April 02 2013 Lecture Notes- Political Revolutions.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
History and Philosophy of Science and Technology
Curtis Forbes

TuesdayApril 02 2013 Lecture What are political revolutions -revolution:Aterm indicating domination of rivals -the slave begins by demanding justice and ends by wanting to wear a crown -revolution that leaves in place forms of the existing order -need to be a new dominating system -however implies progress -have to make things hard for the power structures Scientific Revolutions -use politi revolutions as a model to sci rev -theoretical change or change in methodology, etc -what are scientific revs? Alexandre Koyre -studied early modern science (potlemy, Bruno, Newton, Bacon, etc) -Questioned the reality of Gallieo’s experiments -Coined that term ‘The scientific revolution” to refer to changes in the learning and natural philopshy wrought by the early moderns -Portrayed the scientific revolution as the result of great minds boldy using their creative genius to produce new theoretical outlooks -For koyre: idea of one big revolution Thomas Kuhn -Sees revolutions a lot more -of course just one big rev but also smaller revs -things can happen within the same domain of inquiry -historians erroneously portray progressive accumulation of truth and discarding of falsity -they need to be sensitive to discontinuities and radical changes in science -idea of revolutions ins science is an apt metaphor for understanding such radical changes -many revolutions not just singular one -revoultions have a common structure according to him (non-cumulative, discontinuous cases of scientific change, where the science practiced before and after a revolution is practicsed under fundamentally different (i.e. incommensurable) paradigms – incommensurable: different views of the world in an irreconcilabile way Normal science- science generally proceeds through prolonged periods of normal science where the techniques found successful in the past (e.e. the use of classical mechanical models) area applied to new unsolved problems (e.g. understanding electromagnetism) -established hierarchy of intellectualism, address problems using the same methods Anomalies and crisis- when a lot of anomalies have proved themselves recalcitrant (e.g. perihelion of mercury). Suddenly, scientists perceive a crisis Normally during this period- infighting -conservative scientists try to account for the anomalies with the tools availa
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