Thomas Kuhn

This tag is associated with 10 posts

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 … Continue reading

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, … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

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 . . . … Continue reading

Paradigms and Rules

Assuming a paradigm’s community desires consistency, their general paradigm will dictate specific rules for the community’s research (i.e., means for investigation and standards for evaluation; Kuhn, Scientific Revolutions 43, 48, 94; cf. Achinstein 413; Thiselton 711). Yet, these rules do not themselves provide coherence to a given tradition of normal science (Kuhn, Scientific Revolutions 44). … Continue reading

“Normal” Science

Within a given, normal-scientific tradition, the reigning paradigm directs research by suggesting which experiments and data are relevant to resolving a given problem and which are irrelevant (Kuhn 18, 24, 34). The paradigm also guides new and more specific theory articulation, and the paradigm permits practitioners in a given field to dispense with rearticulating the … Continue reading

Maturing Scientific Communities

As young scientists routinely obtain, through education, their introduction into mature, scientific communities, young scientific communities may require some time to mature and develop their communities’ paradigms (Kuhn 11). During this early phase, nascent scientific communities typically involve different schools of thought that seek “relevant” facts somewhat individualistically according to whatever paradigms they find most … Continue reading

Paradigms and Communities

In Thomas Kuhn’s analysis, new paradigms attract adherents from older alternatives by producing sufficiently unprecedented achievements, but these new paradigms still leave work to be done because of the new problems that they create or the new issues they suggest (Kuhn 10, 17–18, 80). Yet, the community that accepts a given paradigm implicitly judges the … Continue reading

Kuhn and Popper

Thomas Kuhn acknowledges that Sir Karl Popper’s work earlier in the twentieth century somewhat anticipated his own view of science (Kuhn, Essential Tension 267). Nevertheless, Kuhn also identifies two meaningful distinctions that his work has vis-à-vis Popper’s (Worrall 66–71). First, Kuhn perceives favorably deep commitments to normal scientific traditions because these traditions (1) encourage substantive … Continue reading

Kuhn and Kant

In the later half of the twentieth-century, Thomas Kuhn reappropriated and significantly adapted Immanuel Kant’s qualifications of empirical science (Kuhn, Essential Tension 336–37; Kuhn, Since Structure 103–104, 264). First published in 1962, Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions replaced Kant’s transcendental truths of reason with theoretical ‘paradigms’ (cf. Kuhn, Since Structure 264). This understanding puts Kuhn … Continue reading

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