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Chapter 5

PHIL 2180 Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: Thomas Kuhn, Normal Science

Course Code
PHIL 2180
Karyn Freedman

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Chapter 5: Kuhn and Normal Science
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions: Most famous book about science written by Thomas Kuhn in
the Twentieth Century. The book shattered traditional myths about science, especially empiricists’.
Kuhn’s Paradigm: A whole way of doing science in some particular field. Changes or revolutions in
science occur when one paradigm is replaced with another.
Two Terms of Paradigm:
1. Broad Sense: A package of ideas and methods, which, when combined, make up both a view of
the world and doing science.
2. Narrow Sense: Examples of successful theories that serve as models, inspiring and directing
further work.
Normal Science: Scientific work that occurs within the framework of a paradigm. Well organized.
Kuhn believed that it was false that science exhibits a permanent openness to criticism and testing.
Two Distinct Scientific Changes:
1. Change with normal science. Clear and agreed upon standards for the justification of
arguments. There is also clear progress.
2. Revolutionary science. No agreed standards. There is no clear progress.
Kuhn used philosophical questions with the history science, something logical empiricists believed
should never be done.
Kuhn believed that scientific failings and flaws lead to some of the greatest scientific discoveries.
Normal Science:
Kuhn does not believe all science needs a paradigm. One paradigm per field per time.
In normal science there are no debates because all scientists have a general standard.
Most normal science involves puzzle-solving.
Anomaly and Crisis:
Rejection of a paradigm only happen when:
1. A critical mass of anomalies has arisen.
An anomaly is a puzzle that has resisted solution.
Crisis Science: A period when an existing paradigm has lost the ability to inspire and
guide scientists. Where no new paradigm has appeared.
2. A rival paradigm has appeared.
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