n d action. 56  Also, i n Kuhn's framework, the i n p u t o f Nature as the "given" means that Nature does play some role i n the v i a b i l i t y o f a n y theory, even i f it does not p l a y a decisive, or the sole, role. I w i s h to consider one last passage i n R o r t y o n the subject o f p r a g m a t i s m . This concerns the question o f progress. R o r t y says that To say that we think we're heading i n the right direction is just to say, with Kuhn, that we can, by hindsight, tell the story of the past as a story of progress. To say that we still have a long way to go, that our present views should not be cast i n bronze, is too platitudinous to require support by positing limit-concepts. 57  But this is crucially under-specified, i n respect o f to what w e m i g h t be h e a d i n g i n the right direction, or to what w e m i g h t still have a l o n g w a y to go. One w o n d e r s at w h a t w e are supposed to be l o o k i n g , i n this hindsight. R o r t y has resisted spelling out a n y t h i n g w h i c h m i g h t furnish us w i t h a sense o f h o w one determines a d i r e c t i o n for the c u l t u r e - o r for a specific c u l t u r a l activity such as science. There are no goals; there is n o t h i n g for w h i c h to a i m save the rather e m p t y prescription of m a x i m i s i n g unforced agreement a n d fostering a certain a m o u n t of tolerance for disagreement. B u t even this goal is not clearly defined. T o make any sense, the c l a i m that w e are h e a d i n g i n the right direction, i.e., m a k i n g progress, must be m a t c h e d against the possibility, i n principle, o f our not b e i n g able to tell the story of the past as a story o f progress: w e ought to be able to identify w h a t it w o u l d be for us not to progress. F o r K u h n , progress is to be read, i n the m a i n , off o f scientific p u z z l e - s o l v i n g ability, w h i c h increases w i t h successive matrices, not b y Rorty, CIS, p. 5. Ibid., p. 6. Rorty, ORT, p. 27.  85  chance, but b y a clear a n d conscious d i r e c t i o n o f purpose: "Newton's mechanics improves o n Aristotle's a n d Einstein's improves o n Newton's as instruments for p u z z l e - s o l v i n g " . J u d g m e n t o f progress involves o u r l o o k i n g to o u r means to evaluate the effectiveness w i t h w h i c h they have achieved our ends, a process, w h i c h w i l l be facilitated, i n part, b y rational thought, t r a d i t i o n a l l y conceived. So, K u h n w o u l d not concur w i t h R o r t y that the n o t i o n that Newton's v o c a b u l a r y "[got]...at the truth about the heavens...is not a n explanation o f anything", but "just a n e m p t y c o m p l i m e n t - o n e t r a d i t i o n a l l y p a i d to writers whose n o v e l j a r g o n w e have found u s e f u l " . S u c h emptiness is antithetical to p r a g m a t i s m . 58  59  T h e discussion o f this section s h o u l d indicate that Rorty's belief, as expressed i n point six of m y introductory list, w o u l d , to be accurate, require such extensive qualification that w e m u s t regard it as fundamentally f l a w e d ; Rorty's a n d Kuhn's respective orientations towards pragmatism i n d e e d provide little, i f any, basis for compatability between t h e m .  Truth and Relativism B o t h R o r t y a n d K u h n have strived to c o m m u n i c a t e to their readers the importance of keeping a n eye to historical conditions a n d influences i n o u r attempts to understand h u m a n endeavour. This has been a n i m p o r t a n t factor o n the basis of w h i c h R o r t y sees his c o m m o n a l i t y w i t h K u h n . It is as a result o f their t a k i n g historical elements as seriously as they d o that b o t h have h a d to d e a l w i t h charges o f relativism from their critics. S u c h criticism also focuses o n their a l l o w i n g a c o m m u n i t y to set standards for w h a t is to count as true o n the basis o f considerations w h i c h are pragmatic i n nature, rather t h a n metaphysical (and hence more l i k e l y to be universal). B u t each denies that he is a r e l a t i v i s t . 6 0  61  In Rorty's defence of his p h i l o s o p h y as non-relativistic, he appeals to a sort of i n i t i a l , or provisional, "ethnocentrism". A c o m m u n i t y starts w i t h the beliefs w h i c h it regards as acceptable: "[ejither w e attach a special privilege to our o w n c o m m u n i t y , or w e pretend a n impossible tolerance for every other g r o u p " . But the c o m m u n i t y must, at some point, subject those beliefs to scrutiny t h r o u g h discourse w i t h other c o m m u n i t i e s . A s a result, the c o m m u n i t y ' s w e b o f beliefs m a y e n d u p b e i n g re-woven: "[b]eliefs suggested b y another culture must be tested b y t r y i n g to weave them together w i t h beliefs w e already h a v e " . 62  63  R o r t y argues that it is this e t h n o c e n t r i s m - t h e c o m m u n i t y ' s i n i t i a l adherence to its o w n beliefs, c o u p l e d w i t h its i n i t i a l rejection o f the beliefs o f  Kuhn SSR, p. 206. Rorty, CIS, p. 8. See again point eight in the Introduction. See introductory point nine. Rorty, ORT, p. 29. Ibid., p. 38.  86  other commiinities--which serves as evidence against his position being relativist. The only way I can make sense of this is to interpret Rorty as taking relativism to be a position wherein anything goes, so to speak, i.e., where any belief is as good as any other. But that is not the way in which relativism is typically defined. A relativistic position would be one which describes beliefs of what is true or false, or right or wrong, as relative to a particular community. But this is just the sort of picture with which Rorty presents us. Each culture would espouse its own ethnocentric point of view --shifts in its views notwithstanding~and there is no place for a God's-eye view, as it were, from which the belief-webs of different communities might be evaluated. Therefore, from the point of view of any given community, its own beliefs are true. Although ethnocentrism motivates us to employ our own present beliefs in our decisions of how to apply the term "true", Rorty advises us that we must take care to refrain from defining "true" in terms of those beliefs , for this is a definition which would only apply to our own culture, and it would be a mistake to universalise beliefs which are only typical of a particular group. I take Rorty to be offering an account of truth which relies on definitions which are qualified (in that any definition will be group-specific) as well as provisional (in that any definition will be subject to change over time, with exposure to new ideas). There is a certain tension, clearly, between the concepts of ethnocentrism and of qualified, provisional truth. There will have to be some sense as to how strongly a culture ought to maintain its ethnocentricity before it comes seriously to entertain the potential truth of the beliefs of other cultures, upon which a reweaving of the web of beliefs must be considered. (Incidentally, this is a parallel question to that of Kuhn's balance between maintaining allegiance to a disciplinary matrix under stress, and seriously considering up-and-coming matrical candidates.) Rorty states that, even if one drops the idea that a common ground for appeal in the question of truth is provided by evidence, this does not mean that one culture's web of beliefs is as good as another's. This seems a rather hollow statement. From within a given culture, by ethnocentrism, its own web of beliefs will be seen as superior to all others. But outside of the cocoon of mere intrasocietal agreement, the lack of any cross-cultural evidence to which appeal may be made removes all means of weighing beliefs from different webs against each other. Seen from this broader vantage-point, then, one web of beliefs must be considered to be as good as any other. Again, it is difficult to see how this is anything but a relativist position, since, if values are not to be universal, then they must be relative to something, i.e., the particular culture which holds them. 64  65  Kuhn's approval of the authority of the accepted and time-proven matrix to sanction certain beliefs as true might be seen as at least superficially similar to Rorty's relativism. That which is to be understood as true is relative to whatever the scientific community sets out as admissible thought and practice. But, as I Ibid., p. 50. Ibid., p. 67.  87  have noted i n Chapter T w o a n d above, K u h n adheres to a thesis w h e r e b y some sort o f scientific progress is achieved, evidenced b y the increasing refinement, sophistication, a n d explanatory p o w e r o f theories, as w e l l as b y the u n i d i r e c t i o n a l a n d irreversible e v o l u t i o n o f one m a t r i x into the next. "One scientific theory is not as good as another for d o i n g w h a t scientists n o r m a l l y do." Later theories are progressively better as tools for the practice o f n o r m a l science; earlier theories are later abandoned as f a l s e . Progress is not a feature o f a relativistic p r o g r a m m e ; n o r is it a n intelligible feature o f Rorty's. The question t h e n is whether or not K u h n is correct i n seeing science as progressive i n this w a y . A t a n y rate, as I have argued i n the previous chapter, Kuhn's description of the operation o f different matrices is considerably more structured a n d c o m p l e x t h a n is Rorty's portrayal o f a p l u r a l i t y o f discourses. 67  R o r t y complains that critics o f p r a g m a t i s m charge that pragmatists "have defined 'true' as 'satisfies the standards o f our c o m m u n i t y ' ". H e objects that "we pragmatists d o not h o l d this relativist v i e w " . The most that I c a n m a k e out of this is that R o r t y believes his p o s i t i o n a n d Kuhn's to escape the s h a d o w of relativism t h r o u g h w h a t he estimates to be their m u t u a l avoidance of standards, or criteria, against w h i c h a relativist conception of truth w o u l d be defined. R o r t y attempts to further this b y asserting that "true" s h o u l d be neither analysed n o r defined, anyway. So i f w e have neither standards against w h i c h to define t r u t h n o r a concept o f t r u t h to b e g i n w i t h , t h e n w e cannot be accused o f o c c u p y i n g the relativist p o s i t i o n w h i c h claims that t r u t h is relative to whatever standards a society h o l d s . Despite the fact that it appears that R o r t y has misread K u h n i n suggesting that the latter does not i n d e e d v i e w truth as b e i n g measured against whatever the c o m m u n i t y has decided u p o n as a set of standards (viz., a m a t r i x ) , there is still the obvious p r o b l e m that R o r t y s i m p l y cannot a v o i d the relativism of his o w n position i n this w a y . O n e m i g h t v i a b l y re-cast the definition o f relativism to suit Rorty's programme rather admirably, as defining whatever it is good to believe as that discourse to w h i c h a given culture has habituated itself. 68  69  In this connection, Rorty's protest that pragmatists "do not infer from 'there is no w a y to step outside c o m m u n i t i e s to a neutral standpoint' that 'there is no rational w a y to justify liberal c o m m u n i t i e s over totalitarian c o m m u n i t i e s ' " sheds no light o n h o w pragmatists m i g h t achieve such justification, given Rorty's d i s d a i n for any standards at a l l , let alone neutral ones. R o r t y seems unprepared to a d m i t that even his programme requires standards of some sort, i n order to get off the g r o u n d . H e insists that "[w]hat [pragmatists] i n fact infer is that there is no w a y to beat totalitarians i n argument b y appealing to shared c o m m o n premises". W e are to "forget about b e i n g responsible to w h a t is 'out there' ", recognising instead "that h u m a n c o m m u n i t i e s c a n o n l y justify their existence b y comparisons w i t h 7 0  See especially p. 51. Kuhn, CGK, p. 264. Rorty, ORT, p. 42. Ibid, pp. 25, 50. Ibid, p. 42.  88  other actual a n d possible h u m a n c o m m u n i t i e s " / But comparisons c a n o n l y be made b y means o f specified parameters. M o r e o v e r , it is difficult to e n v i s i o n o n w h a t persuasive power one c o u l d possibly d r a w , i n discussions w i t h totalitarians, if one is not to appeal to c o m m o n h u m a n sentiments o f some sort, such as empathy o r justice. It is o n the g r o u n d i n g o f such sentiments that w e enter into comparisons between other c o m m u n i t i e s a n d our o w n . This need for standards o f some sort i n order to render Rorty's p h i l o s o p h y at least m i n i m a l l y intelligible again thrusts h i m back into K u h n i a n territory, even t h o u g h he recognises neither K u h n nor himself as resorting to such standards. A g a i n , this underscores the problematic nature o f Rorty's belief as expressed i n m y i n t r o d u c t o r y point five. 1  R o r t y m a y be leaning o n the notions o f solidarity a n d tolerance, as means by w h i c h to justify liberal modes over totalitarian ones. In that case, Rorty's p r o g r a m m e w o u l d i n d e e d not be fully relativistic. But t h e n he must clearly state this as a c o m m o n , universal value, a n d his allowance for ethnocentrism w o u l d be correspondingly significantly d i m i n i s h e d . If the idea o f ethnocentrism is just that a culture begins from the beliefs w h i c h it already holds, a n d strives to achieve the i d e a l o f greater tolerance from there, w e appear still to have a universalist type o f thesis, a n d not one w h i c h takes ethnocentrism v e r y seriously. W h i l e b o t h R o r t y a n d K u h n take t r u t h a n d reference to be relative to a conceptual scheme (although one m a y question the v a l i d i t y o f Rorty's use o f the concepts o f reference here, g i v e n w h a t he has said elsewhere), there is a basic difference i n the w a y each of t h e m conceives of a conceptual scheme. F o r Rorty, it is s i m p l y "what w e believe n o w ~ t h e collection of views w h i c h make up our present-day c u l t u r e " . F o r K u h n , it is w h a t makes those beliefs possible i n the first place, n a m e l y the a priori m a t r i c a l structure. W e m i g h t consider this latter to compose a special category, or order, o f beliefs. 72  Alternative Discourses/Matrices The same lack o f clarity w h i c h bedevils Rorty's v i e w o f single discourses plagues his account of a culture's re-weaving of its w e b o f beliefs. H e contends that, i n h o l i s m , [o]ne w i l l do, i n short, just what the "new fuzzies" in philosophy of science say scientists do when some relatively large-scale proposal to change the way nature (or part of nature) is pictured is up for discussion. One w i l l muddle through, hoping that some reweaving w i l l happen on both sides, and that some consensus may thus emerge. 73  Ibid. ;  Rorty, PMN, p. 276. Rorty, ORT, p. 67.  89  It s h o u l d be clear here that, a l t h o u g h R o r t y apparently views K u h n as one o f these "new fuzzies", the K u h n i a n account o f matrix-transformation does not m a t c h this R o r t i a n account o f discourse-re-weaving. A n y sense o f " m u d d l i n g through" w i l l be displaced, i n a n y endeavour recognisable as science, b y the thrust to retrieve some sort o f m a t r i c a l structure. A l s o , adherents to a n o l d m a t r i x generally resist re- • w e a v i n g , some for longer t h a n others, i n the attempt to stretch that m a t r i x to accommodate anomalies o r answer n e w demands. A t any rate, i n K u h n i a n terms, as I shall e x p l a i n i n the next section, the question o f some m u t u a l re-weaving of matrices, i n the interest o f c o m i n g together o n some m e d i a n territory is moot, o n account of the i n c o m m e n s u r a b i l i t y of alternative matrices, or scientific discourses. R o r t y re-iterates his rejection o f epistemology, this time, i n the context o f inter-discourse dialogue: The advice to see if it might not pay to reweave your web of belief i n the interests of a better ability to solve your problems is not the advice to formulate epistemic principles. The one piece of advice would only entail the other if experience had shown that having a conscious epistemological view were always an efficient instrument for readjusting old beliefs to new. But for K u h n , this is precisely w h a t experience has s h o w n . Science progresses t h r o u g h the refining a n d extension o f matrices, followed b y revolutionary shifts to n e w ones. O n e o f the major reasons for the a d o p t i o n o f a n e w m a t r i x is scientists' c o m m i t m e n t to a belief i n its epistemic benefit. In the same vein, R o r t y asserts that the notions of criteria and choice (including that of 'arbitrary' choice) are no longer in point when it comes to changes from one language game to another. Europe d i d not decide to accept the idiom of Romantic poetry, or of socialist politics, or of Galilean mechanics. That sort of shift was no more an act of w i l l than it was a result of argument. Rather, Europe gradually lost the habit of using certain words and gradually acquired the habit of using others. 74  There is a certain degree o f s i m i l a r i t y to K u h n here. A s I have described i n Chapter T w o , K u h n cites the inaccuracy c o m m i t t e d i n describing theory-choice i n terms o f conscious deliberation a n d decision, or choice. H e finds the t e r m "conversion" more accurate to peg the w a y i n w h i c h the shift to a n e w theory occurs, w h a t w e m i g h t loosely t e r m a Gestak-shift. B u t he has also stressed that this does not point to the intrinsic irrationality o f the process, a r g u i n g that one can still pick out good reasons w h i c h take part i n the conversion from one theory to its r i v a l . So argumentation is not a l i e n to the p r o c e s s . M o r e o v e r , as I have m e n t i o n e d several times, the K u h n i a n account o f science, i n respect o f b o t h the matrices o f n o r m a l science a n d the m a t r i c a l shift w h i c h occurs i n times o f 75  Rorty, CIS, p. 6. See pp. 38; this also relates back to the inadequacy of Rorty's belief as expressed in my introductory point four.  90  revolution, does not completely eschew criteria (the d i m i n i s h e d role he allows for t h e m notwithstanding), a n d certainly does not discount the importance o f a framework o f similarity-relations. There is also, as I have previously noted, m o r e at stake t h a n a mere shift i n linguistic habit. If habituation to a discourse were as important a feature of its usage as it seems to be for Rorty, at least i n some moods, t h e n w e must surely a l l o w for a d i m i n i s h e d focus o n the pragmatic appeal o f that discourse. A gradual change i n habit o f the sort w h i c h it w o u l d appear is b e i n g advocated i n the above q u o t e - n e i t h e r w i l l e d nor argued f o r - w o u l d speak against there b e i n g a n y t h i n g like a n assessment o f the pragmatic advantage o f a particular discourse. R o r t y also states that revolutionary achievements i n the arts, sciences, a n d m o r a l a n d political thought typically occur w h e n somebody realises that t w o or more o f o u r vocabularies are interfering w i t h one another; a n e w v o c a b u l a r y is invented to replace b o t h . This adds another d i m e n s i o n , i n the form of a clash w i t h a second vocabulary, b e y o n d the consideration of the pragmatic effectiveness of a single discourse. It is u n - K u h n i a n - a s R o r t y w o u l d h i m s e l f a g r e e - i n its omission o f the expectation of some assessment o f the goodness-of-fit o f a theory w i t h Nature, o n account o f the input o f Nature into observations, v i a the "given". It also departs from K u h n i n that, for the latter, there c a n be no question of r e v o l u t i o n b e i n g fomented b y a clash between t w o discourses (matrices), for o n l y one discourse (matrix) c a n prevail i n the pre-revolutionary p e r i o d to guide research at any one t i m e . A t least that is w h a t is true for science, w h i c h raises the further point that the account o f science, for K u h n , must be distinguished from that o f the arts, a n d of m o r a l a n d political t h o u g h t . In science, crisis is typically instigated w h e n the extant theory's goodness-of-fit to Nature begins to w e a k e n . 7 6  77  The Question of Incommensurability R o r t y defines the t e r m "commensurable" as "able to be brought u n d e r a set of rules w h i c h w i l l tell us h o w r a t i o n a l agreement c a n be reached o n w h a t w o u l d settle the issue o n every point where statements seem to conflict". W e are able, as a consequence o f these rules, "to construct a n i d e a l situation" for the reaching o f agreement. A l l disagreements w i l l t h e n be seen as " 'noncognitive', or m e r e l y verbal, or else m e r e l y temporary". This structure "allows the interlocutors to agree to d i f f e r - b e i n g satisfied o f each other's rationality the w h i l e " . A l l o f this illustrates "[t]he d o m i n a t i n g n o t i o n o f epistemology...that to be rational, to be fully h u m a n , to do w h a t w e ought, w e need to be able to find agreement w i t h other h u m a n beings." H e asserts that "[t]o construct a n epistemology is to find the m a x i m u m a m o u n t o f c o m m o n g r o u n d w i t h others", w i t h "[t]he assumption that a n epistemology c a n be constructed" b e i n g "the assumption that such c o m m o n Rorty, CIS, p. 12. See again point seven in the Introduction.  91  g r o u n d exists". C o m m o n g r o u n d has been sought outside o f us i n such places as the Platonic Forms, o r the r e a l m o f Being; w i t h i n us, i n the m i n d ; a n d i n language, where the search has been for a universal scheme for a l l possible content. But w e are w a r n e d to '[n]ote that this sense of 'commensurable' is not the same as 'assigning the same m e a n i n g to terms' ". This latter sense, " w h i c h is the one often used i n discussing K u h n - d o e s not seem to [Rorty] a useful one, given the fragility o f the n o t i o n of'sameness o f m e a n i n g ' ". So he asserts that "[t]o say that parties to a controversy 'use terms i n different ways' seems to [him] a n u n e n l i g h t e n i n g w a y o f describing the fact that they cannot find a w a y o f agreeing o n w h a t w o u l d settle the issue". 8  It is essential to notice here at the outset that Rorty's definition of the t e r m "commensurable" covers w h a t he has elsewhere described as t r a d i t i o n a l epistemology, bolstered b y equally t r a d i t i o n a l rational thought. This definition o f the t e r m is profoundly peculiar, since, as w e have seen w i t h other of Rorty's terms, it is quite non-standard. It is unclear w h y he deemed such a re-definition necessary. The sense of "commensurable" w h i c h R o r t y wants us to discount is not merely "the one often used i n discussing K u h n " , but is significantly close to the one w h i c h K u h n h i m s e l f employs. Incommensurable elements are not intertranslatable~a reflection o f their b e a r i n g different meanings-because they b e l o n g to separate vocabularies w h i c h carve up the w o r l d , so to speak, i n different ways. This understanding o f c o m m e n s u r a b i l i t y encompasses, but goes further than, the linguistic one (assigning the same m e a n i n g to terms) w h i c h R o r t y has rejected i n favour o f his o w n re-definition. K u h n basically describes these vocabularies as e x h i b i t i n g a fundamental difference i n t a x o n o m i c categories (ways o f " c a r v i n g up the w o r l d " ) , rendering the situation deeper t h a n a mere linguistic account o f it w o u l d a l l o w ; a v o c a b u l a r y is a k i n to a K u h n i a n type o f conceptual scheme, a n d must be i n place before a description o f the w o r l d c a n begin. R o r t y states that K u h n has questioned the need for c o m m e n s u r a t i o n . But w h a t this tells us, i n R o r t i a n terms, is that K u h n has questioned the need for rules directing the attainment of rational agreement, the need for a n epistemology, a n d the need for m a x i m i s i n g c o m m o n g r o u n d w i t h others. A s w e have seen, it is not at a l l part o f Kuhn's p r o g r a m m e to renounce epistemology, rational thought, or rules (or m o r e accurately, similarity-relations) for d i r e c t i n g thought a n d action. T h e m a x i m i s a t i o n of c o m m o n ground a m o n g people is the o n l y element here w h i c h seems at a l l correctly i n c l u d e d , since K u h n is o n l y interested i n the attainment o f agreement among members of relevant scientific communities, a n d not a m o n g people i n a more general context. Further, agreement between the proponents o f Aristotelian mechanics a n d those o f G a l i l e a n mechanics is not something w h i c h K u h n w o u l d seek to maximise, since he is p r i m a r i l y interested i n the w a y s i n w h i c h they diverge. Kuhn's exposition o f science is largely directed towards elucidating just h o w little c o m m o n g r o u n d there c a n be between proponents o f 80  Rorty, PMN, p. 316 and footnote, 317. See pp. 34-6. Rorty, PMN, p. 317.  92  alternative matrices. In fact, it is the t r a d i t i o n a l c u m u l a t i v e picture o f science w h i c h has over-estimated the a m o u n t o f c o m m o n ground a m o n g past scientific theories. In Rorty's v i e w , epistemology has t r a d i t i o n a l l y v i e w e d knowledge as h a v i n g a logos, w h i c h c a n be given b y a m e t h o d o f c o m m e n s u r a t i o n ; this is needed for "genuine cognition". O n the other h a n d , the pragmatic approach to k n o w l e d g e w h i c h w e see exemplified i n the epistemological b e h a v i o u r i s m w h i c h R o r t y advocates divides commensurable discourses from those w h i c h are not. This is, for h i m , equivalent to d i v i d i n g n o r m a l from a b n o r m a l discourse, w h i c h "generalizes Kuhn's d i s t i n c t i o n between n o r m a l a n d revolutionary science". It parallels also the traditional d i s t i n c t i o n between the search for "objective k n o w l e d g e " a n d other, less privileged areas o f h u m a n activity. N o r m a l science solves problems against the b a c k g r o u n d of a consensus about w h a t counts as a good explanation of p h e n o m e n a a n d w h a t constitutes a problem-solution, w h i l e revolutionary science yields the i n t r o d u c t i o n of a n e w p a r a d i g m o f explanation a n d a n e w set of problems. 81  R o r t y goes o n to say that n o r m a l science is as close as real life gets to the epistemologist's n o t i o n of rationality. A b n o r m a l discourse is b o r n w h e n someone w h o is ignorant of these conventions, or w h o sets t h e m aside, j o i n s i n the discourse. The product o f a b n o r m a l discourse c a n be a n y t h i n g from nonsense to intellectual r e v o l u t i o n . There is no discipline w h i c h describes it: for Rorty, it is unpredictable a n d c r e a t i v e . But, the practice o f revolutionary science does not a d m i t participants w h o are ignorant of scientific conventions; nor does it a d m i t those w h o are w i l l i n g s i m p l y to set t h e m aside. Proponents o f n e w matrices have already been t r a i n e d i n the d o m i n a n t m a t r i x ; they w o u l d not be a d m i t t e d to the process otherwise. Scientists d o not invite non-scientists to propose n e w templates for their w o r k . Accepted conventions are not s i m p l y "set aside". Some o f t h e m w i l l r e m a i n intact, if they have not been t h r o w n into question b y the d i s s o l u t i o n o f the o l d m a t r i x . But even i f they do not survive the change, the o l d conventions are not "set aside" so easily: they begin seriously to crumble, a n d are reluctantly abandoned, u n d e r circumstances of great t u r m o i l . 82  The discipline w h i c h existed i n the t i m e o f n o r m a l c y (e.g., inorganic chemistry) w i l l still be recognisable as a discipline after the shift, even i f a n e w related discipline has been cleaved off o f it as a result. There is no question o f there b e i n g no discipline at a l l d u r i n g a b n o r m a l periods. A l t h o u g h a certain a m o u n t o f unpredictability a n d creativity c a n be expected i n the b i r t h o f a n e w research-matrix, the n o t i o n that the product o f a period o f a b n o r m a l i t y c o u l d possibly be "nonsense" places w h a t R o r t y is describing at a considerable remove from w h a t K u h n is interested i n e l u c i d a t i n g . If a scientific r e v o l u t i o n failed to produce a n e w order, t h e n it w o u l d devolve into either the sort of pattern characteristic o f pre-paradigm science ( i n w h i c h case, Rorty, PMN, pp. 11, 319-20. Ibid., p. 320.  93  there w o u l d be a p l u r a l i t y o f parallel orders) or a situation w h e r e there was no order at a l l . T h e first case w o u l d signal a transformation from a mature state to one o f i m m a t u r i t y , w h i c h I w o u l d expect K u h n to v i e w as a n extremely u n l i k e l y outcome, a n d one unprecedented i n the history o f science. The second case w o u l d signal the end o f science. N e i t h e r o f these is a productive o p t i o n w h e n one is concerned to describe the special process w h i c h is science (as K u h n is), b o t h historically a n d i n terms o f w h a t must be the parameters o f the endeavour i f it is to continue to be called "science". F o r Rorty, w e w i l l be epistemological i n circumstances where w e k n o w w h a t is going o n , a n d w a n t to codify it, i n order to extend, strengthen, g r o u n d , or teach it. Thus, w e do get epistemological commensuration, but o n l y where w e already have agreed-upon practices of e n q u i r y (or more generally, discourse). W h e n a practice has c o n t i n u e d for l o n g enough, its conventions are relatively easy to isolate, w h i c h is w h a t makes epistemological c o m m e n s u r a t i o n p o s s i b l e . R o r t y compares this stance towards epistemology to " N e l s o n G o o d m a n ' s pragmatist attitude t o w a r d logic", w h e r e w e discover o u r rules of inductive a n d deductive inference b y discovering w h a t inferences w e habitually a c c e p t : " A rule is a m e n d e d i f it yields a n inference w e are u n w i l l i n g to accept; a n inference is rejected i f it violates a rule w e are u n w i l l i n g to a m e n d " . This particular version o f the pragmatic approach to knowledge reflected i n epistemological b e h a v i o u r i s m diverges r a d i c a l l y from the prescription for the treatment o f standard epistemology w h i c h R o r t y has given elsewhere. Hence, it appears to be a contradiction internal to Rorty's p h i l o s o p h y . Generally, he offers no o p t i o n w h e r e i n w e m i g h t "be epistemological", a n d hence be engaged i n "divid[ing] commensurable discourses from those w h i c h are not". T h e usual a d m o n i s h m e n t is to dispense w i t h standard epistemology~and therefore w i t h commensurable discourses-entirely. Rorty's a l l o w a n c e for epistemological c o m m e n s u r a t i o n where a long-standing practice has made for well-engrained conventions is at odds w i t h his favourable (albeit inaccurate) assessment o f K u h n as h a v i n g questioned the need for c o m m e n s u r a t i o n at a l l , whether "commensuration" be defined o n Rorty's terms, o r standardly. A d d i t i o n a l l y , the "rules o f inductive a n d deductive inference" w h i c h R o r t y is here a l l o w i n g , even i f they are o n l y isolable after the fact of the l a y i n g - d o w n of the order, h a d no place at a l l i n the R o r t i a n c u l t u r a l p r o g r a m m e w h i c h I have described so far. The codification of a discourse/matrix, " i n order to extend, strengthen, ground, or teach it" sounds suspiciously similar to the matrix-oriented picture o f science w h i c h w e inherit from K u h n . A g a i n , R o r t y seems to be ambiguous i n w h a t he is advocating, a n d appears to be, at times, s l i d i n g into a K u h n i a n picture w h i c h he w o u l d not recognise as K u h n i a n . 83  84  85  T h e rather skewed picture o f Kuhn's p r o g r a m m e w h i c h w e receive from R o r t y is further evidenced i n the f o l l o w i n g passage:  8 3  8 4  85  Ibid., p. 321. Ibid. Nelson Goodman,  Fact, Fiction and Forecast, quoted in Rorty, PMN, p. 321.  94  Since the Enlightenment, and i n particular since Kant, the physical sciences had been viewed as a paradigm of knowledge, to which the rest of culture had to measure up. Kuhn's lessons from the history of science suggested that controversy within the physical sciences was rather more like ordinary conversation (on the blameworthiness of an action, the qualifications of an officeseeker, the value of a poem, the desirability of legislation) than the Enlightenment had suggested. In particular, Kuhn questioned whether philosophy of science could construct an algorithm for choice among scientific theories. Doubt on this point made his readers doubly doubtful on the question of whether epistemology could, starting from science, work its way outward to the rest of culture by discovering the common ground of as much of human discourse as could be thought of as "cognitive" or "rational". 86  As w e have seen, particularly i n Chapter T w o , Kuhn's lessons from the history o f science clearly d o not suggest a greater similarity between the physical sciences a n d o r d i n a r y conversation t h a n the E n l i g h t e n m e n t h a d suggested. K u h n , i n fact, does not offer criticism o f Enlightenment t h i n k i n g in general. H i s criticism is p r i m a r i l y directed at the traditional, ahistorical picture o f science as m o r e o r less smoothly c u m u l a t i v e . That he has d e n i e d the possibility o f the construction o f a n a l g o r i t h m for theory-choice is not tantamount to his d e n y i n g a role for reason i n matters scientific, a n d does not l e a d inevitably to a m e r g i n g o f the scientific endeavour w i t h other c u l t u r a l activities o r ways o f t h i n k i n g . It seems safe to say that K u h n w o u l d share w i t h "his readers" a rejection o f such a n a l g o r i t h m , but I w o u l d w a n t to be more careful about suggesting that he w o u l d share w i t h t h e m a rejection o f the n o t i o n that epistemology c o u l d w o r k its w a y out from science to the rest o f culture t h r o u g h the discovery o f a c o m m o n h u m a n rational g r o u n d i n g . C a u t i o n is required here not because K u h n does see epistemology's role i n this light, b u t because his remarks o n the genetic c o m m o n a l i t i e s a m o n g h u m a n beings i m p l y l o y a l t y to the n o t i o n o f at least some degree o f fundamental c o m m o n cognitive ground, u p o n w h i c h socio-psychological influences act. This particular point is at least part o f the Enlightenment attitude w h i c h R o r t y rejects. A l s o , w h i l e it is true that K u h n is not advocating a n epistemology w h i c h operates t h r o u g h science, to influence the rest o f culture, neither is he advocating a m e l d i n g o f the projects o f science w i t h those o f the rest o f culture, as R o r t y often does. K u h n is clear o n the divergence o f structure found between the sciences a n d the n o n sciences; his concern is to explore science as the distinct d i s c i p l i n e w h i c h it has become. 87  A l t h o u g h R o r t y is i n agreement w i t h K u h n o n the lack o f a neutral observation-language, he complains that K u h n has, o n the basis o f this issue, ventured too far into the territory o f i d e a l i s m . T h i s relates to Kuhn's v i e w that the lack o f such a language results from the situation w h e r e i n the proponents o f different theories "see different things" o r "live i n different w o r l d s " . H e refers to remarks o f Kuhn's o n this score as "incidental". R o r t y assesses that w h a t K u h n Rorty, PMN, p. 322.  See again introductory point seven. 95  w i s h e d to oppose was the t r a d i t i o n a l c l a i m that "what changes w i t h a p a r a d i g m is o n l y the scientist's interpretation o f observations that themselves are fixed once a n d for a l l b y the nature o f the e n v i r o n m e n t a n d o f the perceptual apparatus". R o r t y contends that "this c l a i m is innocuous i f it means m e r e l y that the results of l o o k i n g c a n always be phrased i n terms acceptable to b o t h sides ('the fluid l o o k e d darker', 'the needle veered to the right', or, i n a p i n c h , 'red here now!')"; it w o u l d have been e n o u g h for K u h n to s h o w that phrasing things i n terms acceptable to b o t h sides is o f no help i n r i n d i n g a n a l g o r i t h m for t h e o r y - c h o i c e . 88  The alleged foray into i d e a l i s m probably relates to the point that different theory-dependent experiences signal divergent representations. F o r K u h n , such different representations are the consequence o f a difference i n the a priori template t h r o u g h w h i c h a l l experiences are h a d . This is the basis o f his remarks concerning the w a y i n w h i c h in some sense, the proponents o f different theories live i n different w o r l d s . A s w e have seen, this is not meant to be a n ontological proposition. Since observations (or m o r e broadly, experiences) are theorydependent, different theories generate different experiences, at least i n those areas w h e r e the theories are crucially divergent. W e m i g h t expect R o r t y to be clearer o n this point, given his report that K u h n espouses "post-positivistic philosophy o f science", followed b y the explanation that the positivists h e l d language a n d w o r l d , a n d theory a n d evidence, a p a r t . M o r e o v e r , he states that "there is n o question o f t a k i n g a n object out of its o l d context a n d e x a m i n i n g it, a l l by itself, to see w h a t n e w context m i g h t suit it....[A] belief is w h a t it is o n l y b y virtue o f its position i n a web". W e must d r o p the t r a d i t i o n a l o p p o s i t i o n between context a n d t h i n g c o n t e x t u a l i s e d . It is curious that R o r t y refers to Kuhn's remarks as "incidental", since a n understanding o f this issue is at the core o f Kuhn's p r o g r a m m e : the theory-dependence o f observations, a n d the resulting impossibility of a neutral observation-language, are the u n d e r p i n n i n g of his argument for the existence o f scientific revolutions. A r e v o l u t i o n a r y history o f science, as opposed to a relatively smooth c u m u l a t i v e one, is such precisely because o f this fundamental divergence i n experience (i.e., i n the observations w h i c h are made, a n d i n w h a t thoughts it is scientifically intelligible to have). 89  90  T h e c l a i m that it is o n l y the scientist's interpretation o f fixed observations w h i c h changes w i t h a change i n m a t r i x is not, for K u h n , "innocuous". This c l a i m s i m p l y cannot be salvaged, because it does not go deep enough. Interpretation o f results is something w h i c h goes o n within a given matrix, because it is something w h i c h is practiced o n a given set o f results. O n l y w i t h i n a m a t r i x c a n there be any such t h i n g as a given set o f results. Different matrices generate different sets of results, a n d so the w a y i n w h i c h different propositions are m a d e u s i n g different theories is not a result o f interpretational differences. A g a i n , this strikes at the heart o f w h a t K u h n is t r y i n g to a c c o m p l i s h i n i n t r o d u c i n g the n o t i o n o f a history of science sensitive to the presence o f revolutionary shifts. Rorty's attempt to  Rorty, PMN, p. 324; and Kuhn, SSR, p. 120, as quoted in Rorty, PMN, p. 324. Rorty, ORT, pp. 64-5. Ibid, p. 98.  96  promote solidarity b y suggesting that one c a n always phrase "the results o f l o o k i n g . . . i n terms acceptable to b o t h sides" is not possible o n the K u h n i a n v i e w , a n d this, as w e shall see shortly, is the basis of Kuhn's description o f alternative matrices as incommensurable. In light o f a l l o f this, it w o u l d not o n l y not have been e n o u g h for K u h n t o s h o w that phrasing things i n terms acceptable to b o t h sides is o f no help i n locating a n a l g o r i t h m for theory-choice, it w o u l d , i n fact, be impossible for h i m to show this, since, i f things c o u l d always be phrased i n terms acceptable to b o t h sides, this w o u l d indicate a persistent c o m m o n template o f experience, existing at a level overarching alternative matrices. K u h n denies the presence o f such a c o m m o n template ( w h i c h is not to say, however, that he denies all c o m m o n a l i t i e s between proponents o f alternative matrices). Incidentally, Rorty's examples of candidates for such m u t u a l l y acceptable t e r m s - p e r h a p s most obviously "red here now!"~bear a n ironic s i m i l a r i t y to the p h e n o m e n a l entities w h i c h R o r t y has been so diligent elsewhere i n attempting to purge from our understanding o f things. It is a n i m p o r t a n t point i n K u h n that such p h e n o m e n a l sorts o f reports are pre-theoretical; a scientist w i l l make a n observation o f a needle v e e r i n g to the right, for instance, i n a w a y w h i c h goes b e y o n d this pre-theoretical level: l a d e n w i t h a lot o f b a c k g r o u n d i n f o r m a t i o n c o n c e r n i n g the apparatus a n d its function i n his matrically-oriented research. So i n science, observations w i l l not occur i n this sort o f b r o a d l y acceptable form, but w i l l diverge a c c o r d i n g to matrix-specificity. R o r t y complains that it is unfortunate that K u h n used "romantic" notions such as that of scientists b e i n g presented w i t h a n e w w o r l d , since this has contributed to the fears o f his critics that he is p r o m o t i n g a created, rather t h a n a discovered, w o r l d . F o r Rorty, "nothing deep turns o n the choice between" discovery a n d creation of the w o r l d - " b e t w e e n the i m a g e r y o f m a k i n g a n d o f finding". H e sees K u h n as h a v i n g invited trouble unnecessarily b y u s i n g the n o t i o n of a n e w w o r l d : he c o u l d have a v o i d e d this b y sticking "to the classic n o t i o n o f 'better describing w h a t was already there' ". This is not meant to slide back into a metaphysical v i e w : w e stick to the classic n o t i o n because w e speak o f history from our o w n W h i g g i s h standpoint, a n d w e need to keep something constant throughout the story. "The forces o f nature a n d the s m a l l bits o f matter, as conceived b y current physical theory, are g o o d choices for this r o l e " . 91  I have already explained w h y , for K u h n , the notions o f discovery a n d creation need be d i s t i n g u i s h e d . T h e y are r a d i c a l l y different notions, a n d it is difficult to see h o w it c o u l d be that n o t h i n g deep turns u p o n the choice between them. 92  In c i t i n g the matrix-shift e m b o d i e d i n Kuhn's example o f Aristotle's seeing the constrained fall of a stone w h e r e Galileo saw a p e n d u l u m , R o r t y states that "we need make no more o f the gestalt-switch i n question t h a n the fact that people became able to respond to sensory stimulations b y remarks about p e n d u l u m s ,  Rorty, PMN, p. 344. See pp. 60-2; this also relates to my introductory point two.  97  w i t h o u t h a v i n g to make a n intervening inference". S i m i l a r l y , he notes that w e have to be clear that the shift, for example, from Ptolemaic to C o p e r n i c a n astronomy was not brought about b y "rational a r g u m e n t " . T h i s is r o u g h l y i n l i n e w i t h Kuhn's v i e w , although altered somewhat to reflect R o r t i a n eliminative materialism. W h a t w e might approximate as K u h n i a n GestaZt-switches are not brought about directly by inference, or rational argument. H o w e v e r , for K u h n , reason does play some role i n the process. Rorty's a d m o n i s h m e n t that "we need make no more o f this s w i t c h t h a n that it is not fully inferential d o w n p l a y s the dramatic significance that a scientific r e v o l u t i o n c a n have. Also, that R o r t y refers to these changes as GestaZt-switches betrays a n understanding, or at least ought to, that things are experienced differently after the shift from before. R e t u r n i n g to Rorty's previously cited argument for solidarity's p r o m o t i n g the seeking o f terms acceptable to b o t h sides o f a dispute, a GestaZt-switch precludes any possibility o f there b e i n g a phrasing o f things w h i c h is acceptable to b o t h sides o f a matrixdispute. U s i n g the familiar example, one cannot see a d r a w i n g simultaneously as a d u c k a n d a rabbit. 94  R o r t i a n ethnocentrism prevents us from justifying o u r beliefs to everybody; justification extends o n l y to those whose beliefs overlap our o w n to some appropriate extent. H o w e v e r , w e are w a r n e d that this is not a theoretical p r o b l e m about "untranslatability", but s i m p l y a practical p r o b l e m about the limitations of argument: it is not that we live i n different w o r l d s from the Nazis, say, or the A m a z o n i a n s , but that conversions o f point o f v i e w w i l l not occur as a result of inferences from previously shared p r e m i s e s . Rorty's point here is that inference from previously shared premises is not open to us, but that this nonetheless does not m e a n that w e go so far i n our divergence as to live i n different w o r l d s . R o r t y makes reference to Quine's a n d D o n a l d Davidson's hypothetical examples o f a n anthropologist s t u d y i n g j u n g l e tribes, a n d attempting to c o m m u n i c a t e w i t h t h e m . H e states that 95  when the natives' and our behavior i n response to certain situations is pretty much the same, we think of both of us as recognizing the plain facts of how things are~the noncontroversial objects of common sense. But when these patterns of behavior differ wildly, we shall say that we have different Weltanschauungen, or cultures, or theories, or that "we carve up the world differently". But it would create fewer philosophical problems just to say that when these patterns differ, communication becomes harder and translation less helpful. Translation mav become so awkwardly periphrastic, indeed, that it w i l l save time simply to go bilingual. 6  It m a y be that R o r t y is w o r r i e d about the ramifications o f K u h n ' s thesis o f i n c o m m e n s u r a b i l i t y a m o n g different scientific matrices (roughly extendible to different general discourses), g i v e n his r e m a r k that "[t]he strong point o f Kuhn's Rorty, PMN, p. 325. Ibid, p. 332. Rorty, ORT, p. 3 In. Ibid, p. 104.  98  critics was that i n c o m m e n s u r a b i l i t y seemed to entail indiscussability". Inability to discuss things w o u l d be anathema to anyone whose thesis is b u i l t a r o u n d the p r o m o t i o n o f solidarity a n d tolerance t h r o u g h discourse. H e goes o n to note that "ft]he strong point of [Kuhn's] defenders was that...nobody c o u l d answer Kuhn's challenge b y e x p l a i n i n g h o w c o m m e n s u r a t i o n was possible". B u t a c c o r d i n g to Rorty, n o w these " K u h n i a n w a r s " seem to be d r a w i n g to a close, since "both sides are c o m i n g to agree that untranslatability does not entail unlearnability, a n d that learnability is a l l that is required to make discussability p o s s i b l e " . 97  I t h i n k that K u h n w o u l d agree b o t h that untranslatability does not entail unlearnability, a n d that learnability makes discussability possible. T h i s does involve a process o f b e c o m i n g "bilingual", a n d a l t h o u g h the proponents o f entrenched theories w i l l at first attempt strenuously to achieve this b y means o f translation, they w i l l , i n the end, find that, i n order to have c o m e to understand w h a t the proponents of n e w theories are t a l k i n g about, they have instead achieved something more like a GestaZt-shift; i n this, they come to realise that they have ceased to attempt translation, a n d have instead begun just to speak the n e w language. But Rorty's c o n c l u s i o n that b o t h Kuhn's critics a n d his defenders have come to realise "that untranslatability does not entail unlearnability, a n d that learnability is a l l that is required to m a k e discussability possible" seems to be a c k n o w l e d g i n g the presence o f untranslatability. Otherwise, it is unclear w h y R o r t y w o u l d entertain the argument that untranslatability does not, after a l l , preclude discussability. If untranslatability does not even enter into the question, then it is superfluous to invoke it i n any sort o f argument w h i c h one deems relevant. If his contention is that, even i f alternative discourses w e r e untranslatable--which they are not, a c c o r d i n g to him--there c o u l d still be discussion a m o n g their proponents, t h e n this s h o u l d be spelled out more clearly, to head off a n y possible appearance o f ambiguity, especially given other areas o f Rorty's p h i l o s o p h y w h i c h are m o r e clearly plagued b y a m b i g u i t y . 98  It looks, however, as t h o u g h R o r t y is not completely enough c o n v i n c e d o f his o w n thesis of translatability, since he makes the c l a i m "that w e are not t a l k i n g about the same t h i n g i f w e say v e r y different things about i t " . Presumably this is meant to a p p l y to w h a t is the case for alternative discourses. I t h i n k that this is arguably reminiscent o f the K u h n i a n point c o n c e r n i n g the w a y i n w h i c h alternative matrices carve u p the w o r l d i n different ways, so to speak, generating (in some sense) different w o r l d s . If w e are not t a l k i n g about the same things, then translation must surely have become hopelessly elusive, a n d w e have a situation of i n c o m m e n s u r a b i l i t y . Translation w o u l d o n l y be possible i f w e w e r e a p p l y i n g different terms to the same things. This need not bear a n ontological stamp: w e m i g h t a l l carve u p the w o r l d conceptually i n the same w a y (using a c o m m o n 99  9 7  9 8  9 9  ibid. See pp. 36-7. Rorty, ORT, p. 105.  99  t a x o n o m y ) , but s i m p l y d o so e m p l o y i n g different sets of terms (or lexicons). B u t then this leads us to a language-world separation w h i c h R o r t y disallows. Referring back to the passage quoted above, I t h i n k it is s i m i l a r l y unclear, i f translation between alternative discourses is considered to be possible (as R o r t y considers it to be), why it w o u l d be "less helpful" i n cases w h e r e patterns o f c o m m u n i c a t i o n differ significantly. T r a n s l a t i o n ought to be either possible or not, a n d i f it is n o t - a s K u h n argues, i n respect o f alternative scientific m a t r i c e s - t h e n the o n l y r e m a i n i n g o p t i o n is to resort to a Gestdt-shift i n understanding. This is not necessary i f translation, h o w e v e r difficult, is still at least t r u l y possible. (I a m assuming here that Rorty's exhortation, i n situations such as this, to "go b i l i n g u a l " involves not translation, but a sort o f GestaZt-shift.) M o r e o v e r , surely w h a t w e are concerned w i t h here is not a question o f saving time, but o f d e t e r m i n i n g w h a t is possible.  Hermeneutics Before t a k i n g a l o o k at the v i e w o f hermeneutics w h i c h R o r t y espouses, a n d subsequently at h o w that measures up to w h a t I take to be Kuhn's u n d e r s t a n d i n g of the role o f hermeneutics i n his o w n programme, I w i s h to take a general l o o k at the portrayal o f hermeneutics w h i c h w e find i n the w o r k of W i l h e l m Dilthey, to serve as a b a c k g r o u n d for R o r t y a n d K u h n o n this issue. It is not m y i n t e n t i o n to evaluate this at all, but m e r e l y to present it~albeit i n fairly r o u g h a n d truncated f o r m - a s a basis from w h i c h to consider R o r t y a n d K u h n . Dilthey's exploration of hermeneutics was directed towards reaching a n understanding o f w r i t t e n w o r k s based u p o n a n imaginative consideration o f the creative process of the author. T h e intent of a n interpreter o f a text was thus to i n c l u d e the purpose a n d m e a n i n g o f the author i n the consideration o f the w o r k itself. Earlier interpretive methodologies h a d conceived o f the process i n logicalrhetorical terms; there were attempts to reduce literary interpretation to a system of rules. F r i e d r i c h Schleiermacher, whose w o r k o n the interpretation of b i b l i c a l texts i n s p i r e d m u c h o f Dilthey's w o r k i n hermeneutics, i n t r o d u c e d n e w concepts of receptivity a n d creativity into the process. T h e interpreter must become receptive to the mentality o f the author, a n d to whatever were the features o f the environment i n w h i c h that i n d i v i d u a l was w r i t i n g . F o r this, the interpreter must invoke her o w n creative capacity i n generating the necessary empathetic sense for the development of this receptivity. She must empathetically identify w i t h the author. The i d e a here is that the interpreter moves her o w n b e i n g i n some w a y into the relevant historical setting of the author, b y m o m e n t a r i l y emphasising some m e n t a l processes, w h i l e a l l o w i n g others to fade a w a y . In this w a y , she is expected effectively to reproduce the alien life o f her author w i t h i n herself. D i l t h e y termed  100  this process "transference". B u t w e cannot understand w h a t w e have not experienced; w e c a n understand o f the psychic states o f others o n l y as m u c h as w e k n o w i n ourselves. Thus, the greater o u r o w n i n n e r richness, the betterequipped w e w i l l be to come to a n understanding o f others. This is the foundation of the understanding required for interpretation. Since there is no i m m e d i a t e c o m m u n i c a t i o n between i n d i v i d u a l s , such as the author a n d his interpreter, the latter must rely u p o n inference. 100  The interpreter attempts to j u d g e the relation o f a w o r k to the m e n t a l i t y o f its author. This is achieved t h r o u g h the w o r k i n g s o f the hermeneutic circle, w h i c h , i n general terms, entails a c i r c u l a r m o v e m e n t o f interpretation between a w h o l e a n d its parts: to quote H . P . R i c k m a n , [The hermeneutic circle] arises in the understanding of complex wholes and their parts, because a whole can only be comprehended i n terms of its parts while the latter acquire their proper meaning within the whole. Words and sentences are the most obvious example. We understand "hand me my clubs" by grasping the meaning of the individual words; but we can only select the appropriate meaning of "club" or discard the use of "hand" as a noun when we have an idea of what the whole sentence means. In practice we solve this problem by a to-and-fro, or shuttlecock, movement, though in simple cases we are hardly aware of i t . 101  So the interpreter strives to understand the author's w h o l e w o r k from the c o m b i n a t i o n of its i n d i v i d u a l w o r d s a n d phrases, as w e l l as to understand the i n d i v i d u a l w o r d s a n d phrases based u p o n a consideration o f the w o r k as a w h o l e . F o r this, language offers a basic interpretive tool, one t h r o u g h w h i c h the inspired creativity o f the interpreter c a n act. T h e creativity of the interpreter a n d that o f the author meet as one, such that the interpreter is enabled to re-create a n d re-live that w h i c h is past. B u t n o t w i t h s t a n d i n g the relative fluidity of the creative aspects of the interpretive process, a developed historical consciousness must g r o u n d the personal inspiration o f the interpreter. The hermeneutic "procedure of circular exegesis...promises to provide a means o f averting w h a t has been called the commonest error of the intellectual historian: to w r i t e about things he does not really u n d e r s t a n d - t h i n g s he has not 'internalized' a n d thought t h r o u g h for himself'. 102  One m a y object that a n adequate degree o f empathy cannot be generated between t w o i n d i v i d u a l s w h o m a y be quite significantly separated i n t i m e a n d circumstance. Certainly, the lack of i m m e d i a t e c o m m u n i c a t i o n between individuals i n such situations, a n d the resulting reliance o n inference, renders the possibility for the required degree of empathetic understanding somewhat doubtful. T h e hermeneutic v i e w o f Schleiermacher takes the personalities o f b o t h author a n d interpreter to be adequately similar, i n h a v i n g been formed w i t h i n a Dilthey, SW, p. 454. Rickman's introduction to Dilthey, Swr, p. 10. Hughes, quoted in Ermarth, p. 10.  101  c o m m o n h u m a n nature. O n this v i e w , differences a m o n g i n d i v i d u a l s are not really radical ones o f a qualitative sort; they m e r e l y reflect differences of degree o f or relative emphasis o n m e n t a l traits w h i c h are c o m m o n to us a l l as h u m a n beings. It w i l l be interesting to note i n relation to R o r t y that, for Dilthey, hermeneutics is c o m m i t t e d to the n o t i o n o f truth. Hence, it has a n epistemic function: to promote k n o w l e d g e o f ourselves a n d of h u m a n i t y , t h r o u g h a n e x a m i n a t i o n o f personal a n d c u l t u r a l creativity. W e m a y extend this attitude towards t r u t h to a consideration o f the sciences, as H . P . R i c k m a n has done: A n outstanding example [of this circularity] is the fact-already noted as crucially important for the human studies-that the thinking of individuals can only be understood by reference to the world of mind or the cultural sphere while comprehension of the latter involves knowing about the mental processes of individuals. This is, of course, logically unsatisfactory; but the scientist, concerned mainly with relationships between the general and the particular rather than the whole and its parts, is involved i n an analogous circle. He can only have a general conception of what dogs are like by gaining knowledge of individual dogs, but could never recognize an animal as suitable for his study on dogs unless he had a general idea of what a dog i s . 103  I t u r n n o w to l o o k at Rorty's plea for hermeneutics, a n d to examine h o w it relates to the above-described picture. Since R o r t y sees the desire to develop a theory o f k n o w l e d g e as a desire for constraint, his advocating that w e give u p the desire for confrontation a n d constraint means that w e r e l i n q u i s h the desire for a n epistemology. H e describes hermeneutics as a n expression o f this hope. H e is careful to point out that it is not intended to be a successor to epistemology, a n e w discipline, or a p r o g r a m m e for r e s e a r c h . 104  Epistemology sees the hope of agreement as a token of the existence of common ground which, perhaps unbeknown to the speakers, unites them i n a common rationality....For epistemology, to be rational is to find the proper set of terms into which all the contributions should be translated if agreement is to become possible. 105  Thus, epistemology unites people t h r o u g h " m u t u a l interests i n a c h i e v i n g a c o m m o n end". O n the other h a n d , For hermeneutics, to be rational is to refrain from epistemology-from thinking that there is a special set of terms i n which all contributions to the conversation should be put~and to be willing to pick up the jargon of the interlocutor rather than translating it into one's  Hermeneutics unites people t h r o u g h civility: there is no c o m m o n goal, no c o m m o n g r o u n d . The hermeneutical v i e w sees the relations between various Rickman's introduction to Dilthey, Swr, p. 11. Rorty, PMN, p. 315. Ibid., p. 318.  102  discourses as those of strands i n a possible conversation, a n d presupposes no d i s c i p l i n a r y m a t r i x w h i c h unites the speakers. The hope o f agreement is never lost, so l o n g as the conversation lasts. W h i l e w e get epistemic c o m m e n s u r a t i o n o n l y w h e r e w e already have agreed-upon practices o f d i s c o u r s e - w h e r e w e k n o w w h a t is g o i n g o n , a n d w a n t to codify it, i n order to extend, strengthen, ground, o r teach i t ~ w e must be hermeneutic w h e r e w e d o not understand w h a t is happening, a n d w h e r e w e a d m i t that, rather t h a n b e i n g blatantly W h i g g i s h about it. So this difference between epistemology a n d hermeneutics boils d o w n to a question o f familiarity. R o r t i a n ethnocentrism dictates that w e must operate w i t h i n , at least at the start of discussion, the belief-web o f our o w n culture. R o r t i a n hermeneutics w o r k s consistently w i t h this attitude: "that [it] inevitably takes some n o r m for granted makes it, so far forth, ' W h i g g i s h ' ". B u t it "proceeds n o n r e d u c t i v e l y a n d i n the hope o f p i c k i n g up a n e w angle o n things"; thus, it c a n "transcend its o w n Whiggishness", w h i c h apparently is to say, that its Whiggishness becomes less blatant, a n d more provisional. It is l i k e l y that R o r t y w o u l d oppose this mitigated sort o f Whiggishness to "the attempt ( w h i c h has defined t r a d i t i o n a l philosophy) to explicate ' r a t i o n a l i t y a n d 'objectivity' i n terms of conditions o f accurate representation", w h i c h "is a self-deceptive effort to eternalize the n o r m a l discourse o f the d a y . 0 7  1 0 8  A c c o r d i n g to Rorty, the hermeneutic n o t i o n o f k n o w l e d g e is o f culture as a conversation: w e p l a y back a n d forth between guesses about h o w to characterise particular elements (the parts) a n d guesses about the point o f the w h o l e situation (the w h o l e ) . W e cannot a v o i d the hermeneutic circle: w e are unable to understand the parts o f a strange culture, practice, theory, language, etc. w i t h o u t h a v i n g a n i d e a o f h o w the w h o l e t h i n g w o r k s , a n d vice versa. Thus, hermeneutics is better seen as another w a y o f coping, rather t h a n as another w a y o f knowing. "Hermeneutics does not need a n e w epistemological paradigm....Hermeneutics, rather, is w h a t w e get w h e n w e are no longer e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l " . 109  T h e typical R o r t i a n emphasis, here, o n the abandonment of epistemology is not consonant w i t h the v i e w of hermeneutics w h i c h w e see i n the D i l t h e y a n v i e w above. Hughes' reference to "the commonest error o f the intellectual h i s t o r i a n : to write about things he does not really understand" implies that it is possible to misunderstand historical w r i t i n g s , w h i c h further implies that it is possible to get things w r o n g i n history. This presents us w i t h the d i s t i n c t i o n between t r u t h a n d falsity, a d i c h o t o m y w h i c h R o r t y has rejected. M o r e o v e r , D i l t h e y was c o m m i t t e d to preserving a n epistemic role for hermeneutics, such that its d e d i c a t i o n to the n o t i o n o f t r u t h served to promote k n o w l e d g e of ourselves a n d of h u m a n i t y . It w o u l d appear that R o r t y s account o f hermeneutics focuses more o n the aspect of the development a n d m a x i m i s a t i o n of s o l i d a r i t y a m o n g contemporaries, t h a n o n its role i n the interpretation o f past historical w o r k s . But this latter 107 1 0 8  1 0 9  Ibid. Ibid., pp. 11, 320-1. Ibid., pp. 319, 325, 356.  103  function is o f considerable importance i n Dilthey's account, a n d I believe that it is this historical purpose w h i c h K u h n has i n m i n d . F o r K u h n , as w e have s e e n , the proper approach o f the historian to historical t h e o r i e s - s u c h as scientific o n e s - i s dictated b y hermeneutics. O n e must evaluate each theory o n the basis o f its o w n context. The lack of a n o v e r a r c h i n g context for evaluation precludes the God's-eye v i e w from w h i c h the j u d g m e n t o f truth m i g h t be a p p l i e d to a n y particular theory, to the e x c l u s i o n o f all o f the others. Hence, "Kuhn's c l a i m that no a l g o r i t h m [i]s possible save a post factum a n d a W h i g g i s h one (one w h i c h construct[s] a n epistemology o n the basis o f the v o c a b u l a r y or assumptions o f the w i n n i n g side i n a scientific d i s p u t e ) . " A l l o f this relates to the i n c o m m e n s u r a b i l i t y w h i c h imbues the relationship between alternative discourses, or scientific matrices, since it is this i n c o m m e n s u r a b i l i t y w h i c h necessitates hermeneutics. 110  111  R e l a t i n g this more precisely to the D i l t h e y a n account, the w a y to evaluate Aristotelian mechanics, for instance, relies u p o n a n attempt empathetically to enter, as m u c h as possible, the context i n w h i c h Aristotle was t h i n k i n g a n d w r i t i n g . Separate elements i n Aristotelian theories w o u l d need to be understood i n relation to this entire context, a n d i n turn, w e are a i d e d i n f o r m u l a t i n g our sense o f this context b y virtue of particular elements i n Aristotelian thought. The question w i l l be to w h a t degree w e are able to achieve this empathetic "transference"; w e ought to expect there to be some l i m i t to it, such that w e w i l l never quite be able to understand Aristotelian mechanics i n the w a y a contemporary o f Aristotle w o u l d have. The difficulty o f t r y i n g to d o so is consistent w i t h the greater d i v i d e between matrices that w e see i n Kuhn's thesis o f their i n c o m m e n s u r a b i l i t y t h a n w e see between discourses i n Rorty's thesis o f their inter-translatability. Still, the hermeneutic system r e m i n d s us at least to attempt to do this as far as w e are able, rather t h a n "blatantly" interpreting Aristotle strictly a c c o r d i n g to our o w n contemporary n o r m s . In light of this last point, Rorty's c l a i m that "Aristotle a n d Galileo b o t h have to face the t r i b u n a l of o u r present beliefs before w e shall call a n y t h i n g either said 'true' " is antithetical to the spirit o f hermeneutics as presented b o t h b y D i l t h e y a n d his supporters, a n d b y K u h n . This c l a i m makes it l o o k as t h o u g h R o r t y is espousing a most blatant sort o f Whiggishness, one w h i c h is resistant to "pick[ing] up the j a r g o n o f the interlocutor rather t h a n translating it into one's o w n " . It surely does not resemble the attitude o f empathy w h i c h characterises Dilthey's a n d Kuhn's understanding o f hermeneutics. It is difficult to imagine w h a t R o r t y c o u l d have i n m i n d here, i n light o f the historical nature of the "discourses" b e i n g considered. H i s point, i n speaking o f his ethnocentrism a n d the periodic rew e a v i n g o f beliefs, is that w e ought to b e g i n w i t h o u r o w n set o f beliefs, a n d t h e n re-evaluate t h e m i n light o f the beliefs o f others, w h i c h w e encounter i n discourse w i t h t h e m . Direct discourse w i t h historical figures is obviously impossible. So, h o w d o w e come to understand historical figures, i f w e insist o n a conscious 1 1 2  1 1 0  1 1 1  1 1 2  See pp. 50-1. Rorty, PMN, p. 324. Rorty, ORT, p. 51.  104  a d h e r e n c e - e v e n i f o n l y i n i t i a l l y ~ t o our contemporary framework? E t h n o c e n t r i s m (even the R o r t i a n variety) is antithetical to hermeneutical empathy, as it applies to historical understanding. R o r t y equates epistemology w i t h n o r m a l discourse (i.e., that w h i c h is able to be brought u n d e r a set o f rules), a n d hermeneutics w i t h a b n o r m a l discourse (i.e., not r u l e - b o u n d ) . H e labels hermeneutics as, roughly, a description of our study o f the unfamiliar, w h i l e epistemology is, roughly, a description o f o u r study of the f a m i l i a r . This is not a d i c h o t o m y w h i c h w e w o u l d find i n D i l t h e y or K u h n , since they b o t h understand hermeneutics to be a n epistemological tool, one w h i c h is essential for a n historically sensitive account o f epistemology. This sort of epistemological account embraces the study o f the u n f a m i l i a r : specifically the s t u d y - i n historical s c i e n c e - o f u n f a m i l i a r epistemologies. N e i t h e r c a n hermeneutics be s i m p l y opposed to rule-bound discourse, since, i n t r y i n g to develop a n empathetic understanding o f a historical figure, w e attempt to "internalise" the context s u r r o u n d i n g that figure-including, i n the case o f science, the rules o f thought a n d practice w h i c h the scientist i n question accepted. H o w e v e r , hermeneutics can more safely be identified w i t h w h a t w e m i g h t call a b n o r m a l discourse as a generalisation o f Kuhn's revolutionary science: K u h n has l i k e n e d the hermeneutic process t h r o u g h w h i c h w e attempt to understand previous n o r m a l discourses, such as Aristotelian mechanics, to the pattern seen w h e n the proponents o f c o m p e t i n g theories struggle to understand each other across a revolutionary d i v i d e . D i l t h e y is similar to K u h n , i n v i e w i n g this process as somewhat less rule- a n d logic-bound t h a n others have perhaps envisioned it to be, a n d more influenced b y a fluidly creative energy. B u t this is not to erase a l l presence o f structure, o r reason. 113  1 1 4  R o r t y states, however, that, i f w e d r a w the line between epistemology a n d hermeneutics as he has suggested, "then it seems clear that the t w o do not compete, but rather help each other out." T h e reason g i v e n for this is that " [ n ] o t h i n g is so valuable for the hermeneutical inquirer into a n exotic culture as the discovery o f a n epistemology w r i t t e n w i t h i n that c u l t u r e . T h i s is a v i e w of things w h i c h is consonant w i t h Kuhn's, a n d it indicates the epistemic orientation of hermeneutics. But it is disharmonious w i t h the urgings, w h i c h w e often encounter i n Rorty, to abandon the epistemological project altogether. A s I have noted before, R o r t y is ambiguous o n this point. 115  H e goes o n to say that " [ n j o t h i n g is so valuable for the d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f whether the possessors o f [that exotic culture] uttered any interesting truths (by-  what else?-the standards of the normal discourse of our own time and place [ m y emphasis]) t h a n the hermeneutical discovery o f h o w to translate t h e m w i t h o u t m a k i n g t h e m s o u n d like f o o l s " . B u t the point o f hermeneutics is to prevent a n interpretation o f historical figures w h i c h w o u l d m a k e t h e m s o u n d like fools 116  1 1 3  1 1 4  1 1 5  1 1 6  Rorty, PMN, p. 346-7. Ibid., p. 349. Ibid., p. 346. Ibid.  105  precisely by, as m u c h as possible, not, evaluating t h e m u s i n g the standards o f the n o r m a l discourse o f our o w n t i m e a n d place. This is w h y it is so valuable for the hermeneutic enquirer to encounter a n epistemology i n h i s t o r i c a l w o r k s , since it w i l l be this past epistemology w h i c h she w i l l a i m to internalise (attempting to leave her o w n b e h i n d ) , i n t r y i n g to understand historical theories. R o r t y states that "Kuhn's examples of 'revolutionary change i n science were, as he himself has r e m a r k e d , cases o f the sort w h i c h hermeneutics has always taken as its special assignment-cases i n w h i c h a scientist has said things w h i c h sound so silly that it is h a r d to believe that w e have understood h i m p r o p e r l y " . H e offers this q u o t a t i o n from Kuhn's The Essential Tension: 1  117  When reading the works of an important drinker, look for the apparent absurdities i n the text and ask yourself how a sensible person could have written them. When you find an answer,...when these passages make sense, then you may find that more central passages, ones you previously thought you understood, have changed their m e a n i n g . 118  It s h o u l d be clear that apparent absurdities i n historical texts appear absurd w h e n one attempts to d o just w h a t R o r t y is a d v i s i n g us to d o : to b e g i n l o o k i n g at t h e m t h r o u g h the eyes of our o w n circumstances a n d ways o f t h i n k i n g . The process o f "ask[ing] yourself h o w a sensible person c o u l d have w r i t t e n [such absurdities]" is the v e r y process of m a k i n g the GestaZt-shift into alien conceptual terrain; this is the process o f hermeneutics, as construed b y D i l t h e y a n d K u h n . R o r t y reports that K u h n i a n s speak o f cases i n the history o f science i n w h i c h the description o f the p r o b l e m to be solved changes, thus c h a n g i n g the "observation language" used to describe the "evidence". B u t he warns us that "[t]his is not to say that w e cannot, retrospectively, describe the problems a n d the data o f a l l earlier epochs i n a single, up-to-date, c o m m e n s u r a t i n g vocabulary". R o r t y calls this "the ability to commensurate b y hindsight~the ability to say that w h a t Aristotle was l o o k i n g for was w h a t N e w t o n found". Nevertheless, this "should not m i s l e a d us into t r y i n g to describe our favorite ancestors as u s i n g 'the hypothetico-deductive observational m e t h o d ' (as H o o k sometimes characterizes 'scientific i n q u i r y ' ) " . 119  In R o r t i a n terms, " c o m m e n s u r a t i o n b y hindsight" w o u l d entail b r i n g i n g a p l u r a l i t y of discourses under a set of rules w h i c h w o u l d indicate h o w w e might achieve agreement a m o n g t h e m . But, i f o u r description o f problems a n d our observation-language~our discourse, i n short-change, then w e ought not to be able retrospectively to describe earlier discourses u s i n g a single, c o m m e n s u r a t i n g vocabulary, for this latter w o u l d be a neutral observation language, the existence of w h i c h b o t h R o r t y a n d K u h n have d e n i e d , a n d w h i c h is frankly contradictory to any change i n observation language as a c o r o l l a r y to a change i n discourse. It seems that w e are to understand this "hindsight" as operating to re-contextualise  Ibid, p. 323. Kuhn, ET, p. xii, quoted in Rorty, PMN, p. 323. Rorty, ORT, pp. 68-9.  106  a l l previous discourses into the context o f o u r o w n . A s I have explained, K u h n has s h o w n the folly of this manoeuver i n a properly historical understanding of science. It is also antithetical to D i l t h e y a n hermeneutics. It is difficult to see h o w w e might be able to perform "commensuration b y hindsight", since different webs o f belief (particularly those o f distant historical character) cannot be expected to fit into our contemporary context of belief w i t h o u t considerable w a r p i n g , given that their natural contexts are different from our o w n . T h e i n c o m m e n s u r a b i l i t y o f different discourses for w h i c h K u h n has argued i n the context o f scientific matrices thus speaks against our re-weaving our w e b o f belief to accommodate beliefs from significantly a l i e n sources. Hermeneutics, e m p l o y e d i n the study of history, does not make use o f such a re-weaving, but rather must find a w a y to leap across the chasm of i n c o m m e n s u r a b i l i t y w h i c h separates different historical discourses. T h i s c h a s m is w h a t renders t h e m separate discourses, after a l l . It is peculiar, also, that R o r t y states that, i n p r e - K u h n i a n philosophy o f science, rational enquiry i n v o l v e d p u t t i n g everything into a single, familiar context, such that any rational enquirer w o u l d agree that the sentences of this vocabulary were truth-value c a n d i d a t e s . G i v e n Rorty's rejection o f p r e - K u h n i a n p h i l o s o p h y o f science, w e m i g h t expect h i m , o n the basis of this statement, s i m i l a r l y to reject such a u n i f y i n g context. But w h a t he describes here as preK u h n i a n philosophy of science looks to be performing a n identical function to his o w n "commensuration b y hindsight". It should be clear from the discussion i n this section that Rorty's belief, as expressed i n point ten o f m y introductory list, is inaccurate, given the r a d i c a l divergence between Dilthey's construal of hermeneutics, w h i c h K u h n arguably embraces, a n d Rorty's v e r s i o n o f hermeneutics. 120  120 Ibid,  p. 95.  107  Conclusion  M y i n t e n t i o n has been to elucidate the m a n y ways i n w h i c h R i c h a r d R o r t y finds s i m i l a r i t y between T h o m a s Kuhn's w o r k a n d his o w n , a n d further, to demonstrate w h a t I see to be a distinct a n d extensive lack o f similarity between t h e m . It is m y contention that R o r t y has misunderstood a considerable n u m b e r o f elements i n Kuhn's programme, as w e l l as the intent w i t h w h i c h it was offered. I w i s h to proceed n o w to provide a s u m m a r y o f these problems. Despite their m u t u a l rejection o f correspondence theories, R o r t y a n d K u h n part ways i n respect o f w h a t they see as their replacement. R o r t y wishes to abolish a l l talk o f m i n d a n d m e n t a l representations, w h i l e K u h n shows no interest i n d o i n g so. In connection w i t h this, R o r t y disdains the n o t i o n o f observation, w h i l e K u h n retains a c o m m i t m e n t to it, as the element o f "discovery" (that w h i c h is "given" b y Nature) w h i c h is a n essential component o f knowledge-acquisition. A significant issue w h i c h drives a wedge between the respective theses of R o r t y a n d K u h n is that o f the need (or lack thereof) for a conceptual framework w h i c h guides thought a n d action. F o r K u h n , f o l l o w i n g as he does, a generally K a n t i a n type o f programme, such a n a priori framework is essential for the intelligibility of the endeavours o f s c i e n c e - w h i c h is the activity that he is concerned to discuss. Rorty, o n the other h a n d , is not always clear about w h e t h e r he thinks that all traces o f a g u i d i n g framework s h o u l d be abandoned, or that there w i l l be some m u t u a l understanding a m o n g the participants o f a discussion regarding w h a t is to count as acceptable, thus defining their particular culture's w e b o f beliefs. A t any rate, R o r t y fails to grasp the crucial importance, for K u h n , of a strong a priori conceptual framework. Hence, he sees K u h n as engaged i n a crusade parallel to his o w n , o f rejecting such a framework. Importantly connected to this is the question o f their respective attitudes towards science. The thrust o f Kuhn's w o r k is clearly intended to clarify the w a y i n w h i c h science w o r k s , a n d has w o r k e d throughout its history. H e has made specific attempts to delineate ways i n w h i c h science a n d other c u l t u r a l activities can be distinguished from each other. R o r t y appears not to have noticed this, h a v i n g extrapolated w h a t he sees as Kuhn's p r o g r a m m e to cover a l l c u l t u r a l endeavours; he takes K u h n to be d o i n g this, as w e l l . F o r Rorty, this n e w w a y o f c o n c e i v i n g o f c u l t u r a l activity ( i n c l u d i n g science) illustrates a programme o f "holistic pragmatism", w h e r e i n the pattern o f all c u l t u r a l activities forms a sort of seamless w h o l e , d r i v e n b y pragmatic concern. I have t r i e d to show that, not o n l y is Rorty's explanation o f h o w he sees pragmatism to w o r k hopelessly vague, but his w r i t i n g often betrays a n approach w h i c h is arguably antithetical to pragmatic concern. T h i s is at odds w i t h Kuhn's m u c h clearer explication of science as essentially a pragmatic activity.  108  Certainly, Kuhn's attempt to give credence to non-rational factors w h i c h have influenced the course of science throughout its history has been a n i m p o r t a n t link, i n Rorty's eyes, between h i m s e l f a n d K u h n . H o w e v e r , I believe that R o r t y has over-estimated the degree to w h i c h K u h n leans o n non-rational factors i n e x p l a i n i n g b o t h the historical course o f science a n d its functioning at any given t i m e . K u h n wants to m a i n t a i n that both rational and non-rational factors guide the w o r k o f scientific disciplines. M o r e o v e r , R o r t y confuses this issue b y re-defining "rationality" i n terms o f solidarity a n d tolerance a m o n g the members of a culture, a n d o f persuasiveness i n discussion (as opposed to w h a t he sees to be the m o r e coercive attitude o f traditional rationality i n argument). H e sees K u h n as basically a n ally i n this n e w orientation towards rationality. I t h i n k it is clear, however, that K u h n demonstrates no tendency to understand rationality i n non-traditional terms. F i n a l l y , w h i l e b o t h R o r t y a n d K u h n advocate use of the hermeneutic m e t h o d , Rorty's intent is for people to apply it to attempts to "cope" w i t h their o w n a n d others' cultures; for K u h n , hermeneutics more specifically provides a methodology for attempting to understand, b y reference to their historical context, scientific conceptual a n d practical schemes w h i c h are n o w c o n v e n t i o n a l l y considered out-of-date a n d inaccurate. I have argued that Rorty's construal of hermeneutics is at odds w i t h the m o r e standard v i e w o f it, c o m m o n to b o t h W i l h e l m D i l t h e y (who d i d extensive w o r k i n the development o f hermeneutics) a n d K u h n . M u c h o f Rorty's difficulty here rests o n his confusion about (and, again, idiosyncratic definition of) i n c o m m e n s u r a b i l i t y between alternative v i e w s of the w o r l d . I believe that I have s h o w n that T h o m a s Kuhn's extensive w o r k i n the history a n d p h i l o s o p h y o f science is not at a l l applicable to the sort o f c u l t u r a l p r o g r a m m e w h i c h R o r t y is offering, i n terms o f intent, scope, a n d fundamental content.  109  Bibliography  1. W i l h e l m Dilthey, Selected Writings, ed. a n d trans. H . P . R i c k m a n ( L o n d o n : C a m b r i d g e University Press, 1 9 7 6 ) - r e f e r r e d to i n the text as "Swr". 2. W i l h e l m Dilthey, Selected Works, Vol. 1: Introduction to the Human Sciences, eds. R u d o l f M a k k r e e l a n d Frithjof R o d i (Princeton: P r i n c e t o n University Press, 1 9 8 9 ) - r e f e r r e d to i n the text as "SW". 3. M i c h a e l E r m a r t h , Wilhelm Dilthey: The Critique of Historical Reason (Chicago, L o n d o n : The University of Chicago Press, 1978). 4. J o h n H o r g a n , The End of Science: Facing the Limits of Knowledge in the Twilight of the Scientific Age (Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1996), 41-7. 5. T h o m a s S. K u h n , International Encyclopedia of Unified Science, Vol. 2, No. 2: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Second Edition (Chicago a n d L o n d o n : T h e University o f Chicago Press, 1 9 6 2 ) - r e f e r r e d to i n the text as "SSR". 6. T . S . K u h n , Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge, eds. Imre Lakatos a n d A l a n M u s g r a v e ( L o n d o n a n d N e w Y o r k : C a m b r i d g e University Press, 1970), 1-24, 91-195, 231-78~referred to i n the text as " C G X ' . 7. T h o m a s S. K u h n , The Essential Tension: Selected Studies in Scientific Tradition and Change (Chicago a n d L o n d o n : The University of Chicago Press, 1977), 14, 225-239, 2 9 3 - 3 5 2 - r e f e r r e d to i n the text as "ET". 8. T h o m a s S. K u h n , "Rationality a n d T h e o r y Choice", i n The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 80, No. 10, Oct. 1983, 5 6 3 - 7 0 - r e f e r r e d to i n the text as " R T C " . 9. T h o m a s S. K u h n , "The R o a d Since Structure", i n PSA 1990, Vol. 2 (East Lansing, M i c h i g a n : P h i l o s o p h y o f Science Association, 1991), 3-13~referred to i n the text as "RSS". 10. R i c h a r d Rorty, Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (Princeton, N e w Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1 9 7 9 ) - r e f e r r e d to i n the text as "PMN". 11. R i c h a r d Rorty, Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity ( C a m b r i d g e : C a m b r i d g e University Press, 1 9 8 9 ) - r e f e r r e d to i n the text as "CIS". 12. R i c h a r d Rorty, Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth ( C a m b r i d g e : C a m b r i d g e University Press, 1 9 9 1 ) - r e f e r r e d to i n the text as "ORT". 1  110  

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