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Larga folosire a cuvântului „paradigmă” a făcut să fie ignorată, pentru mulţi, originea sa: lucrarea lui Thomas Kuhn, Structura revoluţiilor ştiinţifice, bestseller care a atins peste un milion de exemplare. Thomas Kuhn săvârşeşte prin Structura revoluţiilor ştiinţifice o revoluţie copernicană în analiza procesului de cercetare ştiinţifică şi în înţelegerea evoluţiei cunoaLarga folosire a cuvântului „paradigmă” a făcut să fie ignorată, pentru mulţi, originea sa: lucrarea lui Thomas Kuhn, Structura revoluţiilor ştiinţifice, bestseller care a atins peste un milion de exemplare. Thomas Kuhn săvârşeşte prin Structura revoluţiilor ştiinţifice o revoluţie copernicană în analiza procesului de cercetare ştiinţifică şi în înţelegerea evoluţiei cunoaşterii. Exemplele sale relevă momentele-cheie în dezvoltarea fizicii, legate de personalităţi precum Copernic, Newton, Lavoisier, Einstein sau Bohr. Cartea s-a bucurat însă de o circulaţie mult mai mare decât ar fi putut bănui Kuhn, generând dezbateri vii şi conducând la aplicări ale ideilor autorului în variate domenii, de la teoria literaturii la sociologie....

Title : Structura revoluțiilor științifice
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ISBN : 9789735020309
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 280 Pages
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Structura revoluțiilor științifice Reviews

  • Manny
    2018-11-08 14:06

    Scientists are so passionate about their work, and even if you're a scientist yourself it can sometimes take you by surprise to see just how passionate they are. A few years ago, when I was working at NASA, we made up a game called If Research Were Romance. Here, let me show you how to play.In real life, Thomas Kuhn wrote a book about paradigm changes in science. But if research were romance, he might have written a book about relationships instead. It might have been quite similar in many ways. Scientists care so much about their theories that you won't go far wrong if you think about the feelings they have for those theories as being similar to the feelings that normal people have for their significant others. If research were romance, Thomas Kuhn might have said that, when you're in a committed relationship, that relationship colors all your life. A lot of what you do and think only makes sense in terms of the relationship. And everyone over, say, 20, knows that relationships are not always easy. You're continually having problems, some of them little, some of them not so little. But if you're prepared to work on them, you can usually solve those problems, and when you've done so you usually feel that the relationship is stronger, not weaker. The fact that you've surmounted the problem gives you more faith in the relationship.If research were romance, Thomas Kuhn might have gone on to say that sometimes you get another feeling. The problems won't disappear, or they go away in one form and immediately return in another. You start to feel that the relationship is undergoing a real crisis. But you'll probably still continue to work on it, unless you meet another person who offers you a chance of something different. If you've been in your relationship a long time, it will feel difficult to consider seriously the idea of abandoning it and starting a new one. Sometimes, though, people do this. They won't really know why they're taking this drastic step, and they won't be able to justify it clearly in their minds. It will just seem like the right thing to do.If research were romance, Thomas Kuhn might have added that, after the old relationship has ended and the new one has started, it will be hard to see your old life in the same terms. Your view of it will now be colored by your new relationship. Now, you will probably only be able to see the old relationship as containing faults which you never noticed at the time. You will not really be able to remember what it was like.If research were romance, Thomas Kuhn might have said that some people believe that they have a true soulmate out there, and it's just a question of finding that special person they are fated to be with. But he wouldn't have believed that. He'd have said that people sometimes change their partner, and often they may do it for a good reason. But there is no absolute sense in which the new partner is better suited to them than the old one. They are better in some ways and worse in others. If research were romance, Thomas Kuhn would have been a rock star. Security staff would have been needed to stop groupies getting into his hotel room and he'd have been unsure about how many children he'd fathered. He'd have played it down in interviews, but everyone would have known what the deal was.If you also work in science, I encourage you to experiment with this game. You'll be amazed how much insight it gives you into what's really going on.

  • AhmadEbaid
    2018-10-31 16:59

    *عن سلوك الأفراد الذين يقومون بمسح المنشورات القديمة لهم على الفيسبوك لأنها أصبحت ساذجة جداً بالنسبة لهم***"إن العلم الذي يتردد في مسألة نسيان مؤسسيه خاسر"وايتهيد "أخشى أنه لديك تغيير في البراديجم"يعالج الكاتب أحد المشكلات التي يراها في تأريخ العلم, وهي الإدّعاء بأن العلم تراكمي "إن الظاهرة المميزة لكتب تدريس العلم هي أنها تحتوي على قدر قليل من التاريخ يوجد في فصل تمهيدي, أو غالبا ما يوجد في إشارات مبعثرة إلى الأبطال العظام لعصر سابق. وبفضل هذه الإشارات يشعر الطلاب والمهنيون الاختصاصيون بأنهم مشاركون في تراث تاريخي مديد. ومع ذلك, فإن التراث المشتق من كتب التدريس الذي به يشعر العلماء بمشاركتهم هو تراث غير موجود في الواقع. ولمبررات واضحة ووظيفية, لا تشير كتب تدريس العلوم إلا إلى ذلك الجزء من عمل العلماء القدامى الذي يمكن النظر إليه على أنه إسهامات في نص وحل مشكلات براديغم هذه الكتب. وقد جرى تمثيل علماء العصور السابقة تمثيلا ضمنيا, على أنهم اشتغلوا على مجموعة المشكلات الثابتة نفسها, وطبقا لمجموعة القوانين الثابتة ذاتها التي جعلتها أحدث ثورة في النظرية العلمية والمنهج العلمي تبدو علمية. فلا غرابة في لزوم إعادة كتابة كتب الدراسة والتراث التاريخي الذي تتضمنه بعد كل ثورة علمية. ولا عجب في أن يبدو العلم, بعد إعادة كتابتهما, وللمرة الثانية تراكميا بصورة كبيرة"فالعلم كما يوضح الكاتب ليس تراكمي وإنما تعاقب براديجمات/paradigms, والبراديجم كما يعرّفه هو منظومة المعتقدات والقيم والتقنيات وما شابه, والتي يشترك فيها أعضاء المجتمع العلمي وتتغير البراديجمات عقب الثورات العلمية التي تؤدي إلى تعديل البراديجم أو إبدال البراديجم القديم بآخر جديدوتنتج الثورة نتيجة ظهور حالة عدم توقع (شواذ عن القاعدة) في البراديجم السائد, والتي تتطور لظهور أزمة, وهذه الأزمة غالبا ما يقوم العلماء بوضع حلول ظاهرية لها, ولكن في الجانب الآخر هنالك من كان يرفض البراديجم القديم ويقدم نظريات جديدة تعمل كبراديجم جديد"دورة كون:1-العلم العادي/الصوري2-نموذج عدم التوقع3-نموذج الأزمة4-نموذج الثورة5-تغيير البراديجم"ولكن قبل أن يُقبل البراديجم الجديد تحدث المناقشات والصراعات الغير مجدية في الكثير من الأحيان, لأن كل فريق له براديجم خاص ينظر به للأمور, فالبديهيات والمقدمات لدى كل منهم مختلفة, وكما قال صديقه"فايرابند" من قبل, فإنه من غير الممكن أن يتم مقارنة البراديجمات المختلفةكما أن البراديجم الجديد, وإن كان يفسر أزمة معينة, فهو لا يستطيع في بدايته أن يحل الكثير من المشاكل التي استطاع حلها البراديجم القديم, فعليه أن ينتظر الكثير حتى يكثر معتنقوه ويصبغوا النظريات اللازمةواستُخدم لفظ "معتنقوه" في العبارة السابقة تحديداً, لأن العلماء لا يكون لديهم في البداية الأدلة الكافية, فيتبعون حدسهموغالبا ما يكون معتنقوا البراديجم الجديد من الباحثين الشباب, أما ذوي الخبرة الطويلة فلا يتحوّلون عن البراديجم القديم أبداً بسبب التحيّز التأكيدي وعدم اعترافهم بالخطأ, ولطالما لُوحظت صعوبات التحول من قبل العلماء أنفسهم. وقد كتب داروين قائلا بوعي نفّاذ في مقطع في نهاية كتابه أصل الأنواع (origin of species): "وبالرغم من أني مقتنع اقتناعا كاملاً بصحة النظرات المعطاة في هذا المجلد..., إلا أنني لا أتوقع, بأي شكل, أن أقنع الطبيعيين ذوي الخبرة الذين تخزنت في عقولهم كثرة من الحقائق نظر إليها كلها, ولمدى سنين طويلة, من منظور مضاد مباشرةً لمنظوري...ولكني بثقة أنظر إلى المستقبل- إلى طبيعيين شُبّان وطالعين, يكونون قادرين على النظر إلى وجهيّ المسألة نظرة خالية من الانحياز"كما لاحظ ماكس بلانك بحزن, وهو يلقي بنظره نظرة عامة على حياته الخاصة في كتابه "سيرة ذاتية علمية", قائلاً:"لا تفوز حقيقة علمية جديدة عن طريق إقناع خصومها وجعلهم يرون النور, بل لأن خصومها سينتهون بالموت, وأن جيلا جديداً سوف يترعرع ويألفها" "ماذا لو لم نفعل أي شيء على الإطلاق وانتظرنا شيء سحري لكي يحدث ؟!"ولذلك فقد يضمحل العلم والتكنولوجيا إذا تم الخلود للبشر قبل أن يتوفر تقنية للتصرف مع نقاط ضعف الإدراكات الإنسانية كالتحيّز التأكيدي, فتخيلوا معي عالم من كبار السن, الذين مازالوا يشيرون إلى الآن للكمبيوتر بألفاظ مثل "البتاع ده", وهم يبقون ويتعاقب عليهم الأجيال المختلفة من التكنولوجيا والموضة!!فلنعود الآن للموضوع الأساسي,وماذا كان قبل أول براديجم؟ قبل أول براديجم يكون هناك مجهودات مشتتة, ولا تثمر بنفس النتائج التي يأتي بها المجهودات العلمية في ظل براديجم معين, فالبراديجم يوفر قاعدة من المبادئ والقوانين المتفق عليها بينه وبين المجتمع العملي وبالتالي لا يحتاج إلى أن يشرح القواعد الأساسية في كل مرة, وأيضا لا يحتاج لأن يقنع العامة بكلامه وتبسيط المجال لهم, مما يسمح للباحث أن يخوض في موضوعات أكثر تخصصية, كما أنه يمنحه الثقة لاستثمار المزيد من وقته في هذا المجال ذو البراديجم المتفق عليه وسط مجتمع علميوهكذا فوجود براديجم ولو خاطئ إلى حد كبير, فهو أفضل من لاشيء"ظهور الصدق من الخطأ هو أسرع من ظهوره من الفوضى" فرانسيس بيكون"هل لنا أن نرى هذه الخدعة ثانية من فضلك ؟*على السبورة: خلايا عصبية + سحر = الوعي"المحتوى سهل وبسيط ولكن الجمل طويلة شوية ودا اللي ممكن يخلي الكتاب مش مناسب للقراء المبتدئين ولكن للقارئ المتوسط, أو المبتدئ اللي مستعد يبذل مجهود, وترجمة "المنظمة العربية للترجمة" كويسة في معظم الكتاب في كل صفحة فيه قصص تاريخية كثيرة, وربما هي ما لطفت المحتوى الفلسفي الجاف قليلاً, مرفق معها مراجع للاستزادة بطريقة توضح مدى إلمام الكاتب بتاريخ العلوم, رغم أنه لم يكن الكارير الأساسي له, فهو قد قام بتغيير مهنته بعد أن كان على وشك الإنتهاء من أطروحته لنيل الدكتوراه في الفيزياء النظرية!! "أخبار جيدة, إنني أسمع بأن البراديجم يتغير"الكتاب يقع ضمن مصاف الكتب التي وضعت الإنسان في حجمه الطبيعي"مؤلف الكتاب: توماس كون"

  • Stephen M
    2018-10-17 11:54

    With the publication of this landmark work, Kuhn gave an entirely new way to think about science and the process of scientific discovery; it completely contradicted what was previously believed about the functioning of scientific discovery and how we came to discoveries about the natural world. The philosophy of science before Kuhn began writing was most influenced by Karl Popper. He put forth the popular notion of falsifiability, whereby all scientific theories are tenable only if they are falsifiable, and theories can only be proven wrong with evidence that falsifies it. Kuhn says that that’s not how science works and it’s certainly not how scientists operate. Kuhn put everything in terms of paradigms—the phrase paradigm shift was made popular by this work. And the paradigm is what is supposed to be the method by which scientists make discoveries about the world. Before I delve into this, I have to say that I am conflicted about all the ideas that Kuhn propounds in this seminal work. I have commitments to other opinions I hold (especially having to do with the divide between religion and science). Out of a reaction to many religious apologetic positions, I have placed strong conviction in my views regarding scientific inquiry and formations of beliefs. In my discovery of the limitations of our ideas and ability to obtain knowledge, I feel a part of me tug away from it because of what it might imply regarding all the debates regarding God and apologetics. A common apologetic move is to capitalize upon our limitations on knowledge in order to motivate the view that a God exists. As what happened with the logical positivists, many have overreacted to preponderance of sloppy theism in society and overstepped their bounds and placed too much conviction in our ability to come to knowledge and the capacity for science to make meaningful discoveries. I’m not sure if this is what is pulling me away from Kuhn’s ideas, for Kuhn certainly places science in a much different light than we all have been taught. But, it is crucially important to keep in mind our biases, like the one that I have laid out for myself, while analyzing Kuhn’s ideas.Setting aside any implications about the theist, atheist debacle (which is unfortunately unavoidable while discussing anything about science and scientific discoveries), I will try to give an account of Kuhn’s ideas, as I understand them to be.The traditional view of science—see Karl Popper’s writings on the scientific method—is that scientists gather individual pieces of data from the natural world and when there is a sufficient amount of pieces of data, we can draw inferences about the relation between individual pieces of data. These inferences we draw about the world become hypotheses about the nature of the relation between these pieces of data—(a set of objects fall towards the ground, the scientist notices that all objects act in this way, then she posits the most likely explanation to account for this related set of phenomenon). Each hypothesis is accepted or rejected based on its ability to account for greater or lesser amounts of other pieces of data. Of course, we take falling objects to be under the influence of gravity, but Aristotle had a much different account of what was occurring when objects fell towards the ground. But after people discovered enough conflicting data that contradicted Aristotle’s theories, they were overturned and more robust theories took their place. This depicts science as a continual reformulation of theories to fit an ever-expanding knowledge base. It depicts science as slowly progressing towards the truth as it accumulates new pieces of data which are considered in light of the currently-held theories. In order for the theory to be tenable, it must be the best interpretation (the interpretation that makes the least amount of assumptions) which justifies the evidence. And all it takes is for a single piece of evidence to overthrow that theory and that theory will no longer be considered a tenable one. However, Kuhn doesn't think this is how scientists really operate. While it's true that old theories do get over-turned by new evidence, it is a slow and gradual process, and it comes with great resistance from scientists working in their respective fields.When people used to believe in geocentricism, there were a great number of problems that came about as a result of this hypothesis. One of the many problems was the retrograde motion of the planets: http://www.scienceu.com/observatory/a.... When scientists began calculating the movement of the planets, they noticed that as a planet moved across the night sky, it moved backwards during a part of the year, then forward during another. But if the earth was in the middle of the solar system, why would planets move across the night sky, then seemingly move backwards in their orbits? In order to account for a geocentric universe and the retrograde motion of the planets, the astronomer Ptolemy posited what were called epicycles. Epicycles were the hypothetical orbit patterns of planets that accounted for the retrograde motion of the planets. The planets orbited around points which in turn followed the path of orbit around the earth. These were generally considered to be false, and the scientists who came later made fun of the Ptolemaics who believed in it. According to the classical view of science, Ptolemy was simply wrong with his epicycle hypothesis and as scientists amassed greater amounts of evidence, the hypothesis was rendered obsolete with the discovery of the fact that the earth is not the center of the universe. Kuhn uses an example like this to motivate his critique of the traditional view of scientific practice and inquiry, re Popper and falsification. Kuhn points to examples of how scientists have tried to cram new data into pre-existing theories. Scientists try to account for new data by forcing them to fit with background assumptions and they do not use these new pieces of data to overthrow those background assumptions which may be suspect. For Kuhn, scientists aren’t in the business of trying to falsify their own hypotheses. Instead, scientists work within what Kuhn calls a paradigm. A paradigm is essentially a backdrop set of assumptions and biases which inform everything about discoveries in science and the formation of hypotheses about the world. Instead of science being this thing which accumulates facts, Kuhn says that “normal” science—what we usually think of when talking about science—is merely “filling in the details” after a paradigm has been put in place. Kuhn challenges our conception of progress in science: he calls a shift in paradigms, a revolution in science: when a set of theories and hypotheses come along that radically change the ways we view the world (the Copernican revolution, Einstein’s theory of relativity, quantum mechanics, etc.), it radically changes the way scientists conduct experiments, devise test implications and form hypotheses. The only type of “progress” for Kuhn, is drawing out the full implications of a certain paradigm once it’s been established. Given enough time, the full implication of the paradigm will be realized, and the limits of the paradigm will become known to scientists working in their respective fields. This is the process that Kuhn calls “normal science” and it is the science as we know it. This is the process of gathering facts to build hypotheses that explain phenomena in the world. But it is all done within a framework, within that background set of assumptions that constitute the paradigm. Most scientists will agree that one of the marks of a robust theory is if it fits with knowledge that we’ve already acquired. If, for instance, we are presented with a hypothesis that seems to contradict the theory of gravity, we have good reason to be suspicious of it, and to not believe it. So, instead of challenging the notion of gravity (which is often taken to be absolutely true), we find ways to either reassess the data or reformulate our experiment. This is one of the ways in which we work within the confines of the paradigm. However, if there comes to be enough conflicting evidence with a strongly-held theory, it might be cause to shift the paradigm. Once enough problems pile up for a certain paradigm, it will be rejected in favor of another paradigm. When enough evidence piles up against a certain set of assumptions it will be completely overturned. Each paradigm has its limits as far as how much each paradigm can accurately account for phenomena in the natural world. Eventually after scientists have filled in the details of a given paradigm, they will discover all the problems and limitations of the paradigm and overthrow it in favor a new one. And each one is a merely a way of understanding the universe, not the way of understanding it. In this way, Kuhn does not believe that science can arrive at one absolute truth, one absolute fact of the matter when it comes to understanding the universe; nature, as he says, is far to complex and nuanced to ever be captured by the tools available to human thought and understanding. Kuhn is not necessarily out to disparage science, or make it seem illogical. He, in fact, thinks that it is remarkable that science has the ability to do this: fundamentally change the set of assumptions that inform the theories within it. It is this ability that gives science the edge on dogmatic beliefs, which remain inflexible and unchanging despite contrary evidence. And for Kuhn, the paradigm is an essential aspect to collecting information. Pre-paradigm science is merely “random fact collecting”. And this seems to make some sense. Without a set of tools for interpretation, it’s difficult to make sense of any specific thing. Even in our daily experience of the world, we are in a constant state of directly perceiving things and concurrently stringing that thing through with significance by virtue of a set of assumptions that inform our interpretation of it.In this sense, Kuhn is attacking the direct realist notion that we experience objects in the world directly and exactly as they are. Much of Kuhn’s ideas, while never made explicit in the text, stem out of this notion which goes back as far as Descartes, and his skepticism of knowledge based on the senses. Descartes laid the foundation for thinkers like Kant, who tried to describe the process involved with our understanding and its interaction with experience in the world. What’s most important about the whole discussion is the idea that we do not experience the world as it is, but rather, we process information about the outside world via a filter which informs the beliefs we construct out of sense experience. Kuhn is working in this same vein by illustrating that the paradigm is part of this filter between us and world which informs all the biases and assumptions in the process of collecting data and making sense of it. Although Kant believed that this filter gave rise to a single “paradigm” or way of understanding the world and forming beliefs, Kuhn says that the features of the paradigm has changed throughout history as we’ve found new ways of conceiving of the universe. And through these different ways of viewing the world, we have formulated vastly different theories about the universe. What Kuhn is propounding here, is a type of belief holism, which depict ideas as coming in large chunks, or part of a net of interrelated connections, and all of which is informed by a set of assumptions that underly each idea. Belief atomism, by contrast, might depict our ideas in a direct realist sense, i.e. we have direct access to objects of the universe, in and of themselves, thus we can pull apart and dissect each idea on its own without any worry that it is part of some interconnected whole. A good way of grasping what Kuhn is after with “paradigms” and his brand of belief holism is to analyze examples from the history of scientific discoveries. A set of examples which illustrates this pretty clearly are two conceptions of projectile motion. This is the phenomena of throwing an object across a room, and when the object leaves your hand, it continues to move, despite the fact that the thing moving it (your hand) is no longer in contact with the object. This was quite the conundrum for many thinkers and scientists in the past. And to fully explain what projectile motion meant to someone like Aristotle, as opposed to Newton, will take a good amount of set-up, as both of their conceptions of what is going on, is deeply-seated in their ideas about the metaphysics of the universe. But after explaining how both came to understand this phenomenon, it might make sense of the belief holist position that Kuhn thinks underlies all scientific inquiry.So, for Aristotle, all things were composed of earth, air, water, fire and aether. And each one of these elements had its “place” in the universe. Space is subordinate to place, in that all of matter was subject to the place in which it belonged, and all things were working towards the end goal of getting to the place it belonged. This made Aristotle’s depiction of the universe teleological, goal oriented. He viewed the universe as a thing, biological which worked towards an end goal (like an acorn growing into a tree). All of matter functioned in this way, moving towards its final end goal. Aristotle figured that since most earth was beneath us, the “place” that earth belonged was towards the center of the universe. Thus, when you pull something off the earth, its tendency is to fall back down to the ground. Without a concept like gravity and all the physics associated with it, this gave a fairly plausible explanation of that phenomenon. But this left a real puzzle: projectile motion. How could an object containing earth continue to move forward if its fundamental tendency was towards the ground? What is it that keeps it in the air? Aristotle posited a thing called “antiperistasis” which kept the earth particles in the air for an extended period of time before touching the ground. Notice how “antiperistasis” doesn’t make much sense without first having given a background sketch of Aristotle’s other beliefs about the world. Kuhn would have it that it’s impossible to talk about this concept in and of itself without understanding all the other peripheral ideas that inform the meaning of it.Newton, by contrast, introduced much of what our modern conception of the universe tells us: objects continue to move in straight-line motion until acted upon by outside forces. This is the principle of inertia. Newton postulated that if there were only one object in the universe that it would continue to be moving forward ad infinitum . In fact, there is no fundamental difference between moving and staying still in the Newtonian picture of inertia. This is because it only makes sense to say that something is moving relative to another object. If there are two objects in the universe, object A and object B, and oA moves past oB we can only definitively say that oA moves a certain direction relative to our reference frame of oB. The upshot of this is Newton’s first law of motion. This means that an object’s tendency is to always move in straight-line motion until it's effected by some other force in the universe. Take the ball flying out of my hand. The ball’s natural tendency is to move in a straight-line, but the ball falls back to the ground because of the force of gravity acting upon the inertial motion of the ball. Kuhn says that there’s no real answer to the question “who’s account of projectile motion is better, Aristotle or Newton’s?” because they both are coming from radically different paradigms which make such fundamentally different assumptions about the universe that there are, to use Kuhnian language, incommensurable, i.e. they just can not be compared. Kuhn believes that no paradigm will ever be able to capture the capital ‘t’ truth about the universe, that the universe is far too complex and multifaceted to ever be captured by any given paradigm. Some paradigms can better account for the available evidence, offer more cogent explanations of the universe and some can have far greater explanatory power than others, but no paradigm will ever get to the absolute truth; this is something that Kuhn whole-heartily rejects. We can never attain the absolute truth because there will always be a filter through which we analyze and understand the universe, the filter being the limited capacity of our senses and our capacity for understanding. I think that at least some of what Kuhn says has to be right, and it seems to make a lot of sense out of different world-views and starkly different viewpoints: many positions in science, politics, etc. really seem to be incommensurable with each other. A socialist feminist and a neo-con libertarian will most likely speak directly past one another as neither one will find any kind of common ground with which to communicate their ideas. It might be the same for the Aristotelian and the Newtonian. I’m still not sure however, if my own ability to write about their two positions counts as a counter-example against Kuhn or not. We still seem, despite our huge difference in opinions to communicate on some level, however much we may disagree with each other.

  • Jason
    2018-11-11 15:07

    Remember your 10th grade Geometry class? It was a 55 minute class just before lunch. Picture yourself, 15 years old, Friday, ensconced in Geometry on a beautiful late September day. If you’re a girl, you’re much more interested in whether the new boy is going to sit with Amber during lunch for a third day in a row, and what he’s going to say to her this time; he’s so confident and handsome. If you’re a guy, you’re much more interested in the 17 year old Varsity cheerleader at the front of your class, in uniform, school particolors pleated in the skirt, which is caught in a chair rivet and pulling the material agonizingly close to the lace edge of her panty, which you hope is vivid monochrome pink. Now imagine your eremitic teacher with Asperger’s syndrome intruding on those daydreams with a methodical, laborious, sterile mathematical proof. At the chalkboard, in mind-numbing detail, in plodding repetition, with no class participation, the teacher steps through the proof which begins by repeating the same several transitive properties by which all geometric proofs begin. Despite the fantastic universe of 3-dimensional rotation and neato equations to find volume, geometry is rendered lifeless on the chalkboard by these relentless proofs.This, then, is the tone of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions--from beginning to end--by Thomas Kuhn. This is great material, just like geometry, but the narrative is like reading a proof that takes up 3 pages in your spiral notebook or Trapper Keeper. Kuhn received a B.S., an M.S., and a PhD in physics from Harvard U. As a Harvard Fellow, he experienced an epiphany, and changed his life focus to the philosophy of Science. He subsequently taught philosophy at Berkley and MIT. Kuhn does not lack credibility. His ideas are provocative. However, his writing lacks verve, vim and vigor. Like a geometry proof, and so characteristic of a mathematician, Kuhn belabors his points with structured, routinized precision that keeps the subject firmly grounded, and, as a result, narratively flat.There’s great, thoughtful, and comprehensive support for his thesis, but like a proof, he is so exact that each subsequent sentence restates about half of the previous sentence, and each subsequent paragraph reconsiders half the previous paragraph. Each subsequent chapter starts somewhat like, “as stated in the previous chapter we now know X, Y and Z; we can summarized X, Y and Z as &c, &c, &c; we can therefore move to the idea that &c, &c, &c.” Just like a mathematical proof--in gory detail. This non-fiction creeps along at parking lot speeds of 5 mph.But this is an instructive book nevertheless. It’s an essential 4- to 5-star read for mathematicians, physicists, and engineers--really any practitioners of the ‘hard’ sciences. Written in 1961, the scientific revolutions that Kuhn outlines are no less relevant today than at publication. He leans heavily on major revolutions of the past, conceding that sometimes several generations need to pass before the proper perspective can be achieved in science, or what Kuhn declares as ‘mature science.’ So, he defines, characterizes, and compares revolutions in math (Aristarchus, Newton, Descartes) and physics (Copernicus, Kepler, Planck, Einstein) and astronomy (Ptolemy, Brahe, Galileo) and motion (Aristotle, Archimedes) and electromagnetism (Franklin, Leyden, Coulumb, Joule) and chemistry (Lavoisier, Boyle, Dalton, Kelvin). It’s important for theoretical problem-solvers and lay practitioners alike to read in methodical detail what might seem at first intuitive, but over the course of 210 pages, develops into a compelling analysis of attributes that all scientific revolutions display, and, going forward, what attributes that future scientific revolutions might project.I'm not a scientist. 3 stars.

  • Maica
    2018-10-19 14:17

    I can understand why the author thanked his family for their consideration of the author's efforts towards this book, as it must have demanded a lot of painstaking effort not to mention time. I would have given it 3 stars for its complicated way of delivering its points; the language is highly complex that it tends at many certain points throughout, that the arguments contradict each other. Five stars, however for its complexity and taken as a whole it is actually coherent. Like the choice between competing political institutions, that between competing paradigms proves to be a choice between incompatible modes of community life.-Thomas KuhnAccording to Thomas Kuhn, in science or fields of science, there is a particular paradigm that practitioners adhere to. However, this paradigm at specific points in history, encounter change brought about by new discoveries, anomalies or crises that can disprove it or demand that it be rejected or replaced. In this process, as what this book points out, there are resistances by scientists whether they will discard this paradigm or replace it - and thus, the phenomenon of Paradigm Shift will occur or whether practitioners will stubbornly cling to the original paradigm.No wonder, then, that in the early stages of the development of any science different men confronting the same range of phenomena, but not usually all the same range of phenomena, describe and interpret them in different ways. What is surprising, and perhaps also unique in its degree to the fields we call science, is that such initial divergences should ever largely disappear. For they do disappear to a very considerable extent and then apparently once and for all. Furthermore, their disappearance is usually caused by the triumph of one of the pre-paradigm schools, which, because of its own characteristic beliefs and preconceptions, emphasized only some special part of the two sizable and inchoate pool of information.This historical process is nuanced and subtle because scientists even though they are eager to discover new phenomena on their field or contribute something original - are prone to protecting that particular paradigm that they follow. But crises and anomalies do certainly have to occur and be encountered, thus earlier theories have the potential to be discarded or new theories modified in such a way as to reduce contradictions with earlier theories. For reasons that are both obvious and highly functional, science textbooks (and too many of the older histories of science) refer only to that part of the work of past scientists that can easily be viewed as contributions to the statement and solution of the texts' paradigm problems. Partly by selection and partly by distortion, the scientists of early ages are implicitly represented as having worked upon the same set of fixed problems and in accordance with the same set of fixed canons that the most recent revolution in scientific theory and method has made seem scientific.The gradual process of resistance and/or acceptance is highly nuanced and complex, hence the nature of this book. The presentation of analyses of the author can also be the reason why the book received critical comments particularly by philosophers of science, for instance, there was a comment whether 'he believes in reality?' Towards the end part, there is also the question of the evolution of human knowledge, whether it has a telos or whether, as compared to Dawinian concept, it evolves by itself towards a certain progression of which the goal is unknown.No theory ever solves all the puzzles with which it is confronted at a given time; nor are the solutions already achieved often perfect. On the contrary, it is just the incompleteness and imperfection of the existing data-theory fit that, at any given time, define many of the puzzles that characterize normal science. If any and every failure to fit were ground for theory rejection, all theories ought to be rejected at all times. On the other hand, if only severe failure to fit justifies theory rejection, then the Popperians will require some criterion of "improbability" or of "degree of falsification". In developing one they will almost certainly encounter the same network of difficulties that has haunted the advocates of the various probabilistic verification theories [that the evaluative theory cannot itself be legitimated without appeal to another evaluative theory, leading to regress].He also contrasted his analyses with Karl Popper's method of falsification and demarcation of knowledge, and stated that this method as espoused by Popper, needs a certain criteria as where to base the falsification of theories, and what qualifies that criteria? Or if that criteria were to be stated, an infinite regress is inevitable. "Truth" is not the criterion of scientific knowledge, because it will have a tendency that once that "Truth" was discovered, that will mean the end of scientific search for knowledge - this is where Kuhn and Popper meet. However, whereas Kuhn would propose the concept of "Paradigm Shift" (he actually used the perceptual psychology concept of "Gestalt" in this sense), Popper proposed the method of falsification of scientific theories. Kuhn's concept can be regarded in the sense, that it is what actually happens in the enterprise of science (it is the actual event), but Popper's falsification even if it is used by practitioners remains an ideal method and the question arises, as to what specific criteria will that 'falsification' be based upon? That will have to be addressed, and I hope will be clarified on my reading of Karl Popper's "The Logic of Scientific Discovery" or "Logik der Forschung". Although both concepts by Kuhn and Popper appear to be antagonistic as written by critics, I'm looking forward that in a way, what they actually proposed as regards their method of inquiry and analysis are reconcilable.

  • Hadrian
    2018-10-24 19:57

    A really interesting book, and one that's become ingrained so much that you feel like you're not learning too much at first.Science is not a linear ordered means of progress, within neat and orderly steps as we are taught in grade school. There is the slow steady expansion and exploration of knowledge within a specific ordered system, or paradigm. Many scientists work within this paradigm, as 'recieved beliefs', and unconsciously work to forward these beliefs, although they may claim to work to explore or expand. But eventually, some new discovery or phenomenon overturns the whole system violently, and there is a new era of discovery. Hence the 'paradigm shift'.The old and new systems are not always instantaneously compatible, and some do not move instantly towards the new. This is the segment that comes most in doubt - people can change their minds, after all! This shift might be like learning a new language, and thinking solely within this new system. Again, a lot of this is basic stuff to people in hard science today. But it's really interesting to think about it, and apply the methods of science to other fields. It's a bit of a gristly read, but the ideas, as always, are what count.

  • Trevor
    2018-11-11 13:47

    Let’s start elsewhere. Watch this and then we can talk paradigms:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ahg6qc...Now, I don’t normally do that – nor do I like to talk about optical illusions. I generally think illusions mean quite other things to what most people like to say they mean. I find that people tend to say the most boringly predictable things about optical illusions. That is a large part of the source of my aversion to them, like Pavlov’s dogs, I have been taught to cringe at the first sight of the drawing that is a witch/young woman or a rabbit/duck. And let’s not mention poor old Escher – if he only knew the bollocks that is spoken with one of his drawings Power Pointed onto a screen behind a hundred thousand ‘motivational’ speakers… Can it really be all that hard to understand that there are paradoxes involved when you represent a three-dimensional object in two-dimensional space? This really isn’t something of the deep psychological significance some people seem to think it is and it certainly doesn’t prove that we ‘all see things differently’ – in fact, given these are standard optical illusions ought to be enough to prove we all see the world more or less the same.What is interesting in the ‘watch the white team’ exercise above is that getting us to focus our attention on the white team means we miss entirely anything going on with the black team – even when one of the black team become a moon walking bear. A friend of mine was so convinced she could not miss something so obvious as a moonwalking bear that she thought somehow the computer knew she had already seen it and therefore always showed the version with the bear in it, at least after that very first time she watched it, which clearly had had no such thing.A lot of this book is about how people can look at the same thing and yet not see the same things. Kuhn’s says that there are two kinds of science – normal science, which you can think of by way of the lovely metaphor of accretion (facts get added to science in much the same way that layers of barnacles get added to a boat). And then there is revolutionary science – when all of the world changes, when no further facts may have been added, but all is different anyway: as when Copernicus placed the sun in the middle of the solar system or Einstein curved space to explain gravity. Notice that both normal and revolutionary science imply progress. For Kuhn the difference between the two types of science isn’t ‘progress’ – all science is about that – but about the mental framework from within which we work when we are doing one or the other. Mostly, and most scientists, do ‘normal science’ most of the time.Sometimes people put out books with titles like ‘the 101 words or ideas you need to know to be considered scientifically aware’ – Kuhn’s idea of paradigm shifts would pretty well have make it onto one of those list like books: alongside the Turing test, Mr Schrodinger's cat and the uncertainty principle, I guess. A paradigm is a fundamental way of viewing the world. It is more than a theory, but literally a way of understanding. Better to think of it on the scale of a worldview – Dawkins and Creationists have separate paradigms. A lot of this comes from Kantian philosophy – and if I was to blame anyone for Kuhn, Kant would be the person I would turn to. Kant said that we can not know the world as it is in-itself. We can only understand the world as humans, with our limited human faculties. Is the ‘human’ way of understanding the world how the world should be understood? For Kant that question doesn’t really make sense (how would we ever know otherwise?) This is the subjectivism of Kantian philosophy – we might not know the world as it is in itself (how it is objectively) but we can come to understand the world partially and subjectively through our limited and even potentially distorting senses (was that a witch or a pretty young woman you drew for me?)Now, this is where people go off half-cocked and say that there is no meaning in the universe and that all that exists is our interpretation - the glorious appeal of solipsism to undergraduate philosophy students (with our thoughts we make the world) and other such nonsense. When I first read Kuhn I assumed that this was, fundamentally or finally, what he was saying. I still think subjectivism is large part of what he is saying (despite his spending pages and pages in the postscript trying to convince me otherwise), but I don't think he is saying either that the world outside our senses does not exist or that the universe is fundamentally meaningless.The best way to understand a paradigm shift is to work through an example of one. Perhaps an equally good way is to think about how your view of the world changed once you stopped counting passes made by the white team and noticed the dancing bear.Before Copernicus, people thought the earth was at the centre of the universe. Everything else revolved around us: the stars, the planets, the moon. After Copernicus the earth went from the centre of the universe to a place infinitely less significant, just another lump of rock forever falling towards a third-rate star and forever missing it around and around again. The change in perspective involved in this change of view can only be described as a revolution – not only in how we understood how the heavens work, but also how society worked when Copernicus was alive and how religion worked and so much else as well. The previous paradigm of science, one fitting epicycles into the orbits to account for odd observations like the backward progressions of planets, for example, suddenly seemed no longer necessary to people who accepted the new world view. But then, the problem was that not only were epicycles no long necessary, but perhaps neither were the strict Medieval social structures of kings and bishops and barons and peasants each in their separate and fixed spheres.Kuhn asks if two people (one holding the Ptolemaic view of the heavens and the other the Copernican) were to sit down beside an open fire with a glass of wine to chat about the skies, would they actually be talking about the same things? His answer is that what they would have to say to each other would be incommensurable. That is, what they would say might as well be said in two different and untranslatable languages.For example – to the Ptolemaic astronomer the sun is another, though special, planet – the word planet is from Greek and means wanderer. To the old astronomy the sun wanders across the sky and so is a planet. To the Copernican the sun is fixed and the planets and comets move around it. So, when they talk each to the other about the sun are they really talking about the same thing? Kahn says that in a sense they are - and this is how he tries to escape the charge of subjectivism – but that this is only true in that the light from the sun falls upon both observers equally. However, in looking at the sun from their separate paradigms it is hardly surprising they seem to be talking across each other, at cross purposes and worse, when they try to describe what they see.Our choice of paradigm is not simply a matter of us matching our theories to the world with increasing precision. Firstly, it took a very long time for the Copernican system to show itself superior to the Ptolemaic in predicting where planets and stars might be at any given time. You have to remember that placing the sun at the centre was only part of the solution – we also needed to understand that the orbits weren’t perfect circles and so much else struggled and teased from the heavens by Galileo, Kepler, Newton and others. Kuhn argues that the difference between how successfully the Copernican view made predictions over the Ptolemaic wasn’t really the thing that tipped things in its favour. But rather other criteria, like overall ‘simplicity’ of the theory and its ‘beauty’ where at least as important.Paradigm shifts are not important for the old questions they help to answer, but rather for the new questions they allow us to ask. They allow us to go back to normal science, but now in a way that directs our attention away from counting basketball passes and toward the moondancing bear.I think I was probably harder on Kuhn when I first read him than I am now. However, I still think incommensurable is far too strong a word. I think people can understand and still disagree – and that this isn’t really about misunderstanding. Sometimes we disagree because we understand too well.And I do think Kantian subjectivity is a large part of Kuhn’s theory and, in fact, that Kuhn goes even further than Kant did (at least Kant believed all humans had the same faculties, and therefore all saw the world in much the same way – Kuhn certainly does not agree with that).The other problem I have with this theory is that I constantly come back to the ‘so what’ test. I think it would be very hard to argue that we don’t see the world differently post-Einstein than we did under the classical world view of Newton. And that such a shift in perspective could not be anticipated prior to the shift and that those pre and post shift do see the world in quite different ways – but who could really argue otherwise? Newton’s absolute space and Einstein’s curved spacetime are like night and day in many ways. But even Newton knew there was a hole a mile wide in his theory of the universe. Not having any idea of what gravity was and only being able to describe how it worked annoyed him all of his life. Gravity could not be explained by Newtonian physics – so if there was ever to be an explanation then something had to change.Books like 13 Things That Don't Make Sense, I think, put this book into a new perspective. We are much more likely to hope for paradigm changes today, I think. For example, people both hope for evidence in support of and against string theory – one way or another, a new paradigm will be born. And what if we never find the Higgs Boson? The standard model will suddenly become somewhat non-standard. I think the current groping for new paradigms, particularly in physics, is interesting and quite different from what I take to be the meaning of Kuhn’s theory. To Kuhn, all science is normative – perhaps today that is less true of the outer limits of physics where quarks meet strings.The other ‘so what test’ is to ask if scientists on the ground use Kuhn’s theory as a why to help them either do normal science or map a path towards or through scientific revolutions? I would suspect this would be more likely to be the case in the social sciences – perhaps where notions like paradigm shifts really do mean something much more akin to worldviews. All the same, most of what I have read of science and scientists is that they are not terribly interested in philosophy (at least, those who are not outright contemptuous of it).Paradigm shifts, according to Kuhn, are for the young and often only succeed when the dead have died off. That is, paradigm shifts are for those not too deeply indoctrinated in the old paradigm. I think this is less true today – you don’t need to be a child any longer to win a Nobel Prize; in fact, the average age of winners increased throughout the whole of last century.The kinds of people who show optical illusions as part of their endlessly boring Power Point presentations are also the kinds of people who talk about paradigm shifts and quantum leaps. In science these phrases mean pretty well the exact opposite to what they generally mean in general chitchat. A quantum leap isn’t an earth shattering leap forward, but about the smallest change in state possible – a paradigm shift is closer in meaning to what is generally implied by quantum leap, a complete change in your view of the universe. Mostly, the kinds of people who talk of paradigm shifts, mean something as significant as a new wrapper on a chocolate bar. So, it is not only poor Mr Escher we need to consider being unintentionally abused by the ignorance of PowerPoint Presenters, but poor old Kuhn too.

  • Zahra Taher
    2018-10-31 18:03

    يقول كوهن: "التاريخ إذا نظرنا له باعتباره شيئاً آخر أكثر من الحكايات وسير أحداث الزمان في تتابع الأحقاب يمكن أن يؤدي إلى تحول حاسم في صورة العلم التي نعيش أسرى لها الآن". فالنظرة إلى التاريخ، تاريخ أي شيءٍ على أنه خطٌ مستقيم ممتد نستطيع من خلال النظر إلى ترتيب وتعاقب نقاط معينة فيه معرفة كيفية نشوء وتطور هذا الشيء تغفل الكثير من الجوانب المركبة والمعقدة في تكوين الأشياء. وتاريخ العلم وفقاً لهذه النظرة لا يمكن أن يُختزل ببساطة على أنه خط مستقيم يبدو فيه أن عالماً من العلماء جاء بنظرية أو كشف علمي في نقطة ما ثم جاء بعده عالمٌ آخر في تتابع زمني بسيط ليسلمه ما توصل إليه فيطوره ويأتي بنظرية جديدة، كما لو أن الأمر سباق تتابع... يحتج كوهن على هذه النظرة بالذات التي تجعل العلم يبدو تراكمياً وهي نظرة نجدها كما يقول في الكتب الدراسية والموسوعات والمراجع التي تقدم مفهوماً للعلم يشبهه كوهن بتلك الصورة التي تتشكل في ذهن السائح عند قراءته لكتيب في الدعاية السياحية لثقافة بلد ما. فهو يأخذ حاجته من المعلومات الثقافية التي تعينه في غايته السياحية وحسب. بدلاً من ذلك يطرح كوهن مصطلحparadigmوتتعدد ترجماته من "النموذج الإرشادي" أو "النموذج المعرفي" وغيرها من الترجمات. ليس سهلاً فهم ما يقصده كوهن من هذا المصطلح ولكن التعريف المبدأي له هو مجموعة من المعتقدات والقيم والأساليب وغيرها من الأمور المشتركة بين أفراد مجتمع أو جماعة ما وفي مرحلة ما. يصبح هذا النموذج هو السائد وعليه يقوم العلماء بأبحاثهم وتجاربهم وكذلك في حل المشاكل التي تعترضهم ويسمى نشاطهم هذا الذي يقومون به باسم "العلم القياسي". ولكن مع التطور والتقدم ومرور الوقت تظهر مشكلات وأزمات لا يبدو أن النموذج الإرشادي قادر على حلها فتتفاقم حتى تنشأ أزمة ويضطر معها العلماء بالرغم من تشبثهم ومحافظتهم على نموذجهم الإرشادي السابق إلى إيجاد نموذج جديد قادر على حل المشكلات الجديدة. و هذه النقطة أي نقطة التحول من نموذج إرشادي إلى نموذج إرشادي آخر هي ما يطلق عليه بـ "الثورة العلمية". وهكذا بعد أن يسود النموذج الجديد يرجع معه النشاط العلمي القياسي مرة أخرى حتى ظهور أزمات أخرى جديدة..يبقى أن هنالك تفاصيل معينة ترتبط بهذه الفكرة منها:1- لابد من وجود حد أدنى ضمني من المعتقدات النظرية والمنهجية التي يمكن الاعتماد عليها في أي مرحلة أولية لتطورعلم من العلوم. أي لابد من وجود نقطة بداية أو انطلاق حتى لو كانت كما يقول كوهن: "نظرة غيبية "ميتافيزيقيا" سائدة أو عن طريق علم آخر أو حدث عارض شخصي أو تاريخي. "2- نتيجة ما ذكر في النقطة الأولى أن تتعدد المدارس التي تستند على مشاهداتها وتفسيراتها الخاصة المبنية على نموذجها الإرشادي الخاص بها3- يقول كوهن أن النتيجة التي تتوصل لها هذه المدارس ليست علماً والسبب في أن غياب المعايير أو مناهج البحث المعيارية يؤدي إلى وجود حرية نسبية أمام الباحث في اختيار المشاهدات التي تعزز نظريته وحسب كما أن النتائج تكون غالباً موجهة للرد أو الوقوف أمام المدارس التفسيرية الأخرى وليس لفهم الطبيعة فقط. 4- النتيجة أن تتولد الفوضى وهو ما يجعل عمليات البحث وجمع المعلومات والوقائع بعيدة كل البعد عن العلم لأنها تتساوى في أهميتها ولا تفضي إلى تقدم علمي يُذكر. سيادة نموذج فكري أو إرشادي معين تتبناه مدرسة معينة يؤدي إلى الوصول إلى حالة الإستقرار النسبي التي تسمح بتطور العلم القياسي لأن العلماء يتوقفون عن الجدل ويركزون جهدهم على مشاكل وأبحاث أكثر تخصصاً ودقةً ويسعون لحل مشاكل وابتكار أدوات أكثر تخصصاً مما يؤدي بالتالي إلى دفع عجلة العلم وهنا يستشهد كوهن بمقولة فرنسيس بيكون: الحقيقة وليدة الخطأ لا الفوضى. فحالة الاستقرار ستؤدي إلى ظهور الأخطاء أو بروزها وبالتالي تتكون الأزمات و يبدأ معها ظهور نموذج إرشادي جديد وهكذا تعود الدائرة مرة أخرى. ومن هنا يستخلص كوهن قوام العلم القياسي أو ما يعتبرها المهام التي يضطلع بها العلماء بعد الاتفاق على نموذج إرشادي محدد:1- توسيع نطاق المعرفة بالحقائق التي يكشف عنها النموذج الإرشادي. أي اكتساب المزيد من المعلومات عن هذه الحقائق وفهمها2- زيادة نطاق الملائمة بين تلك الحقائق وبين تنبؤات النموذج الإرشادي، فالنموذج يزعم أنه قادر على الإحاطة بـ وتفسير جميع الوقائع، بالإضافة إلى زيادة إحكام النموذج وصقله ليصبح أكثر دقة.وهنا يأتي ذكر مثالب هذه المهام:فقد يبدو هذا المشروع وكأنه محاولة لدفع الطبيعة قسراً داخل إطارٍ معد مسبقاً وجامد نسبياً زودنا به النموذج الإرشادي، ولا يبدو أن من أهداف العلم القياسي استحداث او تسليط الضوء على أنواع جديدة من الظواهر ولا يهدف العلماء إلى ابتكار نظريات جديدة بل إنهم يسعون إلى الحفاظ ما أمكن على المعايير والمناهج المتبعة. ولكن هذه المثالب كما يقول كوهن: هي وليدة الثقة بالنموذج الإرشادي وتصبح أمراً ضرورياً ولازماً لتطور العلم لأنها تركز الإنتباه على قطاع محدد من المشكلات الشديدة التخصص نسبياً. وجديرة بالذكر هي المقابلة التي وضعها كوهن بين العلم القياسي والألغاز فنجده يقول:إن المشروع العلمي في إجماله يثبت بالبرهان بين الحين والآخر أنه نافع ويفتح أرضاً جديدة، ويكشف أرضاً جديدة، ويكشف عن النظام ويختبر معتقدات راسخة استقرت منذ زمن طويل. إلا أن هذا ليس هو ما يشغل المرء العاكف على مشكلة من مشكلات البحث القياسي. إذ ما إن يعكف على المشكلة حتى يكون حافزه على العمل نوعاً آخر تماماً. إن ما يتحداه الآن هو اقتناعه بأنه لو كان بارعاً حاذقاً بما فيه الكفاية، فإنه سوف ينجح في حل لغز لم يحله أحد من قبل أو لم يبلغ أحد ما بلغه هو من حيث مستوى الجودة في حله. وإن الكثير من أصحاب أعظم العقول العلمية قد نذروا كل اهتمامهم المهني سعياً وراء ألغاز من هذا الضرب. وفي أغلب الأحيان نجد أن هذا هو كل ما يقدمه أي مجال من مجالات البحث المتخصصة ولعل ما يبرز من وجهة النظر هذه ومن فكرة أسبقية النماذج الإرشادية على القواعد أن كوهن كان يدعو إلى نظرة ذاتية ونسبية للعلم وهي كذلك أشبه ما تكون بالنظرة التفكيكية التي تهدم تصورنا القديم والتقليدي للعلم وكيفية نشأته وتطوره. كما أنها تثير في الذهن مدى إمكانية تطبيق هذه النظرة الدائرية لتعاقب النماذج الفكرية ليس على العلم فقط بل وعلى جوانب ونواحي مختلفة من الحياة وفي مجالات إنسانية أخرى اجتماعية واقتصادية وسياسية. الأمثلة التي يقدمها كوهن متعلقة بالفيزياء ويصعب لغير الدارس أن يفهمها كما أن الأسلوب مربك بعض الشيء بالرغم من أن الترجمة جيدة ولعل ذلك بسبب صعوبة أسلوب الكاتب نفسه أو لصعوبة الفكرة نفسها ولكنه كتاب جدير بالاقتناء والقراءة لأنه من الكتب التي تفتح الذهن على أفكار جديدة كما أنه يحتاج إلى التركيز وإعادة القراءة لصعوبته وللتمكن من فهم جوانبه المختلفة كما أن مراجعة قصيرة لا تفي الكتاب حقه فهو غزير بالتفاصيل المهمة.من القراءات المتميزة لهذا العام دون شك

  • Tyler
    2018-10-28 18:13

    Within this book, a 15-page essay somehow gets crammed into 174 tedious pages and crowned by a lengthy 35-page postscript. In its chapters Kuhn, father of the expression “paradigm shift,” shows us how science advances in spasmodic fractures that shatter previous models of nature. But at 210 pages, mission creep sinks in.The book does more than propose a new model of scientific progress. It also tells us why other models are mistaken. Kuhn refutes the correspondence theory of truth, logical positivism, and falsification as arbiters of scientific progress. What’s left is a relativistic notion of science as one endeavor among many, a craft whose rules are decided by its practitioners with no particular reference to the outside world. A new paradigm, Kuhn tells us, gets scientists no closer to any external reality than its predecessor. I found the discussion of paradigm shifts less convincing than I had expected. But what really turned me off about this essay was its style. The author continually stresses that a “paradigm” may not be treated as pop culture. Expounding this aversion to popular science, Kuhn notes that scientists engaging in science writing for public consumption are no doubt on the downslopes of their careers. He then tortures the text as if to avoid his own judgment. The author uses a public venue, a book for general publication, to address the scientific community in a professional capacity. But this book isn’t science. It’s history and philosophy as they apply to this field. The author nevertheless unpacks the theme as if were a kind of hard science, or at least an abstruse academic paper. Ignoring the scope that history and philosophy allow writers, the author's writing instead becomes dense, annoying, elitist and even rude. Kuhn's thesis doesn’t warrant such an attitude. His ideas are interesting, but his ponderous execution confuses bad table manners with succinct scholarship.

  • Greg
    2018-10-22 19:47

    I first read Kuhn's book during my first year as a Ph.D. student, and found it rather interesting. It challenges notions of scientific progress as liner by suggesting instead a process of "paradigm shift." Essentially, Kuhn argues that researchers in a branch of science accept as normal a set of "received beliefs" that guide and bound their investigations into new phenomena. Because of this set of accepted beliefs and assumptions, new ways of looking at the world are often suppressed or ignored. Thus, even when presented with anomalous results, researchers often knowingly or unknowingly attempt to force-fit them to the preconceived structure they have embraced. This continues until a paradigm-busting shift occurs -- a scientific revolution -- that (generally abruptly) takes the field in a new direction. Understandably, not all scientific revolutions are successful in bringing about a paradigm shift. The ideas expressed in this book are provactive, even compelling, and have come back to me often in the 25 years since I read it in the form of questions and thoughts about potential paradigm shifts that may be overdue. It5 one that is worth reading for most people, and the scientific branches affected by it are not limited to the "hard sciences." Politics, psychology, sociology, cultural change, religious thought, and many other scientific domains can be profitably viewed through the lens of Kuhn's work.

  • Ahmed Alhefny
    2018-11-15 12:07

    قراءة أخرى وريفيو مُحدث:ترتكز فلسفة كون حول ما يسمى ب"النموذج الإرشادي" وهو مجموعة المعتقدات والأساليب التي يتبناها المجتمع العلمي في مرحلة ما، وبلوغ نظرية ما مرتبة النموذج الإرشادي يعني أنها أفضل من منافسيها في نظر المجتمع العلمي، وأنها قدمت إجابات على مشاكل لم تستطع سابقتها حلها، واستحدثت وفسرت ظواهر جديدة ما كان بإمكان سابقتها استحداثها. ولكن لا يعني ذلك قدرتها على حل كافة المشاكل، ركز كون صراحةً على الإتفاق المجتمعي.أما بخصوص العلم القياسي، فهو العلم الذي يرتكن على أساس النموذج الإرشادي وينمو بداخله، إنه العلم الذي يؤول الطبيعة وظواهرها داخل إطار يرسمه ويحدده النموذج الإرشادي بواسطة مجموعة من القواعد، ويصر كون على إمكانية نمو العلم القياسي بدون هذه القواعد ولكن ليس بدون نموذج إرشادي، إن المحاولات العلمية القديمة التي لم تكن مؤسسة على نموذج إرشادي واضح يلتف حوله الجميع بدت أشبه بمحاولات فردانية تائهة بين الرد على غيرهم وبين السير قدما، ويستشهد كون بالمحاولات الأولى لتفسير الكهرباء لتوضيح طبيعة العلم في حال غياب نموذج إرشادي، وإن كنا نحن نعلم جيداً أن العلم خلال حقبة الحضارة الإسلامي -باستثناء الفلك- ينطبق عليه ذلك.يواجه العلم القياسي مشاكل، إلا أن طرق حل هذه المشاكل لا تتسم بالإبداع ولا الاستحداث، بل على العكس فالعلماء يحاولون جاهدين إيجاد تفسير لهذه المشكلات بداخل النموذج الإرشادي وقواعده، النموذج الإرشادي يرسم هنا صورة الحلول والحدود التي لا ينبغي تجاوزها، لذلك فإن الحلول المطروحة دوماً ما تتسم بقتل الإبداع والرتابة وأي شذوذ عن النموذج الإرشادي إنما يمثل خطأ العالم، يسمي كون هذه المشاكل بالألغاز وذلك بسبب أن صورة حلها تكون سابقة على محاولة الحل، بل تكون هي غايته، إلا أنه وبالطبع فلن يصمد النموذج الإرشادي أبد الدهر، حيث سنصل لبعض المشكلات المستعصية على النموذج الإرشادي، ولا يتم ببساطة التخلي عن النموذج الإرشادي بل يتم تدعيمه بكافة الوسائل. وهذه المرحلة التي تسمى بمرحلة الأزمات تشبه إلى حد ما مرحلة ما قبل النموذج الإرشادي حيث تخرج العديد والعديد من النظريات المتنافسة لتحل محل النموذج الإرشادي القديم، وغالباً ما يكون دعاة النموذج الإرشادي الجديد من الشباب والمحدثين ممن لم يتشربوا النموذج الإرشادي القديم، وهو ما يتفق مع فكرة كون عن إرساء تطور العلم على أسس سوسيولوجية وسيكولوجية.يختلف كون عن بوبر وعن الوضعيين في رؤيته لموضوع التحقق من النظريات وطبيعة العلم القياسي حيث يراه كون ينمو بداخل النموذج الإرشادي ولا يحاول تكذيبه حتى تظهر الأزمات والثورة العلمية فيتبدل النموذج الإرشادي، في حين يرى بوبر أن كل كشف علمي ثورة تكذب ما قبلها، وهو حقيقةً ما تكذبه الوقائع التاريخية التي تسلح بها كون ببراعة ويرى كون أيضًا صعوبة تكذيب نظرية ما بشكل قاطع. ولا يحاول العلم القياسي مطابقة نتائجه بالواقع كما ادعت الوضعية ولو حتى بشكل احتمالي بل مطابقتها مع مباديء النموذج الإرشادي، يشبه كون التحقق الإحتمالي بالانتخاب الطبيعي الذي ينتقي الأفضل بحسب بيانات وظروف معينة، وليس الأفضل عامة، ويدعي كون أن التحقق الإحتمالي والتكذيب يتجليان في عمليتي الأزمات والثورة.تمثل الثورة عند كون تغييرا في النظرة إلى العالم، فالباحث لا يزال يرى العالم بعد وقبل الثورة العلمية كما هو، إن الثورة عند كون تؤدي لتغيير في المعطيات الحسية نفسها وليست في طرق معالجتها، وقد استشهد بإمكانية ذلك ببعض التجارب الجشطالتية والنفسية، يقول كون بأن النماذج الإرشادية تستخدم مصطلحات مختلفة وتحاكي عوالم مختلفة بالتالي فإن تلك النماذج الإرشادية غير قابلة للقياس على بعضها البعض، وحتى إن اهتمت بنفس المصطلحات والأمور فإنها أيضاً تنظر إليها من منظور مختلف، فكتلة آينشتاين ليست ذات كتلة نيوتن نفسها، بالتالي فالحوار المتكافيء بين نموذجين إرشاديين مختلفين هو لغو.تعرض وجهة نظر كون تاريخ التطور العلمي بأنه تاريخ التحولات بين النماذج الإرشادية، وليس تاريخ التقدم المطرد، فالتقدم لا يحدث إلا داخل النموذج الإرشادي الواحد تحت اسم العلم القياسي، بينما يعلم الجميع أن الوجهة العامة هي وجهة النظر التي تنادي بالتقدم المطرد والاقتراب من الحقيقة التي تبدو وكأنها المطابقة مع الواقع، إلا أن آراء كون تخالف ذلك. ويعرض كون الأسباب متمثلة في سلطة الكتب الدراسية من إخفاء الطابع الثوري والتاريخي للعلمويطرح كون تساؤلا هاما طالما طرحته، لماذا يظهر التقدم في العلم ولا يظهر في سواه من النشاطات البشرية؟ إن ذلك يبدو بسبب تماسك المجتمع العلمي وتسليمه بالنموذج الإرشادي حيث يبدو التبدل في النموذج الإرشادي وكأنه تقدم مطرد، بينما تبقي النشاطات الأخرى على نماذجها الإرشادية القديمة.

  • Adam
    2018-11-15 12:03

    a response to some of the reviews here:From those giving the book a negative rating, we inevitably get the standard accusation of relativism, which is bullshit and Kuhn and his followers have responded appropriately. A positive three-star review says Kuhn's major thesis is that scientific progress is largely illusory, when Kuhn says nothing of the sort and has also defended himself against such objections in the past by explaining, very simply, what a careful reader would have already gleaned from reading this book [his actual point is related to the correspondence theory of truth; he argues that while we frequently hear that "successive theories grow ever closer to, or approximate more and more closely to, the truth," that is often not the case; he says "I do not doubt, for example, that Newton's mechanics improves on Aristotle's and that Einstein's improves on Newton's as instruments for puzzle-solving. But I can see in their succession no coherent direction of ontological development." Kuhn has repeatedly both explicitly and implicitly identified himself as a firm believer in scientific progress]. Others here bemoan the length of the book, even though it is short. As a historian of science, Kuhn has the responsibility to be thorough and clear. Considering the subject matter, Kuhn is actually concise. Perhaps some of these readers are better off reading continental philosophy on science, wherein philosophers feel free to assert their theses without rigorous, well-constructed arguments. Kuhn's education was in Physics, but he is most assuredly a sophisticated philosopher, whose style is rooted in the analytic tradition. Kuhn's arguments are well-constructed, and he takes great care to address a substantial number of possible flaws in his own thinking, to back up his ideas with scientific history, to detail the nature of his thesis. Unfortunately, those who feel this was a 15 page essay with a lot of padding probably so badly mischaracterize Kuhn's position because of their presumptions. Kuhn does not waste a single sentence here, and there is nothing of insignificance. Perhaps more attentive readers would not strawman him and misrepresent his position. All this is not to say that Kuhn does not have his sophisticated critics, but it's frustrating to see so many comments here that are quite clearly nonsense. I don't say this because I'm a pompous jackass (although I am), I say this because of the sheer amount of misrepresentation and misinformation here.It's refreshing, however, to see that a number of fellow goodreads members, and not just I, think the applicability of this book's arguments is wide.

  • Leonard
    2018-10-29 16:07

    Thomas Kuhn, through the concept of paradigm shift, has demythologized science as an accumulation of knowledge through smooth progress. That, for Kuhn, is just normal science, the incremental progress within the limits, biases and assumptions of a paradigm. For him, a paradigm is a set of accepted practices within the scientific community, the scientific traditions the scientists have grown up with. For him, “The success of a paradigm… is at the start largely a promise of success discoverable in selected and still incomplete examples. And “Normal science consists in the actualization of that promise.” ...... Johannes Kepler and Isaac NewtonThough Thomas Kuhn focused on the Copernican Revolution, for me the Quantum Revolution is a more poignant example of paradigm shift. And the latter, like the former, starts with unexplainable phenomena. When the traditional electromagnetic theory of Maxwell’s Equations couldn’t explain black body radiation, Boltzmann and then Plank developed a set of equations with quantized energy levels to explain the phenomena. Later, Niels Bohr formulated the quantized levels of atoms to explain their discrete emissions. Max Planck .... Niels Bohr .... Albert EinsteinAs Kuhn says, “When, in the development of a natural science, an individual or group first produces a synthesis able to attract most of the next generation’s practitioners, the older schools gradually disappear.” In this case, Bohr persuaded his colleagues about the new view and pushed quantum mechanics into the forefront, securing it as the dominant theory in modern physics. But there were oppositions. Even Einstein, who proposed the quantization of light, could not accept the probabilistic nature of matter-energy as described by the Uncertainty Principle. For him, “God does not play dice.”......... Erwin Shcrodinger Werner Heisenberg Richard FeynmanThe shift from Newtonian mechanics to quantum mechanics is a shift from a deterministic view of the universe to a probabilistic one, a change of beliefs and values. For Einstein and others, accepting quantum mechanics seemed like returning to the pre-scientific age, where a person, even a scientist, couldn’t quantify and analyze and predict natural events. When the way of doing science changes, so do the tools. Whereas calculus was the mathematical tool of Newtonian mechanics, statistics and transforms, Fourier or others, and the related group theories are those of quantum mechanics. And we know, even outside of science, that using different tools creates different results. Thomas KuhnFor Kuhn, “Paradigms may be prior to, more binding, and more complete than any set of rules for research that could be unequivocally abstracted from them.” So the preferences toward a deterministic worldview and the corresponding tools predisposed scientists to solve those problems with a well-defined solution. Motion under gravitational and electromagnetic forces in the macroscopic world. On the other hand, the preference toward a probabilistic worldview and the corresponding tools predispose scientists to focus on the uncertain boundaries between matter and energy, space and time, position and momentum, and energy and time. And so, “one of the things a scientific community acquires with a paradigm is a criterion for choosing problems that, while the paradigm is taken for granted, can be assumed to have solutions.” Following the Quantum Revolution, scientists developed quantum electrodynamics (QED) and quantum chromodynamics (QCD) through normal science. But when string and other theories begin to emerge, scientists must again reevaluate their models and even more importantly their practices and worldviews.Through The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, we begin to see scientific progress’s jagged path and appreciate the subjective parts of doing science. And instead of worshiping science, we take on the scientific mindset of observing phenomena and analyzing data and revealing biases and modifying models.

  • رحمان
    2018-10-28 17:58

    When most people hear Science the first thing that comes to their mind is truth or objectivity. That's not what scientific knowledge is about, though. Science can't get us any closer to an objective truth, no more than religion can. What it can do, though, and do very well, is solve the puzzles that scientists face in their research by predicting how nature behaves. That prediction, if successful, is often enough of a progress to enable us to evolve our technologies and civilizations.However, unlike what most people assume, science does not have linear cumulative progression where new theories are built on the knowledge of past theories, but rather have what Kuhn called paradigmatic progression which takes place after a scientific crisis—which usually happens when puzzles can no longer be solved—where a new understanding, a new paradigm, of the science is reached through a revolution. Adherents of this new paradigm, according to Kuhn, view the part of the world they're concerned with, the objects of their research, in a way that is different, and sometimes even incommensurable, to the way the adherents of a preceding paradigm did. The new paradigm shifted their perspective somehow; they now see the science from a different angle which enables them to find and solve new puzzles or old, previously unsolvable, ones. When the paradigm, however, is exhausted and can no longer provide puzzle-solutions another one is, again, needed: a crisis then ensues, a revolution happens, and then the next paradigm is articulated. And so on and so on ad infinitum.This is one of the most important books written in the 20th century, and if you're a scientist or studying science or interested in it in any way then you must read it. Your concept of science will possibly be changed by it, but not necessarily for the worse. Science is still and will always be important.

  • Erik Graff
    2018-11-09 19:11

    Kuhn, a physicist and philosopher and historian of science, wrote The Structure of Scientific Revolutions in 1962, producing other editions until his death in 1996. The book was very influential (see description), serving as a starting point for reappraisals within several disciplines. One, psychology, was specifically covered by John Bannon's Philosophy of Psychology class held during the second semester of 1982/83 at Loyola University Chicago.I found the book profoundly stimulating, challenging as it did my rather naive understanding of the physical sciences, and went on to read another book which overtly applied Kuhn's analytic template to psychology.

  • Coral
    2018-11-02 19:57

    Bit of a preface: I hated this book. It contains some really good ideas, which are totally worth discussing, but the whole thing is so much wordier and denser than it needs to be (this, coming from me!); seriously, the ideas put forth in this 200-page monstrosity would have been better shared in a 5-10 page article. Still, we were assigned to read it for LIS 2000, Understanding Information, and asked to write a 400-word review, describing "how the content of this book relates to the information professions. Why do you think this is assigned reading?" followed by a 250-word addendum, restating our opinion and describing how it had changed in reading the other students' essays, so I tried my best to get through it. Although I'm a little embarrassed to post this--and nervous that people who already took the class will say "No! You are so wrong! You'll see!"--I still think it might be useful to do so. I can't change my answer now (or, well, not after 11pm--but I promise not to, now that I've made this public), so I'm curious what people who've been through this hazing ritualbook have to say.When we were assigned Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions and asked to define its relevance to the information professions, I falsely assumed my professors were implying that our field is undergoing a "paradigm shift." Certainly, that argument can be made: With the Internet making information simultaneously more plentiful and harder to find, the effectiveness of distributed tagging and its effects on discussion of cataloguing, and the popularity of digital libraries and plans for automation thereof, nobody would seriously assert that our field is in any way stagnant or unchanging. On the other hand, paradigms point to fundamental thought patterns, and to suggest that our "paradigm" is in flux seems questionable: We still believe that information should be freely available to all, and we still strive to provide it in the best way available to us; that, I claim, is our true paradigm. That we have one at all shows the applicability of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions; certainly, we make assumptions about the world and about information, and we consider questions relevant or irrelevant based on those assumptions. Just as scientists are not the impartial observers that we are told they should be, we are not the impartial information providers that we would like to be.Although Kuhn has many interesting and widely applicable ideas, I do not agree that his is the best way to think about science and progress. Certainly, the book has its fans (London 2008), but I was pleased to see that I was not its only doubter: Weinberg (1998), for instance, disagrees with nearly all of Kuhn's central assertions. I do not go quite so far. As a scientist*, I believe that science, taken as a whole, does progress with time--to argue that our understanding of the universe today is not fuller than it was 200 years ago seems ludicrous--but we should be cautious in treating any one scientific finding or theory as "progress," in and of itself: First, a scientist's paradigm and her puzzle-solving nature restrict what questions she considers asking (p. 37), and second, the explanations provided by a new theory or paradigm may not be any closer to truth than those of its predecessor (see discussion of opium, p. 104). I think the latter point also applies to the information professions: We may find that any one of the "advancements" we make is really a step back, hampering access to information.------With the help of my colleagues' reviews and Dr. Tomer's lecture, my views about Kuhn have changed over the last week. While I stand by my assertion that the information professions, like every field, have sets of accepted viewpoints ("paradigms") at their foundation, I no longer contend that that is Kuhn's sole applicability. Information Science is, after all, not really a science. Rather, I believe that Kuhn's description of incremental advances--and of new paradigms overwriting, if you will, previous work--is relevant to us in our capacity as guardians and gatekeepers of knowledge. A Kuhnian view of progress requires us to remain both vigilant and flexible in our maintenance of the scientific knowledge base; we must catalog the day-to-day work of "normal" knowledge accumulation in every field, particularly science, but we must also be aware that the rules and accepted facts are subject to change. As such, we must struggle to provide the information that daily practitioners of the field will deem relevant, perhaps in addition to previous "advances," or perhaps instead of them. I would add that I do not think we can expect to determine, entirely on our own, precisely which scientific information is worth keeping; as Kuhn says, people outside of a sub-field stand little chance of understanding the literature, and even people inside a field cannot predict with certainty which research direction will lead to a paradigm change. Rather, we should maintain a dialog with the experts and seek to improve our collections in collaboration with them. Kuhn, T.S. (1996). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.London, S. (2008). Book Review. Retrieved September 9, 2008, from http://www.scottlondon.com/reviews/ku...Weinberg, S. (1998, October 8). The Revolution That Didn't Happen [Review of the book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions], The New York Review of Books, pp. 48-52.*As a post-script, separate from my review, I feel it necessary to point out that Kuhn would disagree with my assertion that I am a scientist. My formal training was in engineering (p. 30), and I am female. Both seem to count strongly against me, in his estimation.

  • Celine
    2018-10-30 14:56

    Isn't it ironic that a book about paradigm shifts caused a paradigm shift in itself? And isn't it even more ironic that I'm studying this book from a humanities perspective, a science Kuhn himself might not even call a science?The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is a fascinating book because it works out, detail after tiny detail, how a scientific revolution takes place. One of the most interesting ideas Kuhn posits is that we can't compare two paradigms with each other (say, Newtonian physics and the theory of relativity), because they both encompass a different paradigm, and with that paradigm a different language and way of seeing the world. Kuhn's writing is terribly dry, and his book could have definitely been shorter. His examples can be repetitive; he often makes the same point two, three, four times throughout the course of the book. Structure isn't exactly light reading, but it contains some very interesting ideas about the nature of science and the nature of the progress of science.

  • Katie
    2018-10-27 18:58

    Original, 2-star review:I think the common criticisms that have been popping up here - Kuhn's conclusions are very relativistic, and he's not always clear or concise in the way he conveys them - are fair. Kuhn puts forth a very interesting theory, and I think at least a few sections are very helpful when approaching the history of science. But it's certainly not a fun read, and much of the argument's density could have been fairly easily avoided. If you're a scientist, or have an interest in the philosophy or history of science, I'd recommend giving it a go. Otherwise, probably not.****I haven't re-read this book, but I do want to change my review - in large part because this is one of the books that I keep coming back to and thinking about over the years. I still think that there are some problems with it - and yikes, it is not a terribly pleasant read - but it's a really fascinating and thought-provoking work. It's really shaped the way I think about things, so I think it's worth a go even if you don't entirely agree with Kuhn's thesis.

  • Said Abuzeineh
    2018-11-17 15:09

    أهمية هذا الكتاب تكمن في أن أطروحته إيماء إلى سمة وخاصية في العلم (العلنم التجريبي في صورته الغربية) هي في بعديها اداة فعالة لتقدم العلم وفي نفس الوقت خاصية لها خطورة على فهمنا للعلاقة بين العلم والحقيقة، هذه العلاقة التي حاول الغزالي جادهدا تحديد معالمها في مجتمعه العلمي.وهذه الخاصية هي أن المجتمع العلمي لا يتسنى له المضي قدما بدون تبنيه لنموذج حاكم مهيمن على مباحثه يحددها ويحكم مسارها. وهذا التبني حسب تصور كون يجعل العلم جامدا وضيقا ومع ذلك فهو فعال الخطورة في هذه الخاصية هي محاولة جعل النموذج الإرشادي "الباراديام" الذي يتبناه مجتمع علمي في فترة معينة مشروعا لتصور كلي عن الحقيقة.فالنموذج الحاكم هذا بطبيعته قاصر عن فهم ومعالجة جميع المشكلات التي يواجهها.هذا الطرح يبين خطورة تلك الدعاوى التي ينطق بها بعض العلماء في المحافل والمحاضرات العامة والتي يقدمون فيها نماذجه الإرشادية وكأنها تصور عام كلي عن الكون والحياة .. كتاب مهم .. والحديث فيه لا يسعه هذا الحيز

  • Laura
    2018-10-27 16:11

    I’ve seen citations to this book for decades, and it’s been on my shelf, unread-by-me, nearly as long. Finally read it. Kuhn contends that the then-accepted description of scientific process as a largely smooth increase in human knowledge isn’t accurate. Instead, it’s Hegelian-esque: an accepted model less and less satisfactory as more and more things are observed that do not fit; new models emerge and are resisted for reasons rational and not; and one fine day, the paradigm shifts. For reasons rational and not, a new model becomes accepted. Repeat, with variations. Reading it now, it’s a little unsatisfying. Yes, paradigms shift. Seen it happen. Some critical number of those in the relevant field of inquiry accept a paradigm, and there’s a new paradigm. Science, law, economics, whatever. I found myself in the odd position of explaining the gold standard, and what it means to have abandoned it, to a chum last Saturday. A paradigm shifted. In that, by a matter of decree, but still, only after some critical number of those in the relevant field accepted that a currency could be backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, and not just gold. Kuhn suggests that paradigms don’t just shift because the new one is better; society doesn’t operate that way. Social enthusiasm for an idea matters a lot. Apparently that pissed a lot of people off at the time, which again from 2012 seems a little silly. We’re not just rational actors. I know I’m not. I loved Kuhn’s illustration of that with Lord Kelvin denouncing X-rays as a hoax. He had a commitment to a certain understanding of how tests worked, and the fact that there could be X-rays messing up the procedures was unsettling. I’m sure he came around. I suspect I found the book somewhat unsatisfying because it’s central thesis – that we aren’t just rational; that progress is not slow and steady, and that the paradigm matters – is so well accepted that it’s hard to get excited about. Which is pleasingly meta, now that I come to think about it.

  • Alaa Bahabri
    2018-10-22 12:57

    كتاب لا بد أن يقرأ!يستطيع هذا الكتاب أن يمنحك رؤية جديدة للعلم ، والمعرفة،،أن يقم لك فكرة أصيلة ، غير مكررة،،و على الرغم من أن الكتاب ثقيل (ربما للترجمة، أو ربما لغة الكتاب ، لست متأكدة في الحقيقة) إلا أنني استمعت بالقراءة، و ربما أعدت قراءة عدد من الصفحات مرة بعد أخرى، ذلك لأنني في كل فصل لابد و أن أصادف فكرة جميلة، أتوقف عندها، وأعيد قرائتها، ثم تنهال علي أمثلة مما أعرف، أو ربماأتذكر مقولة تؤكد رأي الكاتب، أو ربما أحس بالجمال فقط! جمال اكتشاف حقيقة جديدةفي نهاية الكتاب ، وددت لو أنني أستطيع تذكر تفاصيله، و روادتني رغبة قراءته مرة أخرى ,,بالنسبة لي ، و كمتخصصة في أحد العلوم الاجتماعية (الإعلام) ، فإن الكتاب سلط الضوء على كثير من الإشكاليات التي مررت بها في دراستي : لماذا لا تمتلك العلوم الاجتماعية بنية كالعلوم الطبيعية، و ما هي طبيعة المشكلات التي تواجهه هذه العلوم؟ وكيف من الممكن أن تتطور؟وسأكتب تدوينة في ذلك خلال الفترة القادمة إن شاء الله ..النجمة الناقصة هي للترجمة، وربما في فترة لاحقة سأقرأ ترجمة شوقي جلال،،وهنا ملخصات جيدة للكتاب:http://tafkeeer.com/play-1328.htmlhttp://akhuraif.com/blog/?p=800

  • Jrobertus
    2018-10-30 18:04

    I understand this is a fairly famous book, but I don't understand why. There is enough material for a short essay, and here it is. As scientific instruments and measurements improve, discrepancies appear between what is observed and what the current theory, or paradigm, predicts. As a result, the theory or paradigm must change, but some people resist it. The change from the geocentric model of Ptolemy to the helio-centric model of Copernicus is an example, as it the change from Aristotle to Newton to Einstein. As if we didn't already know that. This book is unbelievably wordy, self contradictory, pompous, and obscure. I absolutely hated it. I am a practicing "normal" scientist, and I can say that this book has no impact what so ever in science. I guess its deconstructionist English majors that think its important.

  • notgettingenough
    2018-11-06 20:13

    I have made an update to my review in response to comments.http://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpres...

  • Marcus
    2018-10-27 11:55

    The premise of the book is that science doesn't progress by the cumulative addition of knowledge, but instead advances by major shifts in paradigms that replace, rather than increment, large parts of previous paradigms. To begin with, scientific research in a specific subject is carried out within the bounds of a generally accepted framework that defines what scientists already know about the field, as well as the questions that remain unanswered. This is what Kuhn calls a paradigm. A paradigm is useful because it defines puzzles that need to be solved and gives a set rules for them to be solved in. Over time, the paradigm is more fully explored and is broken down into smaller and more specific problems. To solve them, scientists develop specialized equipment and detailed experiments are carried out. Scientists experiment not to generate an unknown result, but with a hypothesis that has an expected result. The paradigm they're working under has helped them predict results and expect an answer.Eventually however, problems are discovered that can't be effectively solved within the rules of the paradigm. At first, these types of problems can be worked around by making adjustments in rules of the paradigm. Ultimately, as it is explored more deeply and the rules become more complex, a problem or problems arise that simply cannot be answered elegantly with the paradigm. As these difficult problems gain notice, they become recognized as the problems in most urgent need of a solution. When there is a big problem like this it can either be ignored until better equipment is available, made to fit by adjusting the current paradigm or, most interestingly, it can lead to the development of a new theory, or group of theories that attempt to solve the problem. As alternate competing theories are proposed to address the crises, eventually one gains enough traction among scientists to become the new paradigm. One of the examples used in the book is how Einstein's relativity became the paradigm that replaced Newtonian physics. What happened was not that Newtonian physics was found to be outdated and immediately replaced with the theory of relativity, in fact that theory is still useful within a large number of applications today. Instead, it was recognized that there is a very limited set of parameters in which Newtonian physics is accurate--specifically for calculating interactions between objects moving at relatively low velocities, but that outside those parameters, Newtonian physics will lead to incorrect assumptions. The theory of relativity solves the same problems that Newtonian physics does, but it also works with objects moving at high velocities. Rather than just building upon Newtonian physics incrementally, relativity supplanted large parts of it, even as scientists recognized that parts of Newtonian physics remain useful in certain contexts.To me, a non-scientist, rather than being controversial, this is a really useful way to think about science, and beyond science to how change and progress occur in almost any field. To a scientist, I can see how Kuhn's ideas are controversial. They mean that what scientists see and look for in observational and experimental data is not analyzed and recorded completely objectively but that scientists are heavily biased by what they believe and expect they're going to find. It 'accuses' scientists of viewing data and the experiments they choose to perform relatively, rather than objectively or positively (there is a long and hairy philosophical argument on relative knowledge that I will avoid getting into). Kuhn, rather than criticizing scientists for their subjective view on data, believes that viewing science this way is unavoidable, and in fact beneficial because it trains scientists to recognize patterns in data and to become adept with the data that they deal with. When a scientist is proficient at viewing data within the bounds of a paradigm, they are, in turn, well-prepared to view anomalies in the way their paradigm interprets data. This leads to the tough problems that are escalated to criseses in the paradigm and eventually, to the development of new paradigms.

  • Miquixote
    2018-11-06 17:09

    The most important non-fiction book ever written?

  • William Liggett
    2018-10-30 12:09

    Who hasn't heard the term "paradigm shift?" Guess who introduced it into the popular lexicon? Thomas Kuhn was a philopher of science who retraced the history of many scientific discoveries, especially in physics. He demonstrated how the subjective worldview of the scientists led to their paradigms, or mental models, and ultimately supported a paradigm shift in a whole field like physics. Often major scientific discoveries are made by young outsiders who are not yet steeped in the worldview of an established scientific community with its textbooks and training. A good modern example are the students who derived "chaos theory" which departed from accepted physics in the late 20th century. Kuhn's theory sparked debate among those who saw science as purely objective vs. the notion that scientists' perceptions are often subjective—influenced by the paradigms they hold. It is informative to read Kuhn's original descriptions of paradigms to better understand why the concept has been adopted by so many fields ranging from the social sciences to business and education.

  • Oliver Bateman
    2018-11-16 19:12

    Yet another "important" book, one that advances a theory of "paradigm shift" to explain the transition between scientific worldviews (or transitions from pre-paradigm to paradigm worldviews, in the case of a coalescing field). Although written in an easy-to-understand way, Kuhn's presentation of this material--as evidenced by the somewhat defensive tone he adopts when responding to criticisms about his slipshod use of the term "paradigm" and his tendency to pass between descriptive and normative explanations of how science works (to which he replies, "'is' and 'ought' are by no means always so separate as they have seemed")--raises as many questions as it answers. His discussion of perception, in which he challenges the understanding that has prevailed since Descartes, is particularly confusing (in the postscript he refers to a "computer program" he is using to categorize "intuitions" of "scientists," although he offers the reader no idea of how such a program would work); and his treatment of incommensurability isn't much better, although he at least admits for the possibility of "translation" (but it seems to me that "translation" isn't the issue during "paradigm conflicts" that occur in a given generation; rather, the problem lies elsewhere). Kuhn also advances the conventional wisdom about "paradigms" being shattered most frequently by "young men" (he states that this is almost self-evident, that "extraordinary science" is a young man's game), yet offers only a handful of examples as support for this claim. However, there are various excellent aspects of this work that bear mentioning: Section I ("A Role for History") sketches a useful way of applying history in order to understand the development of knowledge; Section XI ("The Invisibility of Revolutions") does a nice job of describing the problems with teaching history through science textbooks (and explains why the field is so singularly unaware of its past); and Section XIII ("Progress Through Revolutions") offers a fine critique of others who believe that science is somehow "different" than other fields because it is "getting better" or "working toward the truth." That being written, I would recommend both Feyerabend's Against Method or the introductory essay in Foucault's The Order of Things in lieu of this work (although by all means read this book too, if you've got the time). Foucault's idea of the episteme--which looks at developments in various fields as a result of the "epistemological unconscious" of an era and does not rely for its foundation on a privileged definition of science (which Kuhn, coming from a background in physics, seeks to maintain: "puzzle-solving" is how he refers to "normal science")--is a much more cogent model of explanation. Foucault has also demonstrated the existence of connections among fields of knowledge (medicine, law, criminology, psychiatry, etc.) that Kuhn only hints at in Section XIII, and might, if pressed to mention them at all, even deem to be unrelated.

  • Wayne
    2018-10-31 15:13

    This book was a revelation...I felt the scales literally fall from my eyes and knew the world would never be the same again. In fact I experienced a "paradigm-shift" experience in the reading of it. If you want to know what that is click on the 'book cover' icon and you'll end up at a site where more eloquent people than me can and will tell you about the content of this book and all about the "paradigm-shift".GREAT STUFF!!!I had to read it as part of my Education Honours course at Sydney Uni in 1974 and it was the most significant book of that year, if not of my life. I felt trapped by my world-view, by my inability to ever see the world except through the lens of "a theory".I think I experienced another paradigm-shift in 1999 when I read "Darwin's Worms" by Adam Phillips, because that book prevented me from having a mental breakdown, as despite my atheism I had clung onto the religious illusions of justice and redemption and they were creating havoc because of a warped world-view.I've written a review of that book which goes into it more fully and probably very inadequately.

  • Jwharah
    2018-10-17 14:47

    في اي ترجمة لكتب دراسة او نقد او تحليل يقدمها باحث غربي عن فلسفة او منهج او قوانين تمت للحضارة الغربية بصلة لا تخلو مقدمة المترجم من أمرين:أما سخط وغضب من ما يراه انه انتقاص وتشوية للحضارة الغربية.او سعادة عارمة اعتقادا منه ان حضارة كسيحة وقد انكشفت عللها وهي على وشك الأفول.كلهم بصراحه يجيبون لي مغص بمخي

  • MohamedAbo-Elgheit
    2018-11-04 16:54

    مراجعتي التفصيليةفي مقال على اضاءاتhttp://ida2at.com/science-revolutions...