Outline

Recap material from last lecture

Thomas Kuhn

SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 03

1

Scientific Method (according
to Karl Popper)

Theory
Hypothesis (or an assumption of how
things work)
Experiment (test using a crucial
experiment)
Confirm or reject

SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 03

2

A Linear Scientific Method
(Popper)
Theory

An assumption of
how things work

Hypothesis
Experiment

Test using a crucial
experiment

Confirm or Reject Theory
SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 03

3

Popper’s Concerns  Context of Justification (辩解)  How to justify a theory (determine whether it is scientific or not)   Is a theory science or pseudo-science? NOT context of discovery  How to find out about the natural world SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 03 4 .

Problems with Popper’s Ideas    Unrealistic (because idealistic) Doesn’t consider the whole spectrum of science Ignores certain social features common to scientists    Interests Controversies (爭議) Etc… SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 03 5 .

Example of Controversy  Charles Darwin (達爾文) (1809-1882) Evolutionary Theory (進化論)   Makes prefect sense now But not in 18th century  Church didn’t believe human from evolutionary   Humans are made by God  God created Adam and Eve Evolutionary theory not widely accepted during that time SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 03 6 .

Karl Popper   Popper stands for ‘objective’ knowledge Thomas Kuhn stands for the viewpoint that science has a social dimension    Focus on activities of scientists Science is what scientists do Considers science as a social activity  Adopts a subjective view of science SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 03 7 .Thomas Kuhn vs.

Thomas Kuhn  Harvard trained physicist who moved into the history of science later in his life How do we understand the past? SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 03 8 .

Understanding the Past Do we understand science historically on its own terms? Do we use the present knowledge as the benchmark? SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 03 9 .

materials and tools were available to them? SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 03 10 . knowledge.Understand the Past IN the Past  Kuhn advocated (=suggested) that we should understand past history in its historical context   In the historical actors’ own ways What information.

surrounding situation) very important!  Do not use current knowledge to evaluate theories established in the past SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 03 11 .e.Understand the Past IN the Past (cont’d)  CONTEXT (i.

scientists of the past made perfect sense  They were able to explain phenomenon in their time.Understanding History (1/3)  In their own terms. even though the same explanations may be considered wrong today SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 03 12 .

Understanding History (2/3)  Not correct to use a linear understanding of history  An understanding of history that moves forward unilaterally (i. in one direction only) (單方面地). from one understanding to another  Need to consider all the alternatives that arose throughout history SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 03 13 .e.

18)    History that attempts to construct the past as a series of steps toward the present Using Whig History. more natural What we now believe to be true does not need to be explained SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 03 14 .Idea of “Whig History” (p. we view moves in the direction of what we now believe to be the truth as more rational.

R32 1928 .328 1952 .Dixi 1936 . it was an excellent car in 1923! SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 03 15 .501 1955 .Isetta 1972 – Series 5 1975 – Series 3 1976 – Series 6 1989 – Series 8 2007 – Z4 m Is the BMW Dixi or 328 a bad car? No.BMW History 1923 .

Earth’s Elements  Aristotle (亞里士多德) believed that the earth comprised four terrestrial elements  Air. earth fire SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 03 16 . water.

Understanding History (3/3)   Kuhn argues AGAINST Whig History Wrong to use current knowledge to look back at past scientists in error   Should use the knowledge of the time to evaluate scientists of the past The people in the past were not crazy!  They were doing their best given the prevailing knowledge at the time SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 03 17 .

html  For mathematicians 19th century BC. proving pi = 3.Understanding History Example  Example 1: Square Earth supporters are NOT crazy    They had not viewed the earth in the space They did not have ship can travel over long distance Example 2: pi / = 3.org/library/drmath/view/52543.1415… was brilliant SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 03 18 .14159 26535  If you can prove. good but not difficult  http://mathforum.

assumptions Paradigms involve skills and practices SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 03 19 .14)  Paradigm = framework people work in during a given period      Shared framework School of thought Way of seeing the world / worldview Set of principles about how the world works.PARADIGM (词形/思維/範例): Kuhn’s Major Idea (p.

guided by concepts and ideas SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 03 20 .Paradigms Shape Observations  People working within different paradigms see things differently   Observations are affected by paradigms No such thing as ‘raw’ observation  Observations are laden with theory.

Paradigms Shape Observations: Examples   Example: Picture Example: View of Death    Christian Buddhist People without Religion SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 03 21 .

Paradigm Incommensurability (不能比较/無從比較) (p.17)   When a move takes place from one paradigm to a second. there is no common measure between the two Leads to scientists talking ‘past’ one another   They can not communicate with one another Scientists can only be ‘converted’ from one paradigm to another (can’t believe in both)  Like a religious conversion   Never believe both earth is round & earth is flat Never Christian & Buddhist at the same time SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 03 22 .

‘Normal’ Science (p.12)  Working within a paradigm   Not challenging it (unlike Popper) Puzzle solving    Working to accumulate evidence for existing worldview Unexpected results = failure. 200m … (accumulate evidence) Travel until return to start point without falling to the edge (provoke a crisis) SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 03 23 . unless they provoke a crisis (危機) Example: Proving earth is a square Travel 100m.

abnormal. deviate from existing paradigm New observations contradict theory of the prevailing paradigm   We tend to see what we expect to New observations accumulate to the point that the require new explanation SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 03 24 .Normal Science  Anomalies   Anomaly (失範) = Irregular.

a paradigm shift or ‘revolution’ occurs Revolution leads to a NEW paradigm  Example: Proving earth is a Square    Return to start point without falling to the edge New Paradigm appear (earth is a sphere) SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 03 25 .Anomalies  Revolution  When a paradigm is unable to explain a growing number of observations.

The Cycle of Scientific Progress (according to Kuhn)  Paradigm 1       Normal Science  Accumulation of anomalies  Crisis leading to an emergence of a rival paradigm Paradigm 2 (can explain anomaly of Paradigm 1) etc… SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 03 26 .

A ‘Mind Map’ of Kuhn’s Cycle of Scientific Progress SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 03 27 .

Kuhn’s Contribution (1/2)  Science does not progress towards truth necessarily   There are just different paradigms that are more-or-less adequate Argues that science has a socio-political side that affects the way knowledge is produced SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 03 28 .

Kuhn’s Contribution (2/2)   Science is a social process. based on our (human’s) understanding Kuhn made people start to think about science in fundamentally different ways SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 03 29 .

but difficult for scientists to use in practice SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 03 30 .Problems with Kuhn  Idea that there is no relationship with paradigm 1 and 2 (incommensurability)   But anomalies arose in paradigm 1 that led to paradigm 2. so there must be some relationship Only able to identify revolutions in hindsight (事后/後見之明). difficult to do so while they are occurring  Useful for analysis.