Title page for ETD etd-11242009-020011
|Type of Document
||Glenn, Tracy A.
||The recategorization of "chaos" :a case study of language change and theory change
||Master of Science
||Science and Technology Studies
|Pitt, Joseph C.
|Downey, Gary L.
|Fuller, Steven W.
|Paterson, Robert A.
- Chaotic behavior in systems
|Date of Defense
This thesis investigates the relationship between
semantic change and theory change in science. The study
focuses on thirty years of developments in chaos theory.
Because of measurement problems associated with certain
nonlinear phenomena, the observability of chaotic systems is
severely limited. In such cases, ongoing processes of
language change may play a greater role in shaping scientific
theories than in cases in which the phenomena are more easily
observed. This study is interdisciplinary, drawing on
theories from linguistics, philosophy, philology, and
sociology. Several mechanisms of semantic change are explored
in order to discover their possible influence on theory
formation. Developments in chaos theory are described in
terms of George Lakoff's radial model of conceptual
categories. This model describes concepts in terms of (1) a
central cluster which acts as a prototypical example, and (2)
various non-central extensions from that center. I argue that
in an emerging discipline, non-central extensions are made
depending on the interests of the community. As Andrew
Pickering observed, communities on the research front select
a research direction that will intersect with the interests
of more established research communities. This thesis
explores several examples of historical developments in chaos
research showing how conceptual change in science can be
described in terms of Lakoff' s radial category model and
Pickering's interest model.
|| Approximate Download Time
| 28.8 Modem
|| 56K Modem
|| ISDN (64 Kb)
|| ISDN (128 Kb)
|| Higher-speed Access
next to an author's name indicates that all
files or directories associated with their ETD
are accessible from the Virginia Tech campus network only.
If you have questions or technical
problems, please Contact DLA.