Conceptual Development and Dynamic Realism

Hanne Andersen


This paper focuses on Thomas S. Kuhn's work on taxonomic concepts and how it relates to empirical work from the cognitive sciences on categorization and conceptual development. I shall first review the basic features of Kuhn's family resemblance account and compare to work from the cognitive sciences. I shall then show how Kuhn's account can be extended to cover the development of new taxonomies in science, and I shall illustrate by a detailed case study that Kuhn himself mentioned only briefly in his own work, namely the discovery of X-rays and radioactivity.


Kuhn, scientific concepts, family resemblance, conceptual change, taxonomies, categorization

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