Thomas Kuhn's Book - The Term Paper

Length: 7 pages Sources: 1 Subject: Evolution Type: Term Paper Paper: #97415676 Related Topics: Astronomy, Evolution, Physics, Book
Excerpt from Term Paper :

Research can be added to the paradigms through discovery, without an actual paradigm shift, or the paradigm can be completely replaced through crisis.

Scientific revolutions are sometimes so great that it can be said that with the advent of a paradigm shift, the world itself changes. However, as Kuhn (1996) sustains, the world does not actually change every time a paradigm shift occurs, although it can be said that the world does become a different place for the ones who perceive it from the point-of-view of a different paradigm. (p. 111)

In the light of Kuhn's theory, the history of past science as well of the structure of the present science and the forecast of the future developments can be defined or predicted.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is a great step towards an understanding of the past of science as well as of the manner in which it evolves.

Evolution of science or progress is realized through the paradigm shifts, or after the moment of crisis of a certain science. Crisis appears essentially when a world-view can no loner be accepted as valid, and is a fundamental moment in evolution. Also, Kuhn (1996) argues that scientific evolution shares a common ground with natural selection as theorized by Darwin. Moreover, Kuhn tries to account for the fact that the science does evince an evolution, although this evolution is characterized by the absence of a goal.

Science evolves without having a definite target, and this once more underlines the importance of paradigms as the means through which evolution becomes explainable. The world-views are replaced because of the very structure that is proper of scientific revolutions in general. (p. 171)

The past of science can be interpreted according to the view that Kuhn offers as a series of these scientific revolutions. However, it must be noted that there was a time in every science when there were no paradigms constructed yet.

Thus, Kuhn (1996) maintains that the degree of specialization achieved by a certain science is obvious in its means of investigation and transmission of the information- in the earlier stages of science the book was the most common way of making reports in science, and most of these reports were intelligible to everyone. However, in time, as the research in a certain scientific field developed and extended, the corpus of data became gradually unintelligible for the common person who was not a scientist. (p. 20)

The period before the emergence if any coherent paradigm, is what Kuhn describes as a confused state for a science, which is unlikely to lead to any progress at all. On the contrary, error or anomaly, as it has been seen are much more likely to be turned into coherent patterns.

The structure of scientific revolutions as proposed by Kuhn is easily noticeable in the past of science. The same case applies to the existence of paradigms or world-views that appear and then disappear because of new ones.

Many of such paradigms can be identified throughout the history of physics, for example: from Aristotle's paradigm of the world as made of matter, which was further made of atoms characterized by specific movements, shapes and sizes, then to Newton's view of the world made up of forces which were intimately related to mass, to Einstein's theory of relativity which proposed...


These two paradigms merged into a new one, after the anomaly that the behavior of light presented was observed experimentally.

Thus, it can be argued that Kuhn offers a proper account of the events characteristic of all scientific revolutions, for the past and present science.

Moreover, the future science is essentially determined by the past and present developments in science, and predictably, the new paradigms will emerge as a result of new discoveries and crisis in the present accepted world-views.

The future of science can not be predicted as such, but the structure of scientific revolutions will most probably be preserved.

Therefore, Kuhn's theory of the structure of scientific revolutions is very pertinent for an accurate description of the past, present and future of science and for the way in which it generally evolves also.

Science is essentially characterized by progress, and its progress is explained through paradigm change as well.

Kuhn (1996) thus gives a proper account of the way in which science has evolved so far and the way presumably predicts the way in which it will evolve hereafter.

Scientific progress is essentially different from that of other domains of human thought such as the art or the social sciences. The last two do not progress as such, as science does, although they to employ the term paradigm to separate the specific currents and trends of thought. Literature, for example, can speak of a Romantic paradigm that has certain common features, and of a similar way in which this can be replaced by a new one, that represents the world differently.

In science however, the succession of paradigms is bound to lead to progress as one discovery leads to another, and moreover, sometimes the paradigms are completely replaced by new ones, which does not occur in art, where the old works still contain many valuable ideas.

The scientific road is thus one of that is characterized by more than mere perception, or of changes that occur in the way man perceives the world.

Although perception, according to Kuhn (1996) is very important in science as well, up to the point that it can be said that the world itself changes with a paradigm shift, it is, nevertheless, not perception by itself that transforms. The scientist has to form the paradigm from what he sees, although, many times, what he actually sees stays the same. (p. 112)

Kuhn gives a revolutionary description of science and its progress, and his concept of paradigm and paradigm shift has been used extensively in all fields of research, being still the most common…

Sources Used in Documents:

Reference List

Kuhn, T.S. (1996) The structure of scientific revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press

Cite this Document:

"Thomas Kuhn's Book - The" (2006, December 12) Retrieved June 16, 2021, from

"Thomas Kuhn's Book - The" 12 December 2006. Web.16 June. 2021. <>

"Thomas Kuhn's Book - The", 12 December 2006, Accessed.16 June. 2021,

Related Documents
Paradigm Shift
Words: 310 Length: 1 Pages Topic: Race Paper #: 65188603

Shift The term "paradigm shift" implies not only a deep change in an external state of affairs but a change of consciousness. Integrating diversity in the workplace, while it may seem straightforward, involves a paradigm shift because of the nature of racism, sexism, and all other prejudices. These prejudices are ingrained, a part of the human psyche. As such, they affect all areas of life, especially social arenas like places

Paradigm Shift in Education Reform Using Thomas Kuhn Richard Dawkins...
Words: 2794 Length: 9 Pages Topic: Teaching Paper #: 5273305

Education Reform A Paradigm Shift in Education Reform Basic ideas are not confined to one branch of science or one area of academic study; if it is a truly worthwhile idea it can be expanded to include many different area of science. The scientific method was at first thought to only be useful to those scientists who knew that they could find definitive answers such as mathematicians and physicists. The hard sciences

Educational Leadership Paradigm Shifts in
Words: 2551 Length: 8 Pages Topic: Leadership Paper #: 80940247

3). This approach appears to be similar to "management by walking around" in the business world, but it appears to provide some profound results in educational settings. The principal in question was able to begin helping teachers identify activities and assessments that were more challenging and provided more substantive feedback for faculty concerning student performance, and there was the added bonus of additional opportunities for this educational leader to work

Kuhn's Paradigm Shift - An
Words: 2518 Length: 9 Pages Topic: Black Studies - Philosophy Paper #: 70228481

This means that the older paradigm is replaced by the new and the new concepts and views and the new are not compatible with the old. "...the new paradigm cannot build on the preceding one. Rather, it can only supplant it..." (Thomas Kuhn). Kuhn's theory was in effect challenging a view of scientific progress that had begun with Comte and the Enlightenment. This refers to the original view and belief

Self-Directed Learning: A Paradigm Shift
Words: 2570 Length: 7 Pages Topic: Teaching Paper #: 28196318

15). The policy implications of adopting such a model are profound, given that they suggest that merely removing barriers such as childcare demands or providing transportation may not be enough to deter individuals from their psychological motivational obstacles to enhancing their learning, and that the decision to embark upon and continue an educational program is highly subjective. In the cost-benefit theory, variables that affect decisions and motivational levels are tuition,

A Social Paradigm Shift Is Needed
Words: 2944 Length: 8 Pages Topic: Psychology Paper #: 38471276

Social Psychology The author of this report will be addressing four high-level topics during the course of this report. In order, those topics will be narcissism, self-esteem/self-worth, a definition and discussion of the self-efficacy theory of Albert Bendura and the inferring of traits as defined by the wider paradigm of the Fundamental Attribution Theory. The body of work on these topics is fairly large but there will be an analysis and