In my opinion, we should be careful using "paradigm shift" in the Kuhnian sense, unless you have read and understood this book (and the different meanings of paradigm). Kuhn points out that science does not develop in a linear/ cumulative manner, but that, like e.g. in art and music, revolutions are at work; it was a revelation at the time.
Kuhn discusses normal science and solving puzzles, anomalies and crises and their purposes for the progress of science. I like the way Kuhn refers to paradigms as maps, not just providing an overview, but also some guidelines for designing the paradigm. It is beyond my guess that Kuhn (like Darwin and Plank) understood very well, that it is up to a next generation to judge his work, as the current generation is most often living the paradigm of the times (and rather entrenched in it). A very highly recommended read....Continua
I've added this book to topic/books-to-better-understand-societies because I think understanding the evolution of the "scientific thought" is key for the understanding of modern societies. Also because the book was (rightfully IMO) defined as one of the most influential books published after WWII. What we nowadays think as "scientifically proven" and then true, can in fact be relativised and defined as "working well enough to be considered as true today". The phlogiston theory was neither wrong nor unscientific, and was good for the time as it could explain most known phenomena. Contrary to what Popper and followers think, any paradigma can (and has to) be adjusted whenever contradictions arise. Physicist did not decide to throw Newton in the bin after the Michelson–Morley experiment, or Boltzman out of the window because could not explain Edison effect. They tried to adjust the now-called-classical mechanics and statistical mechanics. After decades of failures, they had to accept Einstein interpretations.... physicists too are nothing more than pragmatic opportunist....Continua
The right guide to understand how the human interpretation of reality has changed in the last 400 years. History and analysis of the scientific thought.
This is a great book, and I recommend it to everyone. Having said that, There has to be a warning: it tends to be reeeally dry, to have some (frankly boring) repetitions, and to drag certain discussions out way beyond what would be needed to prove the point....Continua