Title page for ETD etd-06302009-221451

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Knox, Ashley
URN etd-06302009-221451
Title A Heideggerian Route through Kuhnian Revolutions
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Philosophy & Religious Studies
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Husain Sarkar Committee Chair
Francois Raffoul Committee Member
Gregory Schufreider Committee Member
  • relation between correspondence theory and alethei
  • philosophy of science
  • philosophy of truth
Date of Defense 2009-04-29
Availability unrestricted
Knox, Ashley Renee, B.S., Tulane University, 2006

Master of Arts, Summer Commencement, 2009

Major: Philosophy

A Heideggerian Route through Kuhnian Revolutions

Thesis directed by Professor Husain F. Sarkar

Pages in thesis, 54. Words in abstract, 195.

The aim of this thesis is to offer a defense of the philosophy derived from Thomas S. Kuhn’s seminal work, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. I focus on the persistent criticisms that Kuhnian science entails relativism and forbids scientific progress. My unusual line of defense appeals to Martin Heidegger’s concept of truth as the Greek aletheia as explicated in his essay, “The Origin of the Work of Art.” More specifically, I follow the concept of aletheia as presented through Heidegger’s example of Van Gogh’s A Pair of Shoes (1885).

The relevant parallels found between Heidegger’s philosophy of art and Kuhn’s philosophy of science suggest that a more Heideggerian interpretation of Kuhn is plausible, perhaps even enlightening. Kuhn’s philosophy, however, lacks a crucial counterpart to Heidegger’s aletheia. In the end, a Kuhnian-Heideggerian hybrid model of truth relating correspondence theory of truth to aletheic truth is presented. I propose that under this model Kuhn’s most central theses regarding paradigms and the nature of scientific progress can be maintained. Moreover, the criticism of relativism and assertion that Kuhnian science does not permit scientific progress can be avoided. Thus, Kuhnian science finds a promising line of defense in Heidegger.

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