Wednesday, November 7, 2012

[PHI 3800] Kuhnian paradigm-relativism

In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn argues that truth is neither absolute nor completely objective. Rather, truth is relative to a paradigm. Like any form of relativism, the view that truth is paradigm-relative faces the following dilemma:
Let p = 'truth is paradigm-relative'
  1. Either p is paradigm-relative or p is not paradigm-relative.
  2. If p is not paradigm-relative, then p is absolute and objective, and thus paradigm-relativism is false.
  3. If p is paradigm-relative, then there are no grounds on which to argue that p in the face of someone who doesn't already accept p.
  4. (Therefore) Either p is false or p is groundless.
What do you think about this argument? Does it deliver a fatal blow to Kuhnian paradigm-relativism? 

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