Procedures in scientific research and in language understanding

Marcelo Dascal*, Asher Idan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pluralism and monism are the two current views concerning scientific research and language understanding. Between them there is a third, intermediate, view. We take a "procedural methodology of science" as exemplified in the work of L. Tondl, and "procedural linguistics", as exemplified in the work of B. Harrison, to be representative of this third possibility. Procedures are cognitive, linguistic, and physical processes which, through their hierarchical interconnections can generate fruitful "mechanisms". These "mechanisms" are sensitive to context and operate in heuristic and algorithmic ways. Their similar logical structure points towards a profound unified basis for scientific and linguistic activities, thus providing an interesting bridge between what is achieved by a little child talking to his parents, and a creative scientist struggling to interpret the results of his experiments. "Variety of rules with unity of principles is a requirement of reason ..., such a requirement however, prescribes no law to the objects themselves. It is merely a subjective law of economy ..., namely a logical form, a faculty whereby the cognitions of the understanding are arranged among themselves only, and lower rules under higher ones." Kant, Critique of Pure Reason "We can conceive of the invention of new metaphors as a process of discovery, with definite criteria of success attached to it rather than as a matter of arbitrary caprice." Harrison B., Meaning and Structure

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-249
Number of pages24
JournalJournal for General Philosophy of Science - Zeitschrift für allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1981


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