Kuhn: Paradigms and Normal Science

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First Kuhn lecture in Phil 160 ("Philosophy of Science") at San Jose State University.

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  • if you add that science is defined in western way, and that therefore a paradigm shift is a a shift within the western paradigm. THEN the lecture would be more honest. Now other cultures are forced into a western framework. Have a look at: http://paradigm-shift-21st-century.nl/kuhn-thomas-biography.html or http://paradigm-shift-21st-century.nl/western-scientific-paradigm.html
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Kuhn: Paradigms and Normal Science

  1. 1. PHIL 160 "Kuhn: Paradigms and Normal Science"
  2. 2. LEARNING OBJECTIVES: <ul><li>Overview of Kuhn’s model of science </li></ul><ul><li>Kuhn’s description of the first mode: </li></ul><ul><li>normal science </li></ul><ul><li>What is a paradigm? </li></ul><ul><li>What role does a paradigm play in normal science? </li></ul>PHIL 160
  3. 3. Assumption: Science makes steady progress Accretion (as in narrow inductivist view): body of knowledge like a snowball rolling down a hill. Popperian view: eliminate ever more false hypotheses. Either way, assumes scientists are always engaged in the same kind of activity. PHIL 160
  4. 4. Kuhn: two distinct modes of science. Normal Science Periods of Scientific Revolution Need to understand how these modes differ from each other and how they are connected to each other. What processes move scientists from normal science to a revolution? PHIL 160
  5. 5. Key concept: Paradigms Narrow sense : a particular achievement which suggests a way to investigate the world (e.g., an experiment, a formula, etc.) Broad sense : a package of ideas and methods which make up a world view and a way of doing science PHIL 160
  6. 6. Key concept: Paradigms Paradigms are vital because they provide the framework (shared set of assumptions) for normal science. PHIL 160
  7. 7. PHIL 160 NORMAL SCIENCE CRISIS REVOLUTION
  8. 8. PHIL 160 NORMAL SCIENCE CRISIS REVOLUTION (Guided by a shared paradigm)
  9. 9. PHIL 160 NORMAL SCIENCE CRISIS REVOLUTION (Shift from old paradigm to new paradigm) (Guided by a shared paradigm)
  10. 10. NORMAL SCIENCE CRISIS REVOLUTION New period of Normal Science (Shift from old paradigm to new paradigm) (Guided by a shared paradigm) PHIL 160
  11. 11. THEORY PHIL 160
  12. 12. THEORY • What kind of stuff is in the world PHIL 160
  13. 13. THEORY • What kind of stuff is in the world • How that stuff evolves over time and interacts PHIL 160
  14. 14. THEORY PARADIGM • What kind of stuff is in the world • How that stuff evolves over time and interacts PHIL 160
  15. 15. THEORY PARADIGM • Ideas about stuff • What kind of stuff is in the world • How that stuff evolves over time and interacts PHIL 160
  16. 16. THEORY PARADIGM • Ideas about stuff • What kind of stuff is in the world • Ideas about behaviors • How that stuff evolves over time and interacts PHIL 160
  17. 17. THEORY PARADIGM • Methodology • Ideas about stuff • What kind of stuff is in the world • Ideas about behaviors • How that stuff evolves over time and interacts PHIL 160
  18. 18. THEORY PARADIGM • Methodology • Interesting questions • Ideas about stuff • What kind of stuff is in the world • Ideas about behaviors • How that stuff evolves over time and interacts PHIL 160
  19. 19. THEORY PARADIGM • Methodology • Interesting questions • What counts as a good explanation • Ideas about stuff • What kind of stuff is in the world • Ideas about behaviors • How that stuff evolves over time and interacts PHIL 160
  20. 20. In “Pre-Paradigm” period: <ul><li>No agreement about fundamentals </li></ul><ul><li>End up debating fundamentals rather than figuring out how to explain, predict, control phenomena of interest </li></ul><ul><li>Reads like philosophy (which Kuhn says is a bad thing if you’re trying to do science)! </li></ul>PHIL 160
  21. 21. With a shared paradigm, can do science: <ul><li>No more debate about fundamentals </li></ul><ul><li>Energy focused on using tools from the paradigm to describe, model, or create new phenomena </li></ul><ul><li>“ Puzzle-solving” </li></ul>PHIL 160
  22. 22. Example: Presocratic theories of matter <ul><li>All is fire </li></ul><ul><li>All is water </li></ul><ul><li>All is air </li></ul><ul><li>Only atoms and empty space (Democritus) </li></ul><ul><li>Infinitely many stuffs (Anaxagoras) </li></ul><ul><li>Four-element system (Empedocles) </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of choices, lots of debate. </li></ul>PHIL 160
  23. 23. PHIL 160 The Four Elements HOT WET COLD DRY FIRE AIR WATER EARTH
  24. 24. PHIL 160 AIR WATER HEAT (cold, wet) (hot, wet) HOT WET COLD DRY FIRE AIR WATER EARTH
  25. 27. PHIL 160 (high proportion of water) METALS Easier to change shape (like water) HOT WET COLD DRY FIRE AIR WATER EARTH
  26. 28. PHIL 160 Easier to change shape (like water) (high proportion of water) METALS STONES (high proportion of earth) More likely to crumble than change shape (like earth) HOT WET COLD DRY FIRE AIR WATER EARTH
  27. 29. Shared paradigm informs: <ul><li>Which phenomena can be explained </li></ul><ul><li>Which phenomena can be controlled </li></ul><ul><li>Which data are important </li></ul><ul><li>What does a good explanation look like. </li></ul><ul><li>What counts as a puzzle </li></ul><ul><li>What counts as a good solution </li></ul>PHIL 160
  28. 30. Important feature of puzzles: <ul><li>There should be a solution! </li></ul><ul><li>Big puzzle for Four-element theory: how to transform lead into gold? </li></ul>PHIL 160
  29. 31. PHIL 160 NORMAL SCIENCE Shared PARADIGM
  30. 32. Puzzle-solving PHIL 160 NORMAL SCIENCE Shared PARADIGM
  31. 33. Resistant Puzzles PHIL 160 Puzzle-solving Solved puzzles NORMAL SCIENCE Shared PARADIGM
  32. 34. Resistant Puzzles PHIL 160 Puzzle-solving Solved puzzles ANOMALIES NORMAL SCIENCE Shared PARADIGM
  33. 35. PHIL 160 Puzzle-solving Solved puzzles CRISIS (Is there a problem with the paradigm?) ANOMALIES Resistant Puzzles NORMAL SCIENCE Shared PARADIGM
  34. 36. LEARNING OBJECTIVES: <ul><li>Overview of Kuhn’s model of science </li></ul><ul><li>Kuhn’s description of the first mode: </li></ul><ul><li>normal science </li></ul><ul><li>What is a paradigm? </li></ul><ul><li>What role does a paradigm play in normal science? </li></ul><ul><li>Difference between puzzles and problems? </li></ul>PHIL 160

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