Carnap and Kuhn: On the Relation between the Logic of Science and the History of Science

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This paper offers a refutation of J. C. Pinto de Oliveira's recent critique of revisionist Carnap scholarship as giving undue weight to two brief letters to Kuhn expressing his interest in the latter's work. First an argument is provided to show that Carnap and Kuhn are by no means divided by a radical mismatch of their conceptions of the rationality of science as supposedly evidenced by their stance towards the distinction of the contexts of discovery and justification. This is followed by an argument to the effect that the fact that Carnap's own work concentrated on formal aspects of scientific theories does not licence the conclusion that he thought historical investigations and concerns irrelevant for what we nowadays would rightly call "philosophy of science". © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-140
Number of pages11
JournalJournal for General Philosophy of Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


  • Distinction of contexts of discovery and justification
  • History of science
  • Logical empiricism
  • Rudolf Carnap
  • Thomas Kuhn


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