Kuhn’s progeny

Unlike the positivists and the Popperians, Kuhn did not postulate an end to science other than what satisfied the con­straints laid down by the dominant paradigms. Thus, post-Kuhnians have come to accept scientists’ working assump­tions at face value, including the counter-intuitive implication that reality consists of many distinct worlds, each roughly corresponding to a scientific discipline. For example, whereas Lakatos had called on historians, philosophers and soci­ologists to master the technical details of contemporary science so as not to depend on scientists’ own ex cathedra pro­nouncements about the merits of their research programmes, Kuhn’s progeny master such details in order to impress scientists that they are sufficiently competent to be taken seriously at all. Kuhn’s reduction of the ends of science to the trajectories already being pursued by particular sciences has now inspired two generations of philosophers to believe that they should be taking their normative marching orders from the sciences they philosophise about, and hence do not question them unless the scientists themselves have done so first. [86]

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