Files in this item

FilesDescriptionFormat

application/pdf

application/pdfHEGGER-DISSERTATION-2016.pdf (3MB)
(no description provided)PDF

Description

Title:Nothing to disagree about: Aristotle, Newton, and the existence of void as seen through a Kuhnian lens
Author(s):Hegger, Ian Michael
Director of Research:Arana, Andrew
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Arana, Andrew
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Weinberg, Shelley; Waskan, Jonathan; Livengood, Jonathan
Department / Program:Philosophy
Discipline:Philosophy
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Kuhn
Incommensurability
Scientific idealism
Non-antirealism
Aristotle
Newton
Void
Abstract:In this work, I argue that a doctrine of theoretic incommensurability, something like that offered by Thomas Kuhn, can be used to to explain the disagreement between Aristotle and Isaac Newton regarding the existence of void. A significant portion of the work is directed at identifying Kuhn’s mature conception of theoretic incommensurability and at diagnosing an apparently serious problem with the account, namely its susceptibility to the charge of epistemological relativism. To combat the charge, I develop an ontology and theory of cognition that can support the Kuhnian thesis without requiring one who prefers the view to accept a strong form of scientific relativism (i.e., scientific subjectivism). Nonetheless, enough conceptual freedom is left to substantiate the incommensurability thesis. Once I have shown that Kuhn's conception is sustainable, I put the theory into action. First, I present the views of both Aristotle and Newton on the existence of void. Then, I show that they diverge in exactly the way that leads to incommensurability according to the Kuhnian account. The end result is that both Aristotle and Newton are shown to have empirically acceptable positions even though they disagree.
Issue Date:2016-04-21
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/90499
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Ian Hegger
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-07-07
Date Deposited:2016-05


This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Item Statistics