Book: Chomskyan Linguistics and Its Competitors
Chapter: Research programmes
The central concept to be introduced here is that of research programme. This concept emerged as a response to certain problems with the common-sense view of science. Therefore, Section 1.1 spells out some of the common assumptions as to how science is supposed to work. Section 1.2 starts by showing the logical problems raised by this view of science and proposes a solution in the form of research programmes. As will be shown, assuming research programmes does not only solve the logical problems but also explains why these problems are not usually observed as such. Section 1.3 then addresses a number of other key concepts in the philosophy of science which play an important role in the present study. They include truth and its relation to the goal of science, progress as a measure of success, and revolutions as perhaps the most controversially discussed historical phenomenon in science. Finally, Section 1.4 narrows the focus to the study of language, considering to what extent it poses specifi c problems in the application of these terms.