- Aug 2023
Allosso, Dan. “Kuhn’s Paradigms.” Substack newsletter. MakingHistory (blog), August 17, 2023. https://danallosso.substack.com/p/kuhns-paradigms.
Kuhn provided examples of major and minor revolutions, showing that the strict falsifiability suggested in Karl Popper’s theory does not play a role.
Periods of normal science are interrupted when anomalies between observations and the expectations suggested by the paradigm begin to demonstrate the paradigm’s weakness.
Lego theory of science.
Individual bricks are facts which can be assembled in a variety of ways, each of which is a particular paradigm. Ultimately, the optimal structure is one which dovetails with the neighborhoods of structures around them while each having the best minimized structure of it's own.
With only handfuls of individual facts, it can be difficult to build them up into an interesting or useful structure to start. Doing this may help to discover other facts. As these are added, one may reshape the overall structure of the theory as the puzzle begins to reveal itself and allow the theorist the ability to best structure an overall theory which minimizes itself and allows dovetailing with other external theories. All the theories then eventually form their own pieces which can then be pieced together for the next structural level up.
See also Simon Singh, Thomas Kuhn, topology.
Kuhn denied that scientific development progresses by a series of “successive increments” that add to the accumulation of facts making up current knowledge like bricks building a wall.
This feels like the sort of flavor of historical method of Ernst Bernheim mixed with Gerald Weinberg's Fieldstone Method.
Thomas Kuhn applied the concept of the paradigm to describe the progress of scientific thought over time. The idea generated interest and discussion across a number of fields in addition to the history of science, eclipsing to some extent Kuhn’s original focus.
Thomas Kuhn's book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions was directed to scientific thought over time, but he was aware of it potentially being applied, potentially improperly, to other areas. As a result, he narrowed down his definitions and made his assumptions more explicit.
This sort of misapplication can be seen in Social Darwinism, the uncertainty principle, relativity, and memes.
It also happened with Claude Shannon's information theory which resulted in his publication of The Bandwagon (IEEE, 1956).
- Fieldstone method
- Thomas Kuhn
- Ernst Bernheim
- punctuated equilibrium
- Gerald Weinberg
- historical method
- context collapse
- Claude Shannon
- Simon Singh
- bandwagon effect
- Karl Popper
- paradigm shifts
- Nov 2022
Could be interesting to apply this sort of process to a variety of texts over time. A draft of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein comes to mind.
How to view this through the lens of Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions? particularly as this was the evolution of an idea by the same author over time...
- The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
- Thomas Kuhn
- Charles Darwin
- On the Origin of Species
- variorum text
- evolution of knowledge
- paradigm shifts
- digital humanities
- Oct 2022
Local file Local file
he limited hisdiscussion of Kuhn to a short article crediting Georg Christoph Lichtenbergwith a much more sophisticated concept of “paradigm.” 9
Hans Blumenberg felt that Georg Christoph Lichtenberg had a more sophisticated conceptualization of the idea of "paradigm" than the one which Thomas Kuhn delineated in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
Cross reference the original mention of this:
9 Borck, “Begriffene Geschichte: Canguilhem, Blumenberg und die Wissenschaften,” in Borck, Blumenberg beobachtet, 168–95, 179, outlines Blumenberg’s criticism of Kuhn’s model of paradigm change as too schematic. On the notion of paradigm, Blumenberg, “Paradigma, grammatisch,” in Wirklichkeiten in denen wir leben (Stuttgart: Reclam, 1981), 157–62.
Regarding his work on the sciences, Blumenberg did not facilitate hisreception within the Anglophone tradition by engaging much with it. Hemay have initiated the translation of The Structure of Scientific Revolutionsinto German,
Hans Blumenberg didn't engage much with the Anglophone world of science outside of initiating the translation of Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions into German.
- May 2022
I think it may have been the British Library interview in which Wengrow says something like, you know, no one ever challenges a new conservative book and says, so and so has just offered a neoliberal perspective on X. But when an anarchist says something, people are sure to spend most of their time remarking on his politics. I think it's relevant that G&W call out Pinker's cherry-picking of Ötzi the ice man. They counter this with the Romito 2 specimen, but they insist that it is no more conclusive than Ötzi. So how does a challenging new interpretation gain ground in the face of an entrenched dominant narrative?
This sentiment is very similar to one in a recent lecture series I'd started listening to: The Modern Intellectual Tradition: From Descartes to Derrida #.
Lawrence Cahoone specifically pointed out that he would be highlighting the revolutionary (and also consequently the most famous) writers because they were the ones over history that created the most change in their field of thought.
How does the novel and the different manage to break through?
How does this relate to the broad thesis of Thomas S. Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions?
The comment Wengrow makes about "remarking on [an anarchist's] politics" as a means of attacking their ideas is quite similar to the sort of attacks that are commonly made on women. When female politicians make relevant remarks and points, mainstream culture goes to standbys about their voice or appearance: "She's 'shrill'", or "She doesn't look very good in that dress." They attack anything but the idea itself.
- Mar 2022
There are some additional interesting questions here, like: how do you get to the edge quickly? How do you do that across multiple fields? What do you do if the field seems misdirected, like much of psychology?
- How do you get to the edge quickly?
I think this is where literature mapping tools come in handy. With such a tool, you can see how the literature is connected and which papers are closer to the edge of understanding. Some tools on this point include Connected Papers, Inciteful, Scite, Litmaps, and Open Knowledge Maps.
- How do you do that across multiple fields?
I think this requires taking an X-disciplinary approach that teeters on multiple disciplines.
- What do you do if the field seems misdirected, like much of psychology?
Good question. It is hard to re-orient a field unless you can find a good reason (e.g., a crisis) for a paradigm shift. I think Kuhn's writing on [The Structure of Scientific Revolutions(https://www.uky.edu/~eushe2/Pajares/Kuhn.html) may be relevant here.
Immersion in previous work may bia s creativity and limit imagination if users cannot break free from tradition.
Being bound in the shackles of prior traditions and even one's own work can be stifling for future creativity and the expansion of our imaginations.
Link to the scientific revolution thesis of Thomas Kuhn.
- Jun 2021
that sometimes we don't give you know uh you know credit to or sort of like survive underneath in the subterfuge of what's happening
you could kind of go deeper with that is um do the work of like fred moten and stephanos harney's uh black study or radical study in in the undercommons of of this idea of like um there are these molds intellectual practice you know that sometimes we don't give you know uh you know credit to or sort of like survive underneath in the subterfuge of what's happening—Christopher R. Rogers (autogenerated transcript)
He's talking about work (scholarship) that may sit outside the mainstream that for one reason or another aren't recognized (in this case, because the scholars are marginalized in a culture mired in racist ideas, colonialism, etc.). At it's roots, it doesn't necessarily make the work any more or less valuable than that in
cf. with the academic samizdat of Vladimir Bukovsky who was working under a repressive Russian government
cf similarly with the work of Thomas Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
Consensus can very often only be consensus until it isn't.
How do these ideas interoperate with those of power (power over and power with)? One groups power over another definitely doesn't make them right (or just) at the end of the day.
I like the word "undercommons", which could be thought of not in a marginalizing way, but in the way of a different (and possibly better) perspective.