Der 16. Weltkongress für Philosophie

Volume 2, 1983

Sektions-Vorträge I - Résumés des sections I - Section Papers I

Marx W. Wartofsky
Pages 1370-1375

Is Science Contemporary Rationality?

The question which I raise in this paper—"Is Science contenporary rationality?"—is entended to place the issue in an historical context. That is to say: rationality has a history. Modem science, I will argue is the dominant contenporary form of this rationality, as a matter of fact. The ceritical question is then: what normative claim does contenporary science make for this dominant position? Can contenporary science be understood as a historical form of rationality which has superseded earlier forms, and which itself has historical limitations? I compare the mathematical model of scientific rationality of seventeenth century science with that of contenporary science, and consider whether there are norms of rationality which remain invariant through historical change.