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“Normal science, the activity in which most scientists inevitably spend almost all their time, is predicated on the assumption that the scientific community knows what the world is like”
Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
“And even when the apparatus exists, novelty ordinarily emerges only for the man who, knowing with precision what he should expect, is able to recognize that something has gone wrong.”
Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
“Truth emerges more readily from error than from confusion.”
Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
“The answers you get depend on the questions you ask.”
Thomas S. Kuhn
“Under normal conditions the research scientist is not an innovator but a solver of puzzles, and the puzzles upon which he concentrates are just those which he believes can be both stated and solved within the existing scientific tradition.”
Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
“Perhaps science does not develop by the accumulation of individual discoveries and inventions”
Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
“Almost always the men who achieve these fundamental inventions of a new paradigm have been either very young or very new to the field whose paradigm they change.15 And perhaps that point need not have been made explicit, for obviously these are the men who, being little committed by prior practice to the traditional rules of normal science, are particularly likely to see that those rules no longer define a playable game and to conceive another set that can replace them.”
Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
“If these out-of date beliefs are to be called myths, then myths can be produced by the same sorts of methods and held for the same sorts of reasons that now lead to scientific knowledge”
Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
“The man who is striving to solve a problem defined by existing knowledge and technique is not, however, just looking around. He knows what he wants to achieve, and he designs his instruments and directs his thoughts accordingly. Unanticipated novelty, the new discovery, can emerge only to the extent that his anticipations about nature and his instruments prove wrong. . . . There is no other effective way in which discoveries might be generated.”
Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
“To reject one paradigm without simultaneously substituting another is to reject science itself.”
Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
“Newton's three laws of motion are less a product of novel experiments than of the attempt to reinterpret well-known observations in terms of motions and interactions of primary neutral corpuscles”
Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
“Unanticipated novelty, the new discovery, can emerge only to the extent that his anticipations about nature and his instruments prove wrong.”
Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
“Observation and experience can and must drastically restrict the range of admissible scientific belief, else there would be no science. But they cannot alone determine a particular body of such belief. An apparently arbitrary element, compounded of personal and historical accident, is always a formative ingredient of the beliefs espoused by a given scientific community at a given time”
Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
“Gravity, interpreted as an innate attraction between every pair of particles of matter, was an occult quality in the same sense as the scholastics' "tendency to fall" had been”
Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
“What man sees depends both upon what he looks at and also upon what his previous visual-conception experience has taught him to see.”
Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
“Max Planck, surveying his own career in his Scientific Autobiography, sadly remarked that “a new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”
Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
“In science, as in the playing card experiment, novelty emerges only with difficulty, manifested by resistance, against a background provided by expectation.”
Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
“Its assimilation requires the reconstruction of prior theory and re-evaluation of prior fact, an intrinsically revolutionary process that is seldom completed a single man and never overnight”
Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
“Unable either to practice science without the Principia or to make that work conform to the corpuscular standards of the seventeenth century, scientists gradually accepted the view that gravity was indeed innate”
Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
“For reasons that are both obvious and highly functional, science textbooks (and too many of the older histories of science) refer only to that part of the work of past scientists that can easily be viewed as contributions to the statement and solution of the texts' paradigm problems. Partly by selection and partly by distortion, the scientists of early ages are implicitly represented as having worked upon the same set of fixed problems and in accordance with the same set of fixed canons that the most recent revolution in scientific theory and method has made seem scientific.”
Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
“though the world does not change with a change of paradigm, the scientist afterward works in a different world. Nevertheless,”
Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
“Why should a change of paradigm be called a revolution? In the face of the vast and essential differences between political and scientific development, what parallelism can justify the metaphor that finds revolutions in both?

One aspect of the parallelism must already be apparent. Political revolutions are inaugurated by a growing sense, often restricted to a segment of the political community, that existing institutions have ceased adequately to meet the problems posed by an environment that they have in part created. In much the same way, scientific revolutions are inaugurated by a growing sense, again often restricted to a narrow subdivision of the scientific community, that an existing paradigm has ceased to function adequately in the exploration of an aspect of nature to which that paradigm itself had previously led the way. In both political and scientific development the sense of malfunction that can lead to crisis is prerequisite to revolution.”
Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
“Because scientists are reasonable men, one or another argument will ultimately persuade many of them. But there is no single argument that can or should persuade them all. Rather than a single group conversion, what occurs is an increasing shift in the distribution of professional allegiances.”
Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
“once it has achieved the status of paradigm, a scientific theory is declared invalid only if an alternate candidate is available to take its place.”
Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
“The depreciation of historical fact is deeply, and probably functionally, ingrained in the ideology of the scientific profession, the same profession that places the highest of all values upon factual details of other sorts.”
Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
“When it repudiates a past paradigm, a scientific community simultaneously renounces, as a fit subject for professional scrutiny, most of the books and articles in which that paradigm had been embodied. Scientific education makes use of no equivalent for the art museum or the library of classics, and the result is a sometimes drastic distortion in the scientist's perception of his discipline's past. More than the practitioners of other creative fields, he comes to see it as leading in a straight line to the discipline's present vantage. In short, he comes to see it as progress. No alternative is available to him while he remains in the field.”
Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
“The competition between paradigms is not the sort of battle that can be resolved by proofs.”
Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
“We noted in Section II that an increasing reliance on textbooks or their equivalent was an invariable concomitant of the emergence of a first paradigm in any field of science. The concluding section of this essay will argue that the domination of a mature science by such texts significantly differentiates its developmental pattern from that of other fields. For the moment let us simply take it for granted that, to an extent unprecedented in other fields, both the layman’s and the practitioner’s knowledge of science is based on textbooks and a few other types of literature derived from them. Textbooks, however, being pedagogic vehicles for the perpetuation of normal science, have to be rewritten in whole or in part whenever the language, problem-structure, or standards of normal science change. In short, they have to be rewritten in the aftermath of each scientific revolution, and, once rewritten, they inevitably disguise not only the role but the very existence of the revolutions that produced them. Unless he has personally experienced a revolution in his own lifetime, the historical sense either of the working scientist or of the lay reader of textbook literature extends only to the outcome of the most recent revolutions in the field. Textbooks thus begin by truncating the scientist’s sense of his discipline’s history and then proceed to supply a substitute for what they have eliminated. Characteristically, textbooks of science contain just a bit of history, either in an introductory chapter or, more often, in scattered references to the great heroes of an earlier age. From such references both students and professionals come to feel like participants in a long-standing historical tradition. Yet the textbook-derived tradition in which scientists come to sense their participation is one that, in fact, never existed. For reasons that are both obvious and highly functional, science textbooks (and too many of the older histories of science) refer only to that part of the work of past scientists that can easily be viewed as contributions to the statement and solution of the texts’ paradigm problems. Partly by selection and partly by distortion, the scientists of earlier ages are implicitly represented as having worked upon the same set of fixed problems and in accordance with the same set of fixed canons that the most recent revolution in scientific theory and method has made seem scientific. No wonder that textbooks and the historical tradition they imply have to be rewritten after each scientific revolution. And no wonder that, as they are rewritten, science once again comes to seem largely cumulative.”
Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
“Paradigms are not corrigible by normal science at all. Instead, as we have already seen, normal science ultimately leads only to the recognition of anomalies and to crises. And these are terminated, not by deliberation and interpretation, but by a relatively sudden and unstructured event like the gestalt switch. Scientists then often speak of the "scales falling from the eyes" or of the "lightning flash" that "inundates" a previously obscure puzzle, enabling its components to be seen in a new way that for the first time permits its solution. On other occasions the relevant information comes in sleep. No ordinary sense of the term 'interpretation' fits these flashes of intuition through which a new paradigm is born. Though such intuitions depend upon the experience, both anomalous and congruent, gained with the old paradigm, they are not logically or piecemeal linked to particular items of that experience as an interpretation would be. Instead, they gather up large portions of that experience and transform them to the rather different bundle of experience that will thereafter be linked piecemeal to the new paradigm but not to the old.”
Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
“Once a first paradigm through which to view nature has been found, there is no such thing as research in the absence of any paradigm. To reject one paradigm without simultaneously substituting another is to reject science itself. That act reflects not on the paradigm but on the man. Inevitably he will be seen by his colleagues as “the carpenter who blames his tools.” The”
Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

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