Q. Base on your reading of T.S. Kuhn ‘The Structure of Scientific Revolution’, discuss how paradigms guide normal science research.
According to Kuhn, the stage in the development of a science during which scientific activity is guided by a paradigm. That is, it is during this stage that normal science occurs.
Research is therefore not about discovering the unknown, but rather “a strenuous and devoted attempt to force nature into the conceptual boxes supplied by professional education”.
The Route to Normal Science
So how are paradigms created and what do they contribute to scientific inquiry?
Normal science “means research firmly based upon one or more past scientific achievements, achievements that some particular scientific community acknowledges for a time as supplying the foundation for its further practice”. These achievements must be sufficiently unprecedented to attract an enduring group of adherents away from competing modes of scientific activity and sufficiently open-ended to leave all sorts of problems for the redefined group of practitioners (and their students) to resolve. These achievements can be called paradigms. Students study these paradigms in order to become members of the particular scientific community in which they will later practice.
The Response To Crisis
No process yet disclosed by the historical study of scientific development at all resembles the methodological stereotype of falsification by direct comparison
with nature. That remark does not mean that scientists do not reject scientific theories, or that experience and experiment are not essential to the process in which they do so. But it does mean what will ultimately be a central point that the act of judgment that leads scientists to reject a previously accepted theory is always based upon more than a comparison of that theory with the world. The decision to reject one paradigm is always simultaneously the decision to accept... [continues]
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