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Ludwik Flecks jämförande kunskapsteori
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Philosophy and Linguistics.
2003 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The focus of this study is the opposition of Ludwik Fleck to the logical positivism. The main interest focuses on the mutability of knowledge and the inherent problems of incommensura-bility, as well as on Fleck´s notion of reality. Fleck emphasizes a rational and continuous de-velopment of knowledge, in contrast to Thomas Kuhn´s discontinuous and irrational devel-opment, and rejects all forms of reality independent of human beings.

Fleck´s monograph Entstehung und Entwicklung einer Tatsache is a rich and multifac-eted inquiry into the nature of knowledge, emphasizing the social and historical aspects of the epistemology of science at the expense of certain logical precepts. With his concepts thought style and thought collective, Fleck is generally acknowledged as a precursor to Kuhn´s con-cepts of paradigm and scientific community. Fleck maintains a relativistic view of science and develops a comparative epistemology which challenges the logical positivists in many re-spects. He dismisses every form of reality and has therefore been regarded as an idealist, al-though there are certain aspects to his epistemology which point toward an implicit ontology based upon his idea of the passive components of knowledge.

The chief epistemological works of Fleck and his contemporary Karl Popper were published within a year of each other, 1934 and 1935, respectively, by which Popper had left the Continent to eventually become one of the leading British philosophers, while Fleck spent several years during the Second World War as a prisoner in Nazi camps. Both were firmly opposed to the logical positivism, one as a critical rationalist, the other as a sceptical relativist. Fleck was also a forerunner to the constructivist ideas and the Strong Programme.

The word ”incommensurability” has been ascribed Kuhn but the term had already been used by Fleck in 1927. The ”incommensurability thesis” dominates Kuhn´s notion of scientific revolutions and is accordingly the reason why scientific progress is considered an irrational process. The debate on the incommensurability thesis has continued to interest epistemologists and philosophers of science and many solutions have been suggested, some in line with the one proposed by Fleck.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Filosofi och lingvistik , 2003. , 365 p.
Keyword [en]
Philosophy, Thought style, thought collective, passive and active associations, incommensur-ability, mutability of knowledge, transitive and intransitive dimensions of knowledge, reality, comparative epistemology, constructivism, the Strong Programme
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Research subject
History Of Sciences and Ideas
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-58ISBN: 91-7305-427-5OAI: diva2:143851
Public defence
2003-05-07, Umeå, 13:15
Available from: 2003-05-07 Created: 2003-05-07Bibliographically approved

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