[1962] The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

  title={The Structure of Scientific Revolutions},
  author={Kuhn, T.S. and Hacking, I.},
  publisher={University of Chicago Press}

In openlibrary.

My highlights: https://ia600501.us.archive.org/14/items/elopio-kindle-highlights/The%20Structure%20of%20Scientific%20Revolutions_%2050th%20Anniversary%20Edition-Notebook.pdf

Discovery comes not when something goes right but when something is awry, a novelty that runs counter to what was expected.

Paradigms: These I take to be universally recognized scientific achievements that for a time provide model problems and solutions to a community of practitioners.

Historians confront growing difficulties in distinguishing the “scientific” component of past observation and belief from what their predecessors had readily labeled “error” and “superstition.” If these out-of-date beliefs are to be called myths, then myths can be produced by the same sorts of methods and held for the same sorts of reasons that now lead to scientific knowledge. If, on the other hand, they are to be called science, then science has included bodies of belief quite incompatible with the ones we hold today.

No part of the aim of normal science is to call forth new sorts of phenomena; those that will not fit the box are often not seen at all. Normal science does not aim at novelties of fact or theory and, when successful, finds none.

Discovery commences with the awareness of anomaly, i.e., with the recognition that nature has somehow violated the paradigm-induced expectations that govern normal science. It then continues with a more or less extended exploration of the area of anomaly. And it closes only when the paradigm theory has been adjusted so that the anomalous has become the expected.

Paradigm procedures and applications are as necessary to science as paradigm laws and theories, and they have the same effects. Inevitably they restrict the phenomenological field accessible for scientific investigation at any given time.

Novelty emerges only with difficulty, manifested by resistance, against a background provided by expectation.

Anomaly appears only against the background provided by the paradigm. The more precise and far-reaching that paradigm is, the more sensitive an indicator it provides of anomaly and hence of an occasion for paradigm change.

The decision to reject one paradigm is always simultaneously the decision to accept another, and the judgment leading to that decision involves the comparison of both paradigms with nature and with each other.

By themselves they cannot and will not falsify that philosophical theory, for its defenders will do what we have already seen scientists doing when confronted by anomaly. They will devise numerous articulations and ad hoc modifications of their theory in order to eliminate any apparent conflict.

There is no such thing as research in the absence of any paradigm. To reject one paradigm without simultaneously substituting another is to reject science itself.

No paradigm that provides a basis for scientific research ever completely resolves all its problems.

Scientific revolutions are here taken to be those non-cumulative developmental episodes in which an older paradigm is replaced in whole or in part by an incompatible new one.

The choice is not and cannot be determined merely by the evaluative procedures characteristic of normal science, for these depend in part upon a particular paradigm.

Paradigms differ in more than substance, for they are directed not only to nature but also back upon the science that produced them. As the problems change, so, often, does the standard that distinguishes a real scientific solution from a mere metaphysical speculation, word game, or mathematical play. Paradigms provide scientists not only with a map but also with some of the directions essential for map-making.

When paradigms change, there are usually significant shifts in the criteria determining the legitimacy both of problems and of proposed solutions.

What a man sees depends both upon what he looks at and also upon what his previous visual-conceptual experience has taught him to see.

Though the world does not change with a change of paradigm, the scientist afterward works in a different world.

Probably the single most prevalent claim advanced by the proponents of a new paradigm is that they can solve the problems that have led the old one to a crisis. When it can legitimately be made, this claim is often the most effective one possible. The claim to have solved the crisis-provoking problems is, however, rarely sufficient by itself. Nor can it always legitimately be made.

The early versions of most new paradigms are crude. By the time their full aesthetic appeal can be developed, most of the community has been persuaded by other means.

A decision of that kind can only be made on faith. Something must make at least a few scientists feel that the new proposal is on the right track, and sometimes it is only personal and inarticulate aesthetic considerations that can do that.

Individuals raised in different societies behave on some occasions as though they saw different things. What the participants in a communication breakdown can do is recognize each other as members of different language communities and then become translators.

Translate a theory or worldview into one’s own language is not to make it one’s own. For that one must go native, discover that one is thinking and working in, not simply translating out of, a language that was previously foreign. At some point in the process of learning to translate, he finds that the transition has occurred, that he has slipped into the new language without a decision having been made.