Kuhn: Realist or Antirealist?
AbstractAlthough Kuhn is much more an antirealist than a realist, the earlier and later articulations of realist and antirealist ingredients in his views merit close scrutiny. What are the constituents of the real invariant World posited by Kuhn and its relation to the mutable paradigm-related worlds? Various proposed solutions to this problem (dubbed the "new-world problem" by Ian Hacking) are examined and shown to be unsatisfactory. In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, the stable World can reasonably be taken to be made up of ordmary perceived objects, whereas in Kuhn's later works the transparadigmatic World is identified with something akin to the Kantian world-in-itself. It is argued that both proposals are beset with insuperable difficulties which render Kuhn's earlier and later versions of antirealism implausible.
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