• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Outline and critically review the principal arguments in The Kuhnian View by Haines-Young and Petch!!! Thomas Samuel Kuhn was born on July 18, 1922, in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Extracts from this document...


Outline and critically review the principal arguments in The Kuhnian View by Haines-Young and Petch!!! Thomas Samuel Kuhn was born on July 18, 1922, in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States. Kuhn went on to become one of most influential philosophers of science of the twentieth century and some would say the most influential. His book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is one of the most cited academic books of all time. His contribution to the philosophy science marked not only a break with several key positivist doctrines but also inaugurated a new style of philosophy of science that brought it much closer to the history of science. The main argument of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is that science is not solely based on reason. Kuhn believes that factors such as race, age and culture all effect science. Kuhn believes that a paradigm is a traditional accepted idea which can be affected by sociological factors such as education and textbooks. "According to Kuhn the development of a science is not uniform but has alternating 'normal' and 'revolutionary' phase" (http://plato.stanford.edu). ...read more.


Jones tested Kuhn's views against the theory of plate tectonics. Before the 1960's many people believed that the earth was stable. This was known as the 'Stabilist Paradigm'. There were many questions that arouse from this idea such as why had land bridges disappeared therefore a new paradigm was easily accepted. After the 1960's there was effidence to suggest that the world was not fixed but that plates moved. This gave rise to a new paradigm, the 'Mobilist Paradigm'. This example shows that Kuhn's ideas could be related to actual changes in the earths structure. Kuhn's views can also be related to Aristotle's idea that the universe consisted of five elements but when Biswas came up with a different idea a new paradigm began. Although Kuhn's views have been widely accepted in general terms he has been criticised for his use of the word 'Paradigm'. Sphere (1964) believes that the way Kuhn uses the word in broad general terms undermines his views. Sphere accuses Kuhn of "inflating the definition of paradigm until it becomes so vague and ambiguous that it cannot be easily withheld" ( Haines-Young et al). ...read more.


According to Hacking (1983) there are three main ways in which theories can be incommensurable. Firstly there is topic incommensurability. This is when two entirely different topics are being discussed. For a comparison to be made the two theories must be on the same topic. The second type is incommensurability by dissociation. This happens when a theory from the past can no longer be understood by today's generation. For people today to understand Aristotle's ideas they would have to dissociate themselves from today's way of thinking. The final type is meaning incommensurability. This is connected with the meaning of words in which any comparison between theories is attempted. This comes to the front because many believe that the meaning of scientific terms can only be understood in the context of a theory. So therefore if theories are incommensurable then there can be no rational basis for choosing between them. The choice may be down to other determining factors such as political forces. Kuhn concludes: "As in political revolutions ....... There is no higher standard than the assent of the relevant community" (Kuhn, 1970a, pg 94) Aine Clinton 12660043 110GGY228 Outline and Critically Review the Principal Arguments in "The Kuhnian View" by Haines-Young and Petch. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Social Theory section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Social Theory essays

  1. This assignment will analyse critically key ethical, attitudinal, political issues and historical development of ...

    A study in North America and Europe found that deaf individuals lacked access to health education, these individual were deprived of the knowledge of HIV, AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases and consequences (Yousafzai et al, 2003). Simon states he did not acquire the knowledge of sexually transmitted during his

  2. All Souls (book review)

    He recalled vivid memories of the anti-busing riots of the early 70's and the chaos that occurred before his very eyes. Among various other life-altering events, MacDonald was forced to experience the untimely and unfortunate deaths of his brothers, sisters, and friends.

  1. Whether we call it globalisation or internationalization, very few people, organisations or states stand ...

    The ratio of merchandise trade to gross domestic product as Page 3 calculated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in 2002 suggest that the degree of trade openness was about the same in 1913 as it was in 2000.

  2. Sociology Review

    There are a number of different types of mobility. The following two are commonly linked; Vertical mobility refers to the movement up or down the socio-economic scale. Lateral mobility is the geographical movement between regions. The study of social mobility focus' on intra-generational mobility, whereby it is measured through the achievement of the individual in their entire working life.

  1. "A devil, a born devil, on whose nature nurture can never stick" (?)Shakespeare (1610)

    In order to function within a social environment these impulses must be controlled or channelled by the individual. Therefore, the immediate desire of the id must be suppressed by the emergence of the ego, guided by the reality principle. The development of the reality principle should ensure that immediate gratification is delayed.

  2. Outline and assess critically the contribution that positivist ...

    who showed a possible link between adopted children and their biological fathers. Children born to criminal fathers showed a higher likelihood of being criminal despite being adopted by non criminal fathers, thus indicating the possibility of passing on a genetic predisposition.

  1. Self-monitoring: a review of current literature.

    The question is thus; is self monitoring just like listening to yourself talk to detect errors? The answer appears to yes and no. Yes, error detection can succeed through speech comprehension (audition), and no, research has shown than some self-repairs occur to fast as to be the result of auditory monitoring.

  2. Bradford Riots. In this paper we focus in particular on the Bradford riot ...

    for violence against ethnic minorities, and the leader Nick Griffin has a recent conviction (1998) for inciting racial hatred (Observer 1.7.01). 'Rights for Whites', has become a powerful frame for working class grievances in northern towns, and BNP voters are quick to use this language to legitimise their political allegiances: 'I voted BNP and I don't worry who knows it.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work