Welcome to Francis Academic Press

International Journal of Frontiers in Sociology, 2021, 3(13); doi: 10.25236/IJFS.2021.031316.

Analysis of Hacking's Response to the Thesis of Incommensurability


Qingkang Liu

Corresponding Author:
Qingkang Liu

College of Marxism,Jiangsu Normal University, Xuzhou, China


As a representative of the new experimentalism, Hacking opposes the anti-realism of Kuhn, criticizing the reference theory of Putnam and responds to the thesis of incommensurability. He argues that scientific practice should be valued and puts forth the proposition “Experiment has a life of its own”. The experimental realism of Hacking has broken the tradition of theory-dominance, maintained scientific realism and defended the rationality of scientific theory. Hacking's response to the thesis of incommensurability is a scientific practice-oriented philosophy, which has an important enlightening significance to the development and research of contemporary practical philosophy.


Ian Hacking, Incommensurability, Reference theory, Experimental realism

Cite This Paper

Qingkang Liu. Analysis of Hacking's Response to the Thesis of Incommensurability. International Journal of Frontiers in Sociology (2021), Vol. 3, Issue 13: 106-109. https://doi.org/10.25236/IJFS.2021.031316.


[1] Blackburn, S. The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy. Oxford University Press, 2016.

[2] Kuhn, T. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. The University of Chicago Press, 1962.

[3] Hacking, I. Representing and intervening: Introductory Topics in the philosophy of natural science. Cambridge University Press, 1983.

[4] Putnam, S. Mind, Language and Reality. Cambridge University Press, 1975.

[5] Sankey, H. Scientific realism and the inevitability ofscience.Stud.Hist.Phil.Sci.39 (2008)259-264.

[6] Yanqiang, Hui. The Relationship between Theory and Experiment: From Hacking to Rouse. Studies in Dialectics of Nature, 2016 (11).