Thomas Kuhn’s View of Science

Updated November 11, 2020

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Thomas Kuhn’s View of Science essay

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In 1947, Thomas Samuel Kuhn accepted an invitation from the president of his school, (James B. Conant), to be one of his assistants. He was to assist Conant in creating a historically based course for undergraduates. He took on a project that investigated the origins of seventeenth century mechanics and this is what caused a change in his image of science. Once he saw science differently, he decided that he needed introduce the public and the scientific world to this new way of seeing science.

Kuhn struggled to understand Aristotle’s idea of motion in Physic. He found it difficult trying to make sense of the idea, because he was using Newtonian, (or classical mechanics by Sir Isaac Newton), assumptions and categories. Newtons laws made sense for the late seventeenth century, but not for the period before the common era or B.C.E. He figured out he had to read the idea of motion using assumptions and categories from Aristotle’s time. Once Kuhn read the idea using Aristotelian mechanics and was able to get inside the mind of Aristotle, he had a better understanding and view from the perspective of his era. This realization made him decide to be a philosopher of science by doing the history of science.

Kuhn felt that that logic was necessary but can also be insufficient for justifying knowledge. He proved that logic is not able to guarantee the original image of something as scientific advancements are accumulated. He also proved the importance of language and meaning and a need for a “scientific language”. A language or terms that would separate the professional scientific world form all others. He also was able to differentiate creative science from textbook science. He wanted to develop a new image for science, because he felt there was a public misconception of the subject. He attributed these misconceptions to introductory textbook courses that portrayed science as a fixed body of never changing facts. After, discussing things with his friends and Conant, Kuhn was able to present his students with a more detailed image of science. He believed that the history of science was the best way to present the true nature of science to the world.

Kuhn went on to introduce an alternative approach to the methodology of science. He introduced conceptual frame works and a way for scientists to organize facts. He reconstructed the Copernican revolution by giving it conceptual schemes. Kuhn believed that scientific progression was not a straight-line process from problem to solution, but in a cumulative way. Data, facts, and observations complied together was truly how scientific progression occurred. He believed that science should be studies by what scientists do most of the time.

Thomas Kuhn’s View of Science essay

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Thomas Kuhn’s View of Science. (2020, Nov 11). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/thomas-kuhns-view-of-science/


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