The structure of scientific revolutions

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T.S. Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions offers an in depth look at the nature of science and the paths that it has taken - paths it will inevitably continue to take in the future - to evolve to the place it now sits. Kuhn sketches quite a different concept of science than what we have been led to believe throughout history. Kuhn helps us understand what kinds of processes are gonethrough to disprove an existing theory, and also the technique needed to develop new theories which may eventually be accepted by the scientific community.
Kuhn starts off with a brief introduction of the role for history, which he then relates to a term called normal science which will be defined later in this summary. Next, Kuhn explains the difference between paradigms, normal science, andscientific discoveries. The scientific discoveries lead to scientific theories which can cause crises within the scientific community. These crises can lead to a scientific revolution which will potentially change the way the world views a particular subject - referred to by Kuhn as a paradigm shift.

The following is a brief summary of each of the chapters in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions,but we highly recommend that you take it upon yourself to read and enjoy the book yourself as we did.


Introduction: A Role for History
The Route to Normal Science
Normal Science as Puzzle-Solving
The Priority of Paradigms
Anomaly and the Emergence of Scientific Discoveries
Crisis and theEmergence of Scientific Theories
The Response to Crisis
The Nature and Necessity of Scientific Revolutions
Revolutions as Changes of World View
The Invisibility of Revolutions
The Resolution of Revolutions
Progress Through Revolutions


Introduction: A Role for History
This chapter invites scientists tolook at more than just what is written in the textbooks. Kuhn says that the textbooks are persuasive and misleading - they would have students believe that the laws and theorems of science have been progressing and leading up to the truth we know today. However, Kuhn believes that in order to fully understand science the scientist needs to look beyond the observations, laws, and theories describedin the pages of a textbook. He suggests the idea that out of date theories are not "unscientific" simply because they have been discarded. The fact that they were discarded fifty years ago should not mean that they are to be overlooked today. He invites scientists to look into old theories to attempt to prove them today with the added technology available.
This chapter also compares the termnormal science to the term scientific revolution. Normal science is defined to be a prediction on the assumption that the scientific community knows how the world works. The success of normal science relies on the willingness of the community to defend an assumption. Kuhn defines scientific revolution as tradition shattering complements to the tradition bound activity of normal science.

The Routeto Normal Science
This chapter offers a more in depth definition of the term "normal science". Here Kuhn also states his definition of a paradigm and explains the two essential characteristics which make up a paradigm. These characteristics are as follows:

1) The paradigm had to be unprecedented so as to attract the scientific community, and
2) it must be open ended enough that severaldifferent groups of scientists could work on different problems within the same paradigm.

Kuhn then discusses the pattern of mature science - the successive transition from one paradigm to another through a revolution.

Kuhn looks at several fields of research throughout history, being sure to not give full recognition to just one scientist. He pays particular attention to the electrical...
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