HOPOS and the Paradigm Shifts of Philosophy

Michael Friedman has famously argued that to account for the rationality of scientific framework transitions, one must look to philosophy (and other neighboring disciplines) where alternatives to the reigning scientific framework, and hence unthinkable within science, were discussed. However, the problem of the rationality of framework transitions, the paper argues, is not limited to science, and arises, no less acutely within philosophy itself. In the course of philosophically deliberating key moments in the history of modern science and mathematics, individual thinkers underwent major philosophical paradigm shifts that will be shown to cast serious doubt on Friedman’s account, even with respect to science. An alternative account to Friedman’s special case for science will be explored that is equally committed to the framework dependency, not only of science, but of all reasoned human endeavor, and is hence equally applicable to the history of philosophy. Its significance for HOPOS will be explored by means of example.