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 was the tape player, before the tape player there was the “boom box”, and the cycle continues to go back.
Kuhn’s theory that paradigms change due to an anomaly can be applied to technology through the evolution of the MP3 player. In the ’80 people walked around with big “boom boxes” in order to be able to take their music with them wherever they went. After while rules were put in place to prohibit people from blaring their music wherever they felt. (ex. the “disturbance of peace” law) This could be considered and anomaly in the technical world. Once electronic companies began feeling the grunt of the rule, they naturally had to find other ways of giving people what they want.
They knew people wanted to take their music on the go and the knew that their were rules and regulations regarding the blaring of music, so they changed their designs to accommodate their consumers. This process can also be looked as a change in paradigm, this change then evolved into a new paradigm also known as the cassette player. The cassette player allowed for people to take their music with them, while guarding others from being subjected to what someone else wants to hear. For a while, the cassette player was they only form of taking you music with you device.
Until in ’90s the CD player was put on the market. There was nothing wrong with the cassette player aside from the not being able to maneuver thru the record as quick as you may like. For electronic companies this could have been an anomaly. If they could produce a product that allows consumers to skim, skip, or repeat the songs they want to hear on the album, quicker then what they are capable of doing on the cassette player then they could be one of the top companies in the industry; thought for change in the paradigm. The new paradigm evolving to be the CD player.
As the technical world is changing, it is impacting change on things surrounding it, like the entertainment industry, kids and the expanded ways of learning. When the CD player became not enough to fulfill the needs of consumers the iPOD was invented. The iPOD allows for people to take all of their favorite songs on the go, rather than carrying multiple CDs or tapes to get their musical fix. Going from the cassette player to the iPOD, a couple of paradigms were created to adjust to an anomaly. Science and technology are parallel subjects that tend to cross paths in similarities.
Some other scientific forms of technology that have been influences by a paradigm are genetic experiments, test-tube human conception, recombinant DNA and embryonic stem cells; genetically engineered foods, neurogenetics and genetic engineering, and reproductive cloning and the reconstruction of the human ancestral genome. All of these founding were a result of persons asking questions and deriving answers to get the results they are look for. These discoveries did not come about from one person it took scientist and students to analyze and over analyze. 4.
An assessment of the value of the book. “The man who embraces a new paradigm at an early stage must often do so in defiance of the evidence provided by problem-solving. He must, that is, have faith that the new paradigm will succeed with the many large problems that confront it, knowing only that the older paradigm has failed with a few. A decision of that kind can only be made on faith. ” (Kuhn 158) Kuhn’s conveyance of faith being a partial factor in replacing a paradigm, allows for practitioners to tie characteristics into social and political revolutions.
In political revolutions, as in paradigm choice, there is no standard higher than the consent of the relevant community. To discover how scientific revolutions are affected, there shall therefore have to be an examination of not only the impact of nature and of logic, but also the techniques of persuasive argumentation effected within the quite special groups that make up the community of scientists. This book is valuable because of his statement at the end of the book. He acknowledges that science, congruent to technology, should consider social revolution.
This consideration is extremely important because it could lead to author Bill Joy’s thesis, “When advancing technology, tunnel vision leads to doom and gloom. Technological and social systems shape each other. Social and technological systems do not develop independently. ” In both political and scientific development the sense of malfunction that can lead to crisis is prerequisite to revolution. “Scientists never learn concepts, laws, and theories in the abstract and by themselves; they generally learn these with and through their applications.
They are derived from new theory is taught in tandem with its application to a concrete range of phenomena. ” (Pajares) “The process of learning a theory depends on the study of applications” (Kuhn 47). Kuhn’s belief of paradigm being a guide, 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; can give way to scientific breakthrough of many unknown medical findings. 5. A discussion of the book’s value to practitioners.
This book allows for practitioners to understand the history of science and to obtain a better understanding of what science is and how it has progressed and progresses. The value of this book lies within its purpose. This reading grants practitioners to view science in another form. Kuhn is trying to show scientist that scientific breakthroughs are not derived from personal inquiry. His message conveys that a breakthrough is derived from an anomaly. As a practitioner of science the value that this book would hold is to utilize what has already been set for scientist by its history.
Appreciate what our ancestors have derived and build upon that. A paradigm is not a fresh new innovative founding; it is a reworked updated method that has overcome the anomaly that has rendered the original paradigm. “We may have to relinquish the notion, explicit or implicit, that changes of paradigm carry scientists and those who learn from them closer and closer to the truth. ” (Kuhn 171) The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, for practitioners, gives an appreciation of where science has come from and how the progression occurred.
The book is a guide to scientific discovery through trial and observation. “Although a single paradigm may serve many scientific groups, it is not the same paradigm for them all. a. Subspecialties are differently educated and focus on different applications for their research findings. b. A paradigm can determine several traditions of normal science that overlap without being coextensive. c. Consequently, changes in a paradigm affect different subspecialties differently” (Pajares) “A revolution produced within one of these traditions will not necessarily extend to the others as well” (Kuhn 50). When scientists disagree about whether the fundamental problems of their field have been solved, the search for rules gains a function that it does not ordinarily possess. ” (Kuhn 48) Kuhn helps practitioners in the discovery of scientific evolutions. Practitioners will learn how to develop the questions needed to find the answers they are in quest of. Paradigms will not always provide the correct answer, but it will put scientist on the tract of coming up with an answer or deriving a question about what is being questioned. Developing a new paradigm is supposed to assist in finding the answers needed.
Thomas Kuhn’s intent was to give a historian’s perspective, and to note that, while the idea might be theory, it’s simply not what science does in practice. Scientific theories are never thrown out the moment contradictory evidence is observed, the experiment re-runs, and “numerous articulations and ad hoc modifications of their theory” are devised to eliminate any apparent conflict. Indeed, when the data doesn’t do what it’s supposed to, sometimes it is the question which is rejected as being irrelevant, and not the answer predicted by the theory. At the end of the day practitioners value this book because it gives them a form of guidance.
It reassures them that it will take may tries and there will be many clean-ups but a change in paradigm is what evolves science. 6. A statement that includes your rationale for whether or not you agree or disagree with Kuhn’s observation about scientific discovery and how it occurs. Kuhn’s observations about scientific discovery and how it occurs, I view as a revelation to some. I believe he is very thorough with the way he breaks down how a discovery comes about and how the discovery and an invention can bring about paradigm. I would have to agree with Kuhn’s theory that a discovery begins with the awareness of an anomaly.
With any form of new beginning, there has to be some change some form of irregularity to prompt the thought of something new is needed. In the discovery of science, bringing about a paradigm, “The recognition that nature has violated the paradigm-induced expectations that govern normal science and a phenomenon for which a paradigm has not readied the investigator. ” (Pajares) Kuhn talks about being able to observe irregularity, and how essentially this observation is beneficial in observing originality. The two observations I would not confined them to order, which Kuhn did not, because a change can be overlooked.
There is an exploration of the irregularity, once it has been identified. Again with everyday change, once human identify that we need a change, we begin researching and putting the change into effect. “The paradigm change is complete when the paradigm/theory has been adjusted so that the anomalous become the expected. ” (Pajares) Once we have acknowledge that there needs to be a change, and have implemented that change, we then have adjusted to the change and thus we have changed the paradigm. After breaking down Kuhn’s theory on scientific discovery, I would have to agree with his observation.
I took what he said and broke it down into everyday life, throughout my daily; I frequently have to change my patterns and way of thinking due to the “old” way of doing things not fitting the “new” way of doing things. I recently started a new position at a company where their way of getting the job done was not as effective as the way I would like to implement. I discovered that there needs to be a change in the way processes were being handled, because of incomplete documentation. I evaluated new was of documenting information, so that there is no missing information, thus a change in paradigm.
In reference to science, I do believe where we are today is because what came before us. I do not believe that scientist instinctively said to themselves, “I want to crack a scientific code by creating something new”. No, I think scientist saw what was done before them and practiced those methods religiously until there was a problem they couldn’t fix. As any person would do, scientist begin researching ways of manipulating what is already in place to work for their needs at that point. Thus, creating a change in paradigm. Kuhn referred to it as “to see nature in a different way” (Kuhn 53) Bibliography 1. Kuhn, T. S. (1996).
The structure of scientific revolutions. Chicago, IL: The university of Chicago press. 2. Pajares, F. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Retrieved October 22, 2008, from The Structure of Scientific Revolutions Web site: http://www. des. emory. edu/mfp/Kuhn. html 3. Unknown (2008). Paradigm – On Definition, Criticism Of Kuhn’s Paradigms, Revolutions, Leaps Of Faith, Criticism Of Kuhn’s Relativism. Retrieved October 28, 2008, from science. jrank. org Web site: http://science. jrank. org/pages/7948/Paradigm. html”>Paradigm – On Definition, Criticism Of Kuhn’s Paradigms, Revolutions, Leaps Of Faith, Criticism Of Kuhn’s Relativism