Normal Science: Chapters I-V
Chapter I: The Relevance of History of Science (HS)
A. The irrelevance of HS on empiricist/positivist view1. "textbook tradition" misleads because1. context of discovery a matter for psychologyB. Problems with older HS approach
2. testing (confirming or corroborating) makes a hypothesis scientific
3. testing relies on observation of an "objectively given" datum
4. since datum is objectively given, state of mind of scientist is irrelevant
C. Historigraphic revolution in HS
1. development not seen as cumulative
2. gives historical opinions maximum internal coherence
3. discarded theories are seen in context of historical integrity of own time
4. evaluates discarded scientific theories against beliefs of contemporaries
D. Kuhn's Arguments against irrelevance of HS in empiricist concensus: History reveals...
1. insufficiency of methodological directives to determine scientific belief
2. "tests" of theories compatible with an infinite variety of theories
3. therefore, apparently arbitrary factors involved in determining scientific belief
4. therefore, normal science assumes community knows what the world is like
5. major revolutions in scientific belief are inexplicable
E. Scientific revolutions involve
1. rejection of time honored theory in favor of competitor
2. basic problems of science "shift" with respect to
a) their content
b) standards for what is an acceptable or signbificant problem
c) standards for an acceptable solution
3. scientific "imagination" transformed so that scientist works in a different world
A. Comments on the definition of "paradigm"Chapter III: Work in Normal Science
1. Kuhn's many different uses of the term
2. Postscript distinction between
a) "Disciplinary Matrix" which which normal scientists share including
ii) agenda of problems on which to work
iii) methodological commitemtns
iv) substantive ontological commitments
v) the paradigm theory
b) "Exemplars" as model problem solutions to emulate
3. Paradigms define "normal science" by
a) succesful achievement
b) attracting practitioners from rival "schools" until it has a "monopoloy"
c) forms "scientific community" sharing "disciplinary matrix" (see II.A.2.a.i-v)
d) embodies a "world-view"
B. Historical data revealing a trasition from preparadigm infancy to mature normal science
1. Preparadigm period characterized by
a) number of competing schools
b) all phenomena "equal" as of potential interest (natural history phase)
c) researchers publish books starting from first principles
d) publication addressed to general literate public
e) phenomena are described in radically different ways (languages)
2. After a first paradigm has appeared scientific work is characterized by
a) disappearance of rival schools in favor of virtual monopoly by paradigm
b) certain phenomena appear as especially revealing of how nature works
c) researchers publish articles assuming considerable prior knowledge
d) addresses audience of professional specialists
i) appearance of specialist journals
ii) establishment of academic departments and institutes
iii) appearance of professional associations and conferences
A. Normal science defined by acceptance of a common paradigm by a community
1. paradigm has already succeeded in solving number of acute problems
2. paradigm shows promise of success for further problem solving
3. paradigm becomes object for further "articulation"
B. Foci of "normal scientifc research"
1. in principle only three possibilities
a) determining significant (relative to paradigm) fact
b) "matching" fact with theory
c) filling in the details -articulation
2. On the experimental side these three (III.B.1.a-c) seen in
a) determining paradigm facts more precisely & in more situations
b) comparing predictions of paradigm theory with observation
c) articulating details such as
i) more precise values of physical constants
ii) improving data on empirical regularities
iii) settling empirical ambiguities experimentally
3. On theoretical side these three seen in
a) manipulating theory to produce useful information
b) developing applications of theory to possible experiments
i) greater precision
ii) new techniques of applying theory
c) solving theoretical problems in paradigm articulation
Chapter IV: Normal scientific work as puzzle solving
A. Under empiricist concensus science concerns "testing" of theory, involving...
1. open-mindedness on acceptability of theory (theory on trial)
2. acceptance of "facts" as given by observation
3. attempts to refute theory
4. failure of test reflects negatively on theory
B. Normal science on Kuhn's model is like puzzle-solving (not testing)
1. A "puzzle" differs from a "problem" in that
a) it is assumed to have a solution
b) solution is attainable and acceptable only by following rules
c) challenge lies in ingenuity of puzzle solver in using the rules
2. Work in normal science is like puzzle solving in that
a) paradigm assures that there is a solution
b) paradigm has "rules" determining what is acceptable solution
c) challenge is to scientist's ingenuity in using the "rules"
C. Therefore normal science is unlike empiricist view in that
1. scientist accepts paradigm theory "dogmatically" (it's not on trial)
2. strenuous effort to "beat nature into line" to fit paradigm induced expectations
3. uses paradigm theory, language, & methods to solve puzzles
4. failure to solve puzzle reflects negatively on scientist, not paradigm
D. The sorts of "rules" which guide paradigm directed puzzle solving:
1. theories, laws, definitions of paradigm
2. commitments to reliability of instrumentation and empirical methodology
3. "quasi metaphysical" commitments regarding
a) the sorts of entities the world contains
b) their interrelationships
4. "science defining" commitments such as
b) uniformity of nature
c) ordered universe
Chapter V: Paradigms replace rule-guided methodology of empiricist concensus
A. On empiricist concensus a theory attains scientific acceptability by
1. being justified by the "scientific method" which is...
2. reducible to rules for testing theories (hypotheses) by observational evidence
B. Research as puzzle solving on Kuhn's model not reducible to rules because
1. historical search for "rules" operating in science has proved a failure
a) great scientists break the "rules"
b) rules are discipline specific, not general to all science
2. Use of a paradigm to solve initial puzzles is prior to its "rationalization"
C. Analogy to Wittgenstein's concept of "family resemblance"
1. late Wittgenstein concerned with meaning of propositions
2. meaning identified with use in a language
3. no one "correct" use; different uses for different purposes
4. different uses are like different moves in different language games
5. different language games share no common essence, but instead are related by
6. "family" resemblances, crisscrossing of a variety of shared traits
D. Paradigms rather than rules actually guide research because
1. science pedagogy does not teach rules but instead...
2. teaches theory through its application to succesful puzzle solutions of past
3. actual historical scientists are never able to abstract out rules of research
4. normal science can do without rules because of acceptance of exemplars
5. paradigm shifts affect only members of specialty concerned with that application
E. Instead of rules, paradigms guide research by
1. modeling new puzzle solutions on succesful puzzle solutions of past
2. pedagogy instructs through ascending difficulty of applications from
a) elementary demonstrations of solved puzzles through to
b) more difficult applications to more challenging puzzles, ultimately to
c) graduate research on as yet unsolved puzzles
Crisis Science: Chapters VI - VIII of Kuhn's Structure
Chapter VI: The Discovery of "Anomalies"
A. Kuhn's terminology:
1. "discovery" refers to a "novelty of fact" i.e. an unanticipated phenomenon
2. "invention" refers to a "novelty of theory" i.e. a modification of theory
3. "anomaly" - a puzzle which scientists using a paradigm are unable to solve
B. The Aim of Normal Science
1. puzzle solving following the paradigm
2. does not look to discover unexpected phenomena
3. nevertheless, normal scientific research is a good way to do so
4. this is surprising, so we ask why it happens this way
C. Discovery of anomaly
1. discovery commences with awareness of anomaly
2. paradigm induces expectations about how nature should behave
3. the unexpected can be "seen" only against background expectations
4. therefore work under a paradigm necessary for discovery of anomalies
D. Stages of discovery
1. unexpected may be initially not seen at all
2. may be eventually noticed for "accidental" reasons
3. initial awareness is originally merely that something is not quite right
4. acceptance is often resisted
5. eventually categories for describing phenomena shift
6. the unexpected now seen as expected
E. Bruner-Postman experiment
1. anomalous playing cards are initially fit into expected categories
2. lengthened exposure leads to awareness that something is wrong
3. subjects exhibit frustration and resistance
4. eventually categories shifted to accommodate anomalous cards
5. Kuhn interprets this both literally and metaphorically
6. dissimilarity as a metaphor of scientific discovery
a) experimenter knows what the card really is
b) there is a correct answer
Chapter VII: Crisis and Theoretical Invention
A. Awareness of anomaly a prelude to theory change
1. normal science uses theory to solve puzzles
2. so, it does not aim at invention of theoretical innovations
3. as long as puzzle-solving proceeding normally theoretical innovations resisted
B. Stages leading up to "invention" of theoretical innovations
1. such rules that worked in normal times begin to fail
2. puzzle-solving slows or halts
3. scientists being to propose ad hoc additions to theory
4. alternative versions of theory appear
5. theory begins to look like a mess with too many ad hoc modifications
6. normal consensus on what the theory says begins to break apart: Crisis!
7. older reigning paradigm confronts challengers
C. Historical evidence to Crisis state
1. pronounced failure of puzzle solving
2. occurs a decade or two before new theory's appearance
3. novel theory(ies) are direct response to crisis provoking anomaly
4. previously "solved" puzzles may begin to appear "unsolved"
5. prior to crisis earlier "anticipations" of the new theory were ignored
Chapter VIII: How Scientists Behave in Response to a Crisis
A. How scientists confront the choice to shift paradigms
1. once a science is mature, research is impossible without a paradigm
2. decision to reject one paradigm simultaneously decision to accept another
3. empiricist conception of a "counterinstance" does not describe situation
a) if older paradigm is secure, they are seen as just unsolved puzzles
b) if a crisis exists they now appear everywhere
c) if new paradigm is accepted they disappear as counterinstances
B. What converts the scientist from seeing an unsolved puzzle to seeing an anomaly?
1. sometimes external pressure to solve the puzzle because
a) it inhibits further articulation of paradigm and puzzle solving
b) some such puzzles may have technological or social interest
2. sometimes failure to solve calls into question fundamentals of paradigm
3. probably no one general reason; many different engines drive scientific change
C. Historical evidence on how scientists behave
1. paradigm "blurs"
a) more and more scientists "break" the "rules"
b) lack of concern over what are the rules in normal science disappears
c) non-normal debates over the "rules" and problems of the field
2. more and more of best scientists focus on anomaly
a) the anomaly challenges the scientist's skills
b) rewards involved
3. scientists may make explicit statements of despair
4. the world no longer looks the same to all members of scientific community
5. scientists may turn to "philosophical analysis"
a) manifest a non-normal concern with basic concepts of field
b) appeal to "thought-experiments"
D. How do crises end? Only three possibilities:
1. the crisis provoking anomaly is solved by the reigning paradigm
a) despair of crisis state was premature
b) revolution aborted
2. the crisis-provoking anomaly is considered unsolvable at current time
a) attention turns to other problems
b) the unsolved puzzle is labeled, and
c) "shelved" for future generations
3. a new theory solves the anomaly
a) more and more scientists begin to use new theory
b) they begin to operate on the paradigm of the new theory
c) eventually the majority of the community converts
d) a "scientific revolution" has transpired (see Chaps IX - XIII)
E. The transformation of vision that occurs in a "scientific revolution" is
1. "like picking up the other end of the stick"
2. handling the same bunch of data, but placing it in a new form
3. like a "Gestalt shift"
a) this is a metaphor, not literally what happens because
b) in the Gestalt shift examples there is an uninterpreted "given"
4. a scientific revolution (for Kuhn) is not a "reinterpretation" of data
a) interpretation is performed on something "given" uninterpreted
b) there is no "given" datum to be interpreted because
c) in a mature science seeing the world without a paradigm is impossible
d) an "uninterpreted" given could not be seen as "anomalous" or "expected"
i) because seeing the expected requires a paradigm
ii) because seeing the unexpected requires a paradigm
Aside I:. The debate over "incommensurability"
A. origins of the debate
1. relativism: with respect to criteria of epistemic acceptability in scientific theory choice
2. conception of scientific method as a "logic"
a) empiricist foundationalism
b) testability and falsifiability
c) Hanson's analysis of observation as theory laden
B. the meaning of "incommensurable"
1. literally: having no common basis for comparison, as to size, value, etc.
2. epistemic incommensurability: no common standard of epistemic warrant - each measured by its own "standards"
3. metaphysical incommensurability: no common world by which to compare paradigms
C. Subsequent history
1. Feyerabendian extremes
2. Fade into realism debate
Chapter IX: The Necessity of Revolutions
A. Revolution as a metaphor: political/scientific, (Cf. p.92-94)
1. motivation: sense that existing institutions are inadequate to deal with problems that can no longer be ignored
2. seek to change by ways existing institutions prohibit
B. Main thesis of the rest of the book:
1. paradigm choice cannot be settled by means of normal science
2. paradigms define their own standards for acceptability so debate over paradigm choice is (partially) circular
3. only 2.) above implies true incommensurability
C. Sociological Thesis: "no standard higher than the assent of the relevant community" (cf p. 94 bottom)
1. techniques of persuasive argument
2. mob psychology
3. nature and logic only "constrain" -do not determine- theory choice
D. Why must paradigm change "reflect destructively" on prior paradigm?
1. it could be just cumulative change
a) paradigm could cover new range of phenomena
b) new paradigm could subsume old as a special case
2. but it must be destructive of old
a) to be seen as "anomalous" implies old beliefs are not all true
b) can make the anomalous the expected only by overturning old beliefs
c) only phenomena that can't be made expected can produce a revolution
E. The Positivist Objection to D. above
1. actual history is idiosyncratic so departs from ideal of cumulative acquisition
2. the older theory is a special case argument
a) Newtonian/Relativistic story
b) Kuhn's reply:
i.) would make theories irrefutable
ii.) though the formulae are the same their meanings change
3. Significance of E.2.b.ii.) above
i.) meaning is paradigm dependent (p. 102)
ii.) "holist" meaning-paradigm connection
iii.) "displacement" of conceptual network
F. How do successive paradigms differ?
1. substantive: different "population of the universe"
2. methodological/normative (cf p. 109): standards of epistemic acceptability are paradigm dependent
3. epistemic incommensurability
4. case history examples
a) history of acceptability of gravity
b) does chemistry explain the properties of elements
c) the luminiferous ether
G. Final Paragraph Review (pp. 109-110): This is a useful compact statement of Kuhn's view of "revolutions".
Chapter X: Revolutions as Changes of WorldviewA. Kuhn's Thesis: When paradigms change, the world itself changes with them
1. "scientists see the world of their research engagement differently"
a) "re-education" of scientist's perception of his environment
b) strong metaphysical incommensurability: Kuhn's "crypto-idealism"
c) does not imply no intertranslatability or irrationalism
2. the metaphor of perceptual psychology (Cf. Hanson, Patterns of Discovery, Chap. 1)
a) theory choice not only a matter of "seeing"
b) in perceptual case there is a "theory neutral" drawing, but not in paradigm choice
c) no higher authority than what he "sees"
3. example case histories
a) discovery of Uranus
b) change in the heavens in Copernican Revolution
c) electrical repulsion
d) Lavoisier and Priestly on "Oxygen"
e) Galileo on "The Pendulum"
B. Objection: The "Interpretation" Thesis
1. Different observers interpret the data differently
b) Mind as a "Mirror of Nature"
2. Kuhn's reply
a) Presupposes the epistemological paradigm of empiricist foundationalism
b) "data" are
i. not given
ii. not unequivocally stable
c) process of transition between paradigms does not resemble "re-interpretation"
d) "interpretation" presupposes a paradigm therefore
i.interpretive process can only "articulate" paradigm
ii. cannot "change" a paradigm
3. example case history of paradigm switches as not cases of reinterpretation:
Example: Aristotle/Galileo on pendulum
C. The question of a "theory-neutral" description of experience
1. has been the dominant assumption
2. but it no longer functions effectively
3. epistemology (philosophy of science) is in a crisis
4. the evidence against the hope for a theory neutral language is proliferating in
a) perceptual psychology
b) logic/linguistic research
c) philosophy itself
d) social sciences
5. what this implies for epistemology
a) collapse of foundationalism
b) ascendancy of relativism
D. Kuhn further extends incommensurability to scientific methods
1. although scientists after a revolution may do the same procedures
a) they now bear a different relation to the paradigm
b) they produce different results
2. so "the world of their research engagement" changes
3. Dalton case history as example of both 1a and 1b above
PROGRESS AND GROWTH OF SCIENCE: Chapters 11-13 of Kuhn's Structure
Aside II:: The issue of the growth of scientific knowledge
A. Standard of "science"Chapter 11: Why cumulativity seems plausible:
1. relation to the non-sciences
2. as evidence for the "authority" of the scientific method
B. If revolutions are described as in Chs. 9 & 10, then
1. cumulativity thesis must be wrong
2. "scientific progress" is not what was thought
C. The Cumulativity of the Positivist/Empiricist Model
1. Unity of method
2. Growth of range of explained phenomena
3. Upward growth to more fundamental laws
A. The textbook "history" tradition
1. written by the then victorious paradigm
2. its task is pedagogical
B. Ahistorical tendency in science
1. natural tendency to write history backwards
2. the scientist will naturally bring past heroes to his aid
3. science writing presents the "cleaned-up" demonstration of the scientist's results
Chapter 12: How does the New Paradigm come to be established:
A. Kuhn contra the Positivist/Empiricist ViewChapter 13: In what sense does Kuhn's model of science allow growth to be considered "progressive"?
1. The traditional view:
a) they are tested by the data
b) they are not falsified
2. Kuhn's reply:
a) verificationism hasn't succeeded
b) no historical evidence of kind of testing
c) what has actually been tested is always a small fraction of all possible tests
d) anomalies are not normally seen as falsifying
e) number of solved problems always smaller than unsolved
f) so no one accepts a theory solely because it has stood up to testing or solved all problems
B. Paradigm choice is always a matter of Selection
1. competition between rival theories, not a confrontation between theory and nature
2. all theories "fit the facts" to some degree the question is which does so "better"
C. Paradigm-choice cannot be governed by "standards" for successful problem solving, because these standards are themselves paradigm dependent:
1. therefore, choice is circular, but...
2. that does not imply there are no reasons for choice (i. e. that choice is irrational), but...
3. it does imply that scientists who do not accept the paradigm will find those reasons compelling
D. Kuhn reviews the theses of Chs. 9 and 10, pp. 148-150
1. problems and standards change (epistemic incommensurability)
2. meanings of terms change (meaning or semantic incommensurability)
3. world changes (metaphysical or ontological incommensurability)
E. Why do scientists ever switch?
1. some never do, they grow old and die ("The Planck effect")
2. some are "converted" one by one for
a) "external reasons"
ii. idiosyncratic, biographical
b) persuasive factors
i. number of problems solved and which ones
ii. quantitatively more precise
iii. successful prediction of new/surprising phenomena
iv. aesthetic factors: simplicity, neatness
3. since new paradigms must attract some scientists even before they are as successful as old, therefore...
a) at least some cannot be motivated to switch because of problem solving ability of paradigm, therefore...
b) their decision is made on basis of faith in new paradigm's promise for future achievement, therefore...
c) a "paradigm shift" relies on subjective rather than objective basis for conversion
4. although some may switch for subjective reasons, the victory for the new paradigm is determined by
a) increasing numbers who practice science that way
b) their success
A. Does science progress?
1. Necessarily if we treat it as a tautology (analytically true)
2. Since a paradigm is a tradition of successful problem solving, success is by definition progress
B. Progress in Normal Science
1. those within the traditional of normal science within a paradigm will automatically record progress
2. Since most times are normal, scientific progress is generally very visible
3. because those within normal science share common standards it is easy to agree whether progress is achieved
4. textbook pedagogy naturally presents story of solving increasing number of problems with increasing precision
C. Progress across a revolutionary divide - paradigm switch
1. history is written by the victorious paradigm, so it will naturally tell the revolutionary story as progress
2. new paradigm will seem "better" (so progressive) to those who have converted for whatever separate reasons each individual scientist converts
3. victory is determined by the consensus of the community [Kuhn's "sociological thesis"]
D. Where does the authority for determining victory of a new paradigm lie?
1. if it were outside of science it would not be a scientific revolution
2. so it must lie within the community of practicing scientists
3. what sort of factors bring about such a consensus?
a) solves anomaly
b) must keep a relatively large portion of problem solving ability that has accrued to past science
c) there may be some loss in actual problem solutions or problem solving ability -at least at first
4. the nature of the consensus which forms around new paradigm "virtually guarantees" that number and precision of problem solutions will grow
E. Does progress represent a closer and closer approach to the truth?
1. distinction between progress measured towards a goal/away from primitive beginnings
2. science seen as progressing from primitive beginnings to more and more sophisticated maturity
3. cannot be towards the goal of "truth" because
a) truth is defined in terms of correspondence between belief and world, but world changes in a revolution
b) the goal of "the one full, objective true account" of nature does no work in science
c) metaphor of a "Darwinian revolution" in our understanding of change in science