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On-line version ISSN 2304-8557
Print version ISSN 0023-270X

Koers (Online) vol.73 n.3 Pretoria  2008


When "paradigms" differ: Scientific communication between skepticism and hope in recent philosophy of science


Wanneer "paradigmas" verskil: wetenskaplike kommunikasie tussen skeptisisme en hoop in hedendaagse wetenskapsfilosofie



R. Coletto

School of Philosophy, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, Potchefstroom. E-mail:




The first half of this article illustrates how contemporary humanist philosophy of science got caught up in a gradual loss of confidence concerning the possibility of sound communication among scholars holding on to different paradigms or presuppositions. The second half is dedicated to the responses provided by a Christian school of philosophy to the bleak possibility of a communication crisis. The resources deployed by the reformational school of philosophy are argued to constitute valuable instruments to create a more hopeful attitude towards scientific dialogue. A final note is dedicated to the possible causes of the difficulties experienced in this area of reflection by contemporary humanist philosophy of science.

Key concepts: antithesis, reformational view of; concepts and statements, theory-dependence of; framework-dependence of theories; incommensurability; scientific communication


Die eerste helfte van hierdie artikel skets die prentjie van hedendaagse humanistiese wetenskapsfilosofie wat toenemend verstrengel raak in 'n verlies aan selfvertroue oor die moontlikheid van substansiële kommunikasie tussen wetenskaplikes wat tot verskillende paradigmas of vooronderstellings behoort. Die tweede helfte bestaan uit die reaksies van 'n denkskool in die Christelike filosofie oor hierdie troostelose moontlikheid van 'n kommunikasiekrisis. Die bronne wat die reformatoriese filosofie aanwend, so word geredeneer, stel waardevolle instrumente beskikbaar om 'n hoopvoller houding tot die wetenskaplike dialoog te skep. 'n Finale afdeling brei uit oor die moontlike oorsake van die probleme wat hedendaagse wetenskaps-filosofie in hierdie denkarea ondervind.

Kernbegrippe: antitese, reformatoriese siening van; konsepte en stellings, teorie-afhanklikheid van; onvergelykbaarheid; raamwerk-afhanklikheid van teorieë; wetenskaplike kommunikasie



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