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Taking the Linguistic Turn Seriously

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Science studies the world, but does not include itself in it. The task of systematically studying science falls to the humanities. The problem is that philosophers who take recent developments in philosophy seriously are forced to deny any credence to the self-image of science as a steadily progressive, self-critical enterprise, while philosophers who take what scientists do and feel more seriously, are forced to ignore some of the most profound latter-day findings of philosophy. What makes this issue highly relevant in the present context, is that at its heart it is a dispute about language. This paper explores the possibility not of adjudicating this dispute, but of somehow bridging it. What it asks and proposes to answer positively is whether it is possible to remain committed to both horns of the dilemma: to salvage a philosophically viable account of science as a self-critical enterprise, without having to breach the latter-day philosophical framework that would seem to deem this impossible.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Tel Aviv University, The Cohn Institute for Hhistory and Philosophy of Science and Ideas, Ramat Aviv 69978, Israel

Publication date: 2008-08-01

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