The Fusion of Rhetoric and Hermeneutics

At first glance, rhetoric and hermeneutics are quite different things.1 Rhetoric deals with argument and persuasion, hermeneutics with examination and understanding. But, if we look more closely, they comingle in a way that makes them inseparable. To begin, both rhetorical and hermeneutical reflection take the form of considering existing practice (21).2 Already in the earliest […]

Et tu, Brute . . . Facts

In the introduction to the second edition of Cornelius Van Til’s Christian Apologetics, Bill Edgar helpfully summarizes Van Til’s perspective on “brute facts”: For Van Til . . . there could never be isolated self-evident arguments or brute facts, because everything comes in a framework. That is why he calls his approach the “indirect method.” […]

The Nature of Scientific Revolutions

When they happen, scientific revolutions occur suddenly by a process that may not be completely quantifiable, a fact that partially accounts for the controversy and opposition often experienced in the historical period surrounding a given revolution (Kuhn, Scientific Revolutions 89–90, 151–52, 159; cf. Barber 97–113; Poythress 461). Although certain criteria exist, based on the broader […]

Crisis Resolution and Scientific Revolution

Three routes exist for crisis resolution within a normal scientific community. First, the community may forestall the crisis by proposing an adjustment to the received paradigm, provided that this adjustment is plausible enough to decrease the severity of the paradigm’s perceived inadequacies. Second, the community may, after repeated failures to explain the crisis-inducing problem(s) satisfactorily, […]

Normal Science and the Role of Crises

Normal scientific endeavor can suggest beneficial refinements to a given paradigm, but because the paradigm defines normal science itself, the paradigm’s essential components stand beyond normal science’s refining the influence (Kuhn 46–47, 66, 73, 128–29). In other words, although normal science may suggest refinements of the reigning paradigm that account for the observed difficulties, these […]

Normal Science and Rules

While normal science does not necessarily require a full set of rules to function (Kuhn 44), normal scientific investigation can continue without rules “only so long as the relevant scientific community accepts without question the particular problem-solutions already achieved. Rules . . . therefore become important and the characteristic unconcern about them . . . […]