Kuhn's Paradigm Shift Term Paper

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Kuhn's Paradigm Shift - an Annotated Bibliography

Analysis as Model: Thomas Kuhn's Paradigm Shift in the Structure of Scientific

Retrieved Sept. 22, 2007 at http://webpages.shepherd.edu/maustin/kuhn/kuhnpaper.htm.

While the author of this paper is not mentioned, the site is succinct and well structured and provides an intelligent summary of Kuhn's theories and the issue of paradigm shift. The site not only provides a carefully thought out analysis of the reasons for the radical change in scientific theory that Kuhn's paradigm represents, but also enters into a fairly comprehensive overview of the theory and its relationship to the development of the philosophy and evolution of scientific thought.

The Webpage is not verified by date or author but only by association with the institution. However the article is comparable to many peer-reviewed and more verifiable papers from other sources. This site is useful in the sense that it provides a clear and concise overview of the theory in relation to other theorists and views and, as such, provides an excellent introduction to the subject. The paper also provides a short but accurate account of the history of and growth of modern scientific theory.

Franklin James. Thomas Kuhn's irrationalism. Retrieved Sept. 22, 2007 at http://newcriterion.com:81/archive/18/jun00/kuhn.htm

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James Franklin suggests in this short article a contrary view to the general acceptance of Kuhn's theory of paradigm shift. The article also provides some important information about the extent of the adoption and the acceptance of the term 'paradigm shift' into modern philosophical and scientific discourse. The author presents a cogent argument which opposes the theory. He states that what Kuhn actually does in his theory is to replace logic with history in the understanding of the progressive development of science. The paper is important as it presents a well argued view that runs contrary to the common acceptance of Kuhn's theory and shows that Kuhn used the standards and viewpoints of the humanities and social sciences to analyze the discipline of science.

Term Paper on Kuhn's Paradigm Shift Assignment

This article is from the online version of the New Criterion, which is a well respected publication with well - known contributors form many fields and disciplines.

Thomas Kuhn. Emory University. Retrieved Sept. 22, 2007 at http://www.des.emory.edu/mfp/Kuhnsnap.html

This general assessment of the works of Thomas Kuhn is insightful for a number of reasons. Firstly the paper provides a very clear and comprehensive analysis of the contentious term" paradigm" and clearly shows that it is the central crux of the theory and outlines why it is such as an important but ambiguous term. This is a fairly lengthy article and provides a great deal of information and insight into this controversy. This article stands out from many others in its extensive explication of the various elements and central statements that characterize the theory of paradigm shift.

This is an article for the Emory University site.

Weinberg S. The Revolution That Didn't Happen. Retrieved Sept. 22, 2007 at http://www.nybooks.com/articles/735

This is a well written and competent commentary from the New York Review of Books on Kuhn's works and its acceptance in the scientific world. The article clearly shows the way that different paradigms have emerged in the history of scientific thought. Weinberg uses the example of the shift from Newtonian paradigm to the new paradigm that was initiated by Einstein's theory of relativity. Importantly, the review also outlines the major objections and their originators to the theory of paradigm and paradigm shift. Weinberg presents a short but instructive overview of the scientists who have opposed the Khunian view of the evolution of science, beginning with Harvard President James Bryant Conant.

Pajares F. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions:Outline and Study Guide.

Emory University. Retrieved Sept. 22, 2007 at http://ar.geocities.com/fisica_tutoriales/fisica_tutoriales/filosofia/kuhn0.pdf

This outline of the Structure of Scientific Revolutions is comprehensive and well structured. It is essentially a straightforward summary of the main points of the theory and, as such, provides a clear and concise view of the actual text. This site serves as a valuable introduction to theory.

Assignment two: critique and analysis of Thomas Kuhn and paradigm shift

It should be remembered that Thomas Kuhn was essentially not a scientist but rather a philosopher in the field of the philosophy of science. The book he wrote, the Structure of Scientific Revolutions, has sold well over a million copies and has been translated into sixteen languages. (Thomas Kuhn 2) it has also been one of the works that is most commonly cited in scholarly articles in the humanities. Furthermore,

It is not just an influential book on the philosophy of science; it is one of the two or thee most influential works on philosophy of any kind published in the 20th century. It has become impossible to discuss the history of science without considering, and probably adapting, Kuhn's notion of the "paradigm shift" as a primary model for understanding that history.

Analysis as Model: Thomas Kuhn's Paradigm Shift in the Structure of Scientific Revolutions)

In order to understand the impact and the significance of Kuhn's theory of paradigm shift in scientific praxis and discourse, it is important to realize the way that this new theory challenged the very foundations of scientific thinking and the vision that many scientists had of the nature and the direction of the scientific enterprise. As the author of the paper, Analysis as Model: Thomas Kuhn's Paradigm Shift in the Structure of Scientific Revolutions states;

Before Kuhn, philosophers and historians of science generally saw the history of scientific thought as a slow, progressive, evolutionary accumulation of knowledge from one generation to the next. The theories of Darwin, historians argued, grew naturally out of the theories of Lamarck, and the relativistic physics of Einstein were simply a natural extension of the classical physics of Newton. Kuhn's theory of paradigms, however, changed all of this Analysis as Model: Thomas Kuhn's Paradigm Shift in the Structure of Scientific Revolutions states)

The above quotation stresses the radical nature of Kuhn's theory. The theory of paradigm shift is still controversial and contested by many scientists today. It posits the view that Instead of seeing the history of science as a "...natural progression towards ultimate truth..." from the perspective of the theory, it is rather seen as a."..long series of conflicts between different and competing ways to process data and explain results" (Analysis as Model: Thomas Kuhn's Paradigm Shift in the Structure of Scientific Revolutions states).

In other words, science as a discipline and as the most important of intellectual discipline in the modern world has more traditionally been seen as a slow but purposive accumulation of data which adds to the overall understanding of truth and the reality of life. However Kuhn's theory was to challenge this ideology and posit a view of science which countered the idea of a progressive and linear process of the discipline..

Kuhn argued that instead of the ideology of the scientific enterprise as a steady and logical accumulation of knowledge, it was in reality a series of violent revolutions. More importantly, in this process of revolution or paradigm shift there is a complete change of the conceptual framework in which science operates. After these revolutions, "one conceptual world view is replaced by another" (Thomas Kuhn).

Therefore Kuhn states that each phase of normal science reaches a stage when anomalies or unexplained data and conflicting information forces a shift in the direction of change in the paradigmatic structure of that science. This leads to the adoption of a completely different set of concepts and theories which constitutes the new paradigm shift. "...new and unsuspected phenomena are repeatedly uncovered by scientific research, and radical new theories have again and again been invented by scientists" (Pajares).

Central to the dissention and controversy that this theory has created is the debate about the word "paradigm." Kuhn saw this concept as meaning; essentially a collection of beliefs shared by scientists, a set of agreements about how problems are to be understood. According to Kuhn, paradigms are essential to scientific inquiry, for "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...."

Thomas Kuhn)

In essence this refers to the fact that when paradigm shift takes place it is accompanied by radical change in the very nature and structure of science.

The challenge that this theory brought to conventional notions of scientific progress were extreme. One of the most important aspects was that it implied that scientists no longer conformed to the previous ideal of objective and independent thinkers. (Thomas Kuhn) in other words, as they worked with a certain paradigm they were in essence conservative thinkers who acted within the accepted the fundamental tenets or viewpoint of the dominant paradigm. This means that according to Kuhn, scientists were,."..in essence, puzzle-solvers who aim to discover what they already know in advance " (Thomas Kuhn). This of course undercut the view that scientists had of the greater integrity and aims of their discipline

Another controversial aspect of the theory paradigm shift was that scientific revolutions… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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