Scientific Revolutions Chapter Summary

Decent Essays
In The Structure of the Scientific Revolutions, Thomas S. Kuhn precisely articulates the fundamental problems of the then current scientific historical model of knowledge acquired by accretion and posits a model that Kuhn defines as a pattern involving the “normal science”, the transitional “scientific revolution”, and the later “paradigm shift”. Kuhn continues in the same fashion as Karl Popper, Alexander Koyre and Paul Feyerabend in the continuing critique of a positivistic interpretation of the history of science and offers an alternative perspective. Kuhn’s book specifically deals with the historical and philosophical aspects of science, but the book’s impact has had a significant influence on many other disciplines from which Kuhn’s general…show more content…
These “anomalies” are what Kuhn talks about in chapter six and they result in crises, which is discussed in chapter seven, in which scientists reevaluate the fundamental understandings inherent in the accepted paradigm to either fit these anomalies into the paradigm or creatively produce an entirely new theory that can explain the anomalies. In response to such a monumental anomaly, an austere and concrete paradigm loses its solidified perspective and becomes more flexible and malleable creating an urgent need for a response. It is either solved and the paradigm survives, deferred until it becomes too daunting, or an alternate paradigm is considered. If there is a transition or shift to a new scientific theory it is called a “scientific revolution”. In chapter nine, Kuhn addresses the incompatibility of the original and new paradigms and how the new paradigm replaces the old by often making it irreconcilable for the two theories to coexist. The new destroys the old with a new fundamental set of beliefs that are instilled onto the new paradigm. Chapter ten displays how the entire world-view of the scientist is changed. Kuhn offers the example of Wittgenstein's rabbit-duck illusion to illustrate how scientists perceptions change dramatically from the acceptance of a new theory. Chapter eleven, discusses the effects of textbooks and higher academia and how they contribute to the invisibility of scientific revolution through the rigorous study that students must bear in order to achieve academic success in the sciences. These textbooks pedagogically bolster knowledge by the accretion of empirical data and therefore the principles presented by Kuhn go largely unnoticed. Chapters twelve addresses a revolution’s resolution by showing how scientist watch the support of a paradigm wither away through Popperian
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