The Structure of Scientific Revolutions Book Report

Topics: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Scientific method, Paradigm shift Pages: 7 (2667 words) Published: December 4, 2011
1.The authors' thesis stated in a few sentences.
Thomas Kuhns’ thesis in, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, is that scientific methodology is a deception and that such methods are non-existing. Kuhn wrote it is “a series of peaceful interludes punctuated by intellectually violent revolutions.” “One conceptual world view is replaced by another.” (Kuhn) Kuhns’ argument is that “normal science” (Kuhn 5) works on the foundation of paradigms.

2.The author’s use of the word “paradigm,” and the significance of that term to him. How does his use of that term compare to how you have heard the term “paradigm” used in the work place? In the work place, the word paradigm is used as a prototype or a form of standards. The Encarta Dictionary defines “paradigm” as “an example that serves as a pattern or model for something, especially one that forms the basis of a methodology or theory”. When Thomas Kuhn uses the word “paradigm” he refers to it as a set of ideal experiments that are likely to be imitated. 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" (Kuhn 10). 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 to resolve.” These achievements can be called paradigms (Kuhn 10). Where in the work place a paradigm would be a model one would follow, verbatim, and expect to be lead to the basis of what they are in quest of. Kuhn believes paradigm is a guide. “A paradigm guides the whole group's research” (Kuhn 22) A guide that will allow students to draw together their discipline in that they help the scientist to create avenues of inquiry, formulate questions, select methods with which to examine questions, define areas of relevance, and possibly establish the meaning. "No natural history can be interpreted in the absence of at least some implicit body of intertwined theoretical and methodological belief that permits selection, evaluation, and criticism" (Kuhn 16-17). A paradigm transforms a group into a profession or, at least, a discipline (Kuhn 19). Kuhn emphasizes that a paradigm is not a set of beliefs or a list of rules and that a paradigm cannot be put into words. Scientists learn by doing and by thinking in terms of the concepts that are used in a particular science and by physically manipulating material to create phenomena. (Unknown 2008) Kuhn suggest, a successful paradigm often symbolizes a more specific way of viewing reality, for future research, than the much more general scientific method. "Paradigms gain their status because they are more successful than their competitors in solving a few problems that the group of practitioners has come to recognize as acute" (Kuhn 23). Thomas Kuhn uses the word to mean the model that scientists hold about a particular area of knowledge. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, is Kuhn’s view of the stages through which a science goes in getting from one paradigm to the next. “To desert the paradigm is to cease practicing the science it defines.” (Kuhn 34)

3.The application of the authors' work to technological innovation. In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions a historical cycle of paradigm conflict is portrayed. Science progresses along the lines of current thought until there is an inconsistency in thinking that cannot solve a developed crisis. It is then that the rules of the current paradigm is interrupted, giving way to the creation of a new paradigm, starting another revolution of the cycle. Today the majority of Americans are using either the iPOD or some form of MP3 Player. However MP3s have not been around from the beginning. Before there was a MP3 there was a CD player and before that...
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