International Studies in Phenomenology and Philosophy

Series | Book | Chapter


From one version to the other

intra-theoretical change

Anouk Barberousse

pp. 87-101


Describing scientific change involves displaying scientific theories and their content. This is done by way of (rational) reconstructions, which usually neglect the variety of versions in which a scientific theory may appear. Although they possess a unity allowing them to bear the same name for decades, or even centuries, theories are diachronic, evolving entities. How should their evolution, i.e., into-theoretical change, be described? I claim that this description is best done in terms of a series of conceptual undertakings on the part of scientists aiming at examining the meaning of theoretical principles and concepts and broadening their domain. I present the implications of this hypothesis, which follows Robert Brandom's views on the philosophy of language, as well as the conception of scientific change in general associated with it.

Publication details

Published in:

Soler Léna, Sankey Howard, Hoyningen-Huene Paul (2008) Rethinking scientific change and theory comparison: stabilities, ruptures, incommensurabilities?. Dordrecht, Springer.

Pages: 87-101

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4020-6279-7_6

Full citation:

Barberousse Anouk (2008) „From one version to the other: intra-theoretical change“, In: L. Soler, H. Sankey & P. Hoyningen-Huene (eds.), Rethinking scientific change and theory comparison, Dordrecht, Springer, 87–101.