Heidegger vs. Kuhn: Does Science Think?
Aaron James Wendland (Oxford University)

October 3, 2018, 2:30pm - 4:00pm
University of Western Ontario

P&AB 117
Philosophy Dept, University of Western Ontario
London
Canada

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University of Western Ontario

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In What is Called Thinking?, Heidegger provocatively says that: “Science does not think”. Unfortunately, Heidegger does very little to explain this bold claim, or explicitly articulate what he sees as the unthinking aspects of science. With that said, I elucidate Heidegger’s controversial assertion by aligning Heidegger’s distinction between Gestell and Gelassenheit with Kuhn’s distinction between normal and revolutionary science. Briefly, the idea is that the puzzle-solving of normal science, much like the calculative activity that orders modern technology (Gestell), fails to ask what it means for scientific entities to be. However, the paradigm-testing of revolutionary science represents a releasement (Gelassenheit) from the practices and presuppositions of normal science such that it is able to ask about the being of scientific entities. In short, revolutionary science thinks about the being of entities in a way that normal science does not.

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