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Critique of a Postmodern Philosophy on Thomas Kuhn - Essay Example

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Born in 1922, Thomas Samuel Kuhn shook the world of science with, "The Structure of Science Revolutions". Of the few books and several articles he published, this particular book he wrote during his tenure as a graduate student at Harvard, and it was because of the thirteen chapters of this very book that Thomas Kuhn was realized as the man who reshaped the way the science is approached.
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Critique of a Postmodern Philosophy on Thomas Kuhn
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Download file to see previous pages He later taught at the University of California and it was during his tenure in the same capacity that he published his book "The Structure of Science Revolution", which soon became the jewel in his crown.
More than a million copies of Thomas Kuhns book have been published in a wide variety of languages. His books are regarderded as nothing less than sacred by students of scientific history and knowledge(The Tech - Online Edition, 1996). Before we begin on the very philosophy that his books contained and later became the purpose of his life as well as his identity, it is important to note here that Kuhn was a staunch believer that the science of current day holds more potential within it than it chooses to realize.
The controversy raised by Kuhn was his opinion that if the currently available knowledge is the judge of what we desire, we can hardly expect to achieve anything except for what we had in mind when we set out to achieve it. In other words, inferences can be made and new techniques can be derived from old ones, but the expectation to come across new discoveries will come to no consequence in such situations. Rather Thomas Kuhn argued that if the frame of reference is based on the currently available knowledge, the unless the thinking process is set outside of the current frame, no new advancements can be made except for the ones we already have in front of us when we set out to achieve them. In other words, man sets out to prove only what he already knows and does not add anything to his knowledge but rather continues to dwell in the frame of mind he has built for himself using the knowledge he already possesses.
The Paradigm Shift Concept in Kuhn's terms
The Paradigm, in the terms of Thomas Kuhn's "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions", refers to the frame of thought that the scientists of today choose to adopt and the slowly evolving process that comprises of inventions and discoveries as the need for these developments arises. This process continues until a need arises that is not satisfied by any of the present knowledge that science has accumulated, and a new school of thought has to be established altogether to replace the old one if the need has to be met.
It is important to note here that before Kuhn, science was considered to be a very generally evolving process and any discoveries and inventions were considered nothing else than an addition in the reservoir of knowledge that science had accumulated to that point. Kuhn however was of the opinion that science does not simply move on but from time to time, undergoes episodic transformations. These episodic transformations do not merely add to the accumulated knowledge but serve to change the very lens through which the science of that time frame is viewed.
A real life example of Kuhn's philosophy in play
An example of this fact can be seen in how mans knowledge of the world within which he lives evolved over time. For a period of time, man considered the world to be flat and that the earth was the center of our solar system. After having lived for centuries with this belief, man finally realized that ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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