Master of Arts (MA)


Philosophy and Religious Studies

Document Type



Knox, Ashley Renee, B.S., Tulane University, 2006 Master of Arts, Summer Commencement, 2009 Major: Philosophy A Heideggerian Route through Kuhnian Revolutions Thesis directed by Professor Husain F. Sarkar Pages in thesis, 54. Words in abstract, 195. The aim of this thesis is to offer a defense of the philosophy derived from Thomas S. Kuhn’s seminal work, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. I focus on the persistent criticisms that Kuhnian science entails relativism and forbids scientific progress. My unusual line of defense appeals to Martin Heidegger’s concept of truth as the Greek aletheia as explicated in his essay, “The Origin of the Work of Art.” More specifically, I follow the concept of aletheia as presented through Heidegger’s example of Van Gogh’s A Pair of Shoes (1885). The relevant parallels found between Heidegger’s philosophy of art and Kuhn’s philosophy of science suggest that a more Heideggerian interpretation of Kuhn is plausible, perhaps even enlightening. Kuhn’s philosophy, however, lacks a crucial counterpart to Heidegger’s aletheia. In the end, a Kuhnian-Heideggerian hybrid model of truth relating correspondence theory of truth to aletheic truth is presented. I propose that under this model Kuhn’s most central theses regarding paradigms and the nature of scientific progress can be maintained. Moreover, the criticism of relativism and assertion that Kuhnian science does not permit scientific progress can be avoided. Thus, Kuhnian science finds a promising line of defense in Heidegger.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Husain Sarkar