Scientific Revolution By Kuhn Summary

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1)Explain each of the following notions and how they fit with each other to form Kuhn’s account of scientific revolutions: paradigm, normal science, puzzle-solving, anomaly, crisis, revolution, and incommensurability. According to Kuhn, what is the structure of scientific revolution? Describe how a revolution starts, the process by which the transition occurs, and how the revolution is completed.

To Kuhn, the structure of scientific revolutions is as so: normal science occurs within a paradigm; followed by anomalies, which lead to crisis; and crisis ends with the adoption of a new paradigm [6].
Paradigm is described by Kuhn as the broad agreements of the scientific community regarding what the fundamentals, problems, solutions are [174]. Paradigms
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Explain. In what sense then does Laudan believe that science involves rational progress?

Laudan does agree with Kuhn that scientific history precludes one from seeing it as providing theories that ever-more-closely-approximate the truth about nature since paradigm shifts leads to changes in definitions of truth instead of a cumulative progression towards truth. It is difficult to claim science is progressing towards truth because there is no objective way of judging what truth is or measuring truth progression [78]. Defined this way, science is not progressive. However, in order to save the notion that science is progressive, Laudan offers an alternative view that depends on the notion of instrumentalism. Laudan proposes one must abandon the idea that science is progressing towards truth, and instead view science through a problem-solving model, that is, science is progressing in terms of solving more problems and developing better problem-solving tools [78]. In other words, science is progressing when one switches to a paradigm that has made more progress in solving problems and eliminating anomalies than the previous
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When using this approach, one compares the two paradigms based on how many problems each paradigm has solved (number of anomalies eliminated and empirical support accumulated), and the potential each paradigm has in solving more problems [82]. Thus, when using cost-benefit analysis to decide to switch paradigms, one is making a rational choice since one is using a paradigm-independent tool and is deciding from a neutral standing point. One is choosing the paradigm that has made the most progress in terms of problem-solving instead of just choosing a paradigm that appeals to one’s preference. When one starts making paradigm transitions based on the problem-solving model, one breaks the notion that science is only progressive in terms of cumulative retention (and thus leading to truth), and instead demonstrates that science can be progressive without cumulative retention as long as the empirical support gain outnumbers the explanatory

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