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Cogent Science in ContextThe Science Wars, Argumentation Theory, and Habermas$
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William Rehg

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262182713

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262182713.001.0001

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Kuhn’s Gap

Kuhn’s Gap

From Logic to Sociology

(p.33) 2 Kuhn’s Gap
Cogent Science in Context

William Rehg

The MIT Press

This chapter discusses and characterizes the gap between logical and social-institutional perspectives in terms of argumentation theory after the publication of Thomas Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions in 1962. The gap opened up by Kuhn in his analysis of normal science is a situation “in which two perspectives on the cogency of scientific argumentation opposed one another” across an area of science studies “in which scientific arguments are persuasive but not logically compelling.” The chapter emphasizes that Kuhn’s attempt at the integration of different approaches appeals to revolutionary science as an argumentative process and leads to psychological receptivity while making decisions. It also discusses Carl Hempel’s purely syntactical model of confirmation for the evaluation of cogent evidential arguments, in which he differentiates between the pragmatic and the logical aspects of cogency.

Keywords:   argumentation theory, Thomas Kuhn, Scientific Revolution, normal science, scientific argumentation, revolutionary science, cogency, Carl Hempel

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