Thomas Kuhn: Scientific Paradigms



Scientific Paradigms: Thomas S Kuhn

Sociological Theory

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Lex_ie
  • Created on: 05-02-16 10:18
Preview of Thomas Kuhn: Scientific Paradigms

First 228 words of the document:

Thomas Kuhn: Scientific Paradigms
Thomas Kuhn (1970):
Historian of Science
Science Unique
Like Poppers theory Kuhn's has important implications on sociology
The Paradigm:
Kuhn's main idea:
Idea shared between a Scientific community I.E. Physicist defines their science
Provides basic framework members of community work within this framework
Set of norms telling a scientific community how they should think and behave
Paradigm is accepted through socialisation in Natural Science
Different paradigms are not considered rival perspectives like in Sociology
Natural Science:
Conformity of Paradigm
o Rewarded by publication of work
o May lead to unpublished work/ dismissal
Science cannot exist without a shared Paradigm if no shared Paradigmrival school of thought
(perspectives) will occur
Normal Science:
Paradigm is unquestioned
o Normal science scientists engage in puzzling solving
Paradigm defines questions and broadly the answer
o Scientists left to fill in detail and solution
Benefits of Paradigms:
Agrees on basis of subject
Productive work can be carried out bringing about a larger picture (more detail)
This contrast with Poppers view of Science
Walkins (1970):
Argues Popper sees falsification as making science unique, whereas Kuhn argues it is
puzzle solving within the paradigm that makes it unique

Other pages in this set

Page 2

Preview of page 2

Here's a taster:

Scientific Revolutions:
Scientists sometimes obtain findings that contradict the paradigm (anomalies)
Anomalies gradually mount upleading to a fall of confidence within that paradigm
Paradigm is then reformulated to count the anomalies
o Scientific meltdown, scientists come demoralised
Scientists then formulate new paradigmsScientific revolution
Rival paradigms are incommensurable
o Two competing paradigms cannot be judged or measured by the same set of
standards to decide which one is best
o Ability to move from one paradigm to another involves a huge mind change
Eventually one…read more


No comments have yet been made

Similar Sociology resources:

See all Sociology resources »See all resources »