Revolution & Change
Revolution
The action or fact, on the part of celestial
bodies, of moving round in an orbit (1390)


The return or recurre...
Revolution
An instance of great change or alteration in
affairs or in some particular thing. (1450)


A complete overthrow...
Political
The “Glorious Revolution” (1688)
  American Revolution (1776)
   French Revolution (1789)
   Russian Revolution ...
Revolution
Political revolutions involve major
transformations in political structures.
Social revolutions involve major
t...
The Scientific Revolution
 1543 (Copernicus) to 1687 (Newton) to ...
 “The most profound revolution achieved or
 suffered b...
Individual Revolutions
Copernicus’ On The Revolutions (1543)
Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World
Systems (16...
A systematic method for understanding facts
about the natural world with reference to
natural law.
Naturalism
     Methodological: Science can
     only study nature using
     natural laws. Supernatural
     entities, wh...
Popular Hierarchy

            Fact

         Hypothesis

          Theory
Philosophical Hierarchy


           Hypothesis

              Fact
Theory
“A well-substantiated explanation of some
aspect of the natural world that can
incorporate facts, laws, inferences,...
Theory

Theories are the ultimate goal of science.
They explain facts and are tested by
generating hypotheses. These three...
Hypothesis
“A tentative statement about the natural
world leading to deductions that can be
tested.” (NAS 2008)
“The rejec...
Law

A “generalization about how some aspect of
the natural world behaves under stated
circumstances.” (NAS, 1998)
Descrip...
Universal Gravitation
Gravity

We have facts that we need to explain.
There are laws that describe the behavior of
objects under the influence of...
General Relativity
         Gravity as a consequence
         of the warping of space-
         time
         An incomplet...
Theories
•   Big Bang Theory           •   Theory of Plate
                                  Tectonics
•   Cell Theory
   ...
String “Theory”
A General Pathway
Observe world (collect observations / facts)
Ask “why” questions
Make explanatory hypothesis
Make predic...
How Does Conceptual
  Change Happen?
I.B. Cohen’s Stages
1. The “intellectual revolution” or “revolution-
   in-itself” (private)
2. Written commitment to the ...
Thomas Kuhn
  (1922 - 1996)
Pre-science

Normal Science

    Crisis

  Revolution

 New Science
Key Concepts
A paradigm organizes scientific inquiry.
Normal science is “puzzle-solving” and does not
question the reigning...
Paradigm
Kuhn himself had 21 different usages, but two
“levels” emerge
Narrow sense: A standard exemplar of
“good” science...
Paradigm

Metaphysical views about the nature of the
world and the things in it
Methodological rules about correct scienti...
Resulting Claims

The conflict among paradigms can’t be
settled on any rational methodological
grounds, because each paradi...
Resulting Claim

Different paradigms are in thus
incommensurable, i.e. not comparable by any
neutral standard.
Adherents o...
Resulting Claim
Scientists with different theoretical viewpoints
will generally fail to understand one another
and the arg...
Resulting Claim
A scientific revolution has to be regarded as
a social and psychological phenomenon
rather than as a purely...
Karl Popper
                      (1902 - 1994)
All science is “normal” and it
proceeds by “conjecture and
refutation”
No ...
Imre Lakatos
                        (1922 - 1974)
Scientific theories are “research
programmes” that consist of: a “hard
c...
Paul Feyerabend
                  (1924 - 1994)

Epistemological
Anarchism
There are no rules to
science - anything goes
t...
Descriptive
   versus
Prescriptive?

Science and
Philosophy
Scientific Revolution and Change
Scientific Revolution and Change
Scientific Revolution and Change
Scientific Revolution and Change
Scientific Revolution and Change
Scientific Revolution and Change
Scientific Revolution and Change
Scientific Revolution and Change
Scientific Revolution and Change
Scientific Revolution and Change
Scientific Revolution and Change
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Scientific Revolution and Change

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  • Glorious rev – bloodless ascension of William & Mary. Cath -> Prot. Seen to be beneficial & progressive

  • Social? Class?
  • Dangers of Whig history … Roots: Greece / Arabic/ Chinese











  • We do not observe “gravity,” we observe it’s effects on the behavior of objects.



  • Scientific ideas do have social implications




  • Historian. Can fail at any stage (and most do!)
  • SSR published in 1962
  • And then back to “normal science”. Pre-science is epistemological chaos









  • Contrary to Popper, even good theories have “defense-mechanisms.”
  • Aesthetic rather than rational criteria
  • Feyerabend rejected prescriptive rules / relationship / science goes on
  • Transcript of "Scientific Revolution and Change"

    1. 1. Revolution & Change
    2. 2. Revolution The action or fact, on the part of celestial bodies, of moving round in an orbit (1390) The return or recurrence of a point or period of time; the lapse of a certain time (1430)
    3. 3. Revolution An instance of great change or alteration in affairs or in some particular thing. (1450) A complete overthrow of the established government in any country or state by those who were previously subject to it; a forcible substitution of a new ruler or form of government. (1600)
    4. 4. Political The “Glorious Revolution” (1688) American Revolution (1776) French Revolution (1789) Russian Revolution (1917) Chinese Revolution (1949)
    5. 5. Revolution Political revolutions involve major transformations in political structures. Social revolutions involve major transformations in social structure. Scientific revolutions involve major transformations in conceptual structures.
    6. 6. The Scientific Revolution 1543 (Copernicus) to 1687 (Newton) to ... “The most profound revolution achieved or suffered by the human mind” since Greek antiquity (Alexander Koyré, 1943) It “outshines everything since the rise of Christianity and reduces the Renaissance and Reformation to the rank of mere episodes … [it is] the real origin both of the modern world and of the modern mentality.” (Herbert Butterfield, 1949)
    7. 7. Individual Revolutions Copernicus’ On The Revolutions (1543) Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (1632) Newton’s Principia (1687) Lavoisier’s theory of combustion (1783) Darwin’s Origin of Species(1859) Einstein’s theories of relativity (1905 / ‘15) Wegener’s theory of continental drift (1915)
    8. 8. A systematic method for understanding facts about the natural world with reference to natural law.
    9. 9. Naturalism Methodological: Science can only study nature using natural laws. Supernatural entities, while they may exist, are not allowed as scientific explanations of phenomena. Philosophical: The supernatural does not exist.
    10. 10. Popular Hierarchy Fact Hypothesis Theory
    11. 11. Philosophical Hierarchy Hypothesis Fact
    12. 12. Theory “A well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses.” (NAS, 1998) “Science not only generates facts but seeks to explain them, and the interlocking and well- supported explanations for those facts are known as theories.” (T. Ryan Gregory, 2008)
    13. 13. Theory Theories are the ultimate goal of science. They explain facts and are tested by generating hypotheses. These three things are distinct aspects of science.
    14. 14. Hypothesis “A tentative statement about the natural world leading to deductions that can be tested.” (NAS 2008) “The rejection of an hypothesis does not automatically imply the refutation of an entire theory because hypotheses are usually sufficiently focussed to test only one aspect of complex theories.” (Gregory, 2008)
    15. 15. Law A “generalization about how some aspect of the natural world behaves under stated circumstances.” (NAS, 1998) Descriptive not prescriptive
    16. 16. Universal Gravitation
    17. 17. Gravity We have facts that we need to explain. There are laws that describe the behavior of objects under the influence of gravity We currently do not have a mechanism for gravitational attraction
    18. 18. General Relativity Gravity as a consequence of the warping of space- time An incomplete theory - how does it reconcile with sub-atomic quantum effects? Why is gravity relatively weak? Does this incompleteness make gravity “just a theory”?
    19. 19. Theories • Big Bang Theory • Theory of Plate Tectonics • Cell Theory • Acoustic Theory • Evolutionary Theory • Electromagnetic Theory • Germ Theory of Disease • Quantum Field Theory • Atomic Theory • Kinetic Theory of Gases
    20. 20. String “Theory”
    21. 21. A General Pathway Observe world (collect observations / facts) Ask “why” questions Make explanatory hypothesis Make predictions or retrodictions Test predictions or retrodictions by experiment or further observation - Assume uniform cause and effect (actualism) Eventually form a theory
    22. 22. How Does Conceptual Change Happen?
    23. 23. I.B. Cohen’s Stages 1. The “intellectual revolution” or “revolution- in-itself” (private) 2. Written commitment to the new method, concept or theory (private) 3. Dissemination of the ideas (public) 4. Adoption by a critical mass of individuals or groups (public)
    24. 24. Thomas Kuhn (1922 - 1996)
    25. 25. Pre-science Normal Science Crisis Revolution New Science
    26. 26. Key Concepts A paradigm organizes scientific inquiry. Normal science is “puzzle-solving” and does not question the reigning paradigm. A state of crisis eventually emerges when unsolved puzzles and anomalies accumulate. Revolutionary science is methodologically unconstrained and often irrational forces are at work (idiosyncrasies and accidents of history). Successive paradigms are incommensurable
    27. 27. Paradigm Kuhn himself had 21 different usages, but two “levels” emerge Narrow sense: A standard exemplar of “good” science - the right kind of problem to solve and the right way to solve it. Broad sense: A framework of shared methods, standards, modes of explanation, theories
    28. 28. Paradigm Metaphysical views about the nature of the world and the things in it Methodological rules about correct scientific practice and of what constitutes a legitimate scientific question or a scientific fact
    29. 29. Resulting Claims The conflict among paradigms can’t be settled on any rational methodological grounds, because each paradigm contains its own view of rational scientific methodology and of what counts as a “fact.”
    30. 30. Resulting Claim Different paradigms are in thus incommensurable, i.e. not comparable by any neutral standard. Adherents of different paradigms “live in different worlds,” and speak different technical languages.
    31. 31. Resulting Claim Scientists with different theoretical viewpoints will generally fail to understand one another and the arguments made in favor of one theory will not be fully understood by, or persuasive for, adherents of the other. New paradigms will introduce new theoretical terms, or change the meanings of old ones, in ways that will be incomprehensible to anyone who doesn’t already accept the new theory.
    32. 32. Resulting Claim A scientific revolution has to be regarded as a social and psychological phenomenon rather than as a purely intellectual one. For an individual scientist, the change in point of view is more like a religious conversion than a rational process of comparing theories against the facts.
    33. 33. Karl Popper (1902 - 1994) All science is “normal” and it proceeds by “conjecture and refutation” No accumulation of confirming instances is sufficient to verify a universal generalization, but only one disconfirming instance suffices to refute a universal generalization Scientific theories are distinguished by the fact that they are falsifiable
    34. 34. Imre Lakatos (1922 - 1974) Scientific theories are “research programmes” that consist of: a “hard core” of fundamental principles, and a “protective belt” of “auxiliary hypotheses” that explain how the fundamental principles apply to particular cases, and how to deal with apparent discrepancies. The fundamental difference is between progressive and degenerating programmes.
    35. 35. Paul Feyerabend (1924 - 1994) Epistemological Anarchism There are no rules to science - anything goes to get one’s theory accepted
    36. 36. Descriptive versus Prescriptive? Science and Philosophy

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