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Proposal Paradigm Shift: An Immodest

Patrick McEvoy-Halston 9712576

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220 Philosophy Dr. JeffreyFoss 4,2001 June


I am not convinced Kuhn's argument by thatscientists shouldrelinquishtheir belief that they aregettingcloserandcloserto an objective, true account nature. complete, of Kuhn offersus a new paradigm understand to scientificrevolutions, which emphasizes discontinuity, the losses alongwith the gainsof new scientificparadigms.He tells us and that accepting new paradigm a matterof persuasiono thoughthereareaspects a is and of his argument arepersuasive--for that instance ability to tolerateliving in a universe his which is not ultimatelyunderstandable--on whole,I do not find his argument the persuasive. sensed it a "dishonest" quality (which I will laterdetail),which inspired I in paradigm a successful to search a conce,ptual for similarin structure his, but which does not maketruth (fundamental universal laws) seem necessarily foreverbeyondhuman (evenif we cannot apprehension know, assuming they exist,andwe find them,that there I q ', f* is something clearlydistinguishes that themas'the endof thejourney''). At the endof t readinghis piece,I cannotsay,though,that I ful!*:"SL9-ry*puld be dismissed--I to actuallywould preferthat scientists needfor their researdh be aboutfinding final, not

purposes, productive.Kuhn believes may be counter that the cure,ntscientificquest it us but shouldbe abandoned because cannot rcalized, he therebyleaves with the be not implicit corollarythat shouldhis own paradigm standthe testof time, thenscientists shouldcontinueasthey hadpreviouslytoward a "goal setby naturein advance"(Kuhn in learning of 197A,l7l; salvation?). Kuhn's attention thelimitations text-book to productive of scientificcommunity-science--even whenusedin support a nevertheless ffid he usedin history philosophy, the social with the breadthof sources sees compared against strict diet of texta for argument is sciences, wonderfulammunition a humanist includingwould-bescientists.Also, the implicit valueof book learningfor any student, shouldconcern that science in of the importance our own lives, suggested his proposal problems, too valid to leaveto the tnrth-valueof his is itself with solvingcurrent,relevant (andus) to consider fundamental a for of own paradigm scientificdevelopment scientists of re-orientation towardshow they (we) conceive the scientificenterprise. the Kuhn startsoff on the wrongfoot by not explicitly acknowledging paradigmatic

2 flavour of his own theory. He is arguingagainst contemporary "the mostprevalent interpretation the natureandfunctionof scientifictheory[thattheories of are fundamentally compatible]. . . [because would restrictthe rangeandmeaningof an it] accepted theoryso that it couldnot possiblyconflict with anylatertheorythatmade (98). He argues predictions this aboutsomeof the same naturalphenomena" against immuneto contemporary its leaves scientists "paradigm"by suggesting consequences--it
lIf ^Ur-L producing incompatible theories, morein line with historical " is scientificrevolutions, | a truth thantheories emphasizingcontinuity compatibility. He is attempting and

of to attack--but, also,andmoreimportantly, attempting provethathis own account by

paradigmshift of his own; but he leaves us the responsibility recognize argument his to to and as such. Thushe offersus: The Structure ScientificRevolutions, not: A Paradigm of of of the Structure ScientificRevolutions. we if his Why doesthis maffer? Because we consider theoryasa paradigm aremore of applies his own paradigm to likely to testif what he saysaboutparadigms science of saysKuhn, cannotbe tnre the natureof scientificrevolutions.A scientificparadigm, (l) natureat somepoint startsintroducinganomalies because: it alwaysoverreaches, to which the paradigmcannotaccountfor, andwhich eventuallyleadto new paradigms (2) a alwaysinvolvesa shift in emphasis; account them1' because shift in paradigm for merelythe subjectof subapparently, becomes what waspreviouslyemphasized, with Newton'ssizes,shapes, specialties a new science.The lossis substantial: of positions,andmotions,w€ loseAristotle'scolours, tastes, weights(10a). Therefore, and it Kuhn, "sinceno paradigrn eversolvesall the problems definesandsinceno two argues problems paradigms leaveall the same unsolved"(110),scientifictruth is alwaysa which problems their time considering relativething. He proposes scientists that spend they shouldbe working on, andnot on animpossiblequestfor the holy grail of ssientific research: all inclusive,fiaal accormtofnature's laws. Yet if we considerhis own an ( his theory a paradigrnwe may not be of the mind to consider "lruths" asconclusive! )" perhaps in facts,anomalies, appear the historical record will Perhaps heis ove,rreaching; that do not accordwell with his theory. We might imaginebeing drawq after fubn's were theory is displaced, much asessences materialbodies,previouslydiscarded, of popularizedagainwith Newton,to theoriesof scientific theoreticaldevelopmen!which ,t pf ,r/ t I f ./ |


emphasize compatibilityandprogressive development! Theremay be a reason why we shouldnot consider what Kuhn saysis true of scientificparadigms alsoholdingtrue for theories as which account the natureof for scientificparadigms, onedoesnot cometo mind. Kuhn doessuggest thereis that but something distinctiveaboutscientificparadigms maynot hold true for other that paradigms--political art; science; etc.--but alsotells us thatwhat he hasto sayabout he paradigms constitutive nature well" (110). Moreover, theorysure scientific his "are of as appegrs qqd compfgjg final, He makesthe prevlotls "looks" awfully paradigm-like.I_t

theory itsemphasiscompatible uffiriiffiffiCmy4###ffi6 with on chang,
progressive flavour of his own theory. He evenhighlightsa role for thosewho adopthis fill duringthe paradignphase: in the theorywhich looks a lot like the role of scientists gaps. He asks:"What mustnature, includingffiffi, be like in orderthat science be possibleat all? Why shouldscientificcommunities ableto reacha firm consensus be across paradigmchange one in endure unattainable otherfields? Why shouldconsensus
after another?" (173). In other words, we should pursue solving problems which do not ;t ; """"0r;;;. offering us, then, a paradigm characteristically similar to a scientific paradigrn?--if it challengehis paradigm, but follow, and remain to be explored, after walks like a duck, and talks like a duck . . . But by not explicitly addressingthis f

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possibility, I ignsepossiblemanipulatio-n, af,', therefore, lesslikely to be seduced and ', '' }t^' / on-o J ar^- '&"' 1 {" 72a,i-,,rI}o " t (persuaded) his theory. I by --Jf-|'-,.}' , Kuhn, thoug[ ifpresenting us witl a paradigm,is offering us onewhich, apparently as its all, doeszot lose somethingsubstantial it displaces predecessor--after his apparentlydoesnot. Kuhn is not telling us that that shifting our focus away from the across time, is a development consistent, accumulative natureof scientific conceptual of way to hig iglrt the equallyvalid conceptualization the history of science's is discontinuity. No, Kuhn is tellingus that thereis no strchconsistency--it a fallacy to (apparently)ofthose accustomed imaginingprogress axiomaticallyattached as to all definitions of the scientific enterprise.Kuhn's theoryintegrates the "f_:cts:of fte ( ,^\ to and previousmodel,rejectshow they were conceptualized, advances (tp9;pcount of science'sdevelopment.Yet if this holdstrue for Kuhn's intellectualjoumey, is he right by as that it doesnot hold true for science well? In orderto be persuaded Kubn that /1 ,


his science oughtto abandon questfor truths,it is very importantthat we accept its
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thereis no logical I premisethat,at leastastar asscientificparadignsareconcerned, /-

scientific important successive something must left out)between be l.iryI*y#:*.e. mightthent::! theories. movement paradigm paradigm from to Why? Because 6 I fJ growth. If correct,thenthe scientific progressive, asunqualified, meaningful i.e., \
look very muchlike it washeading towardssomething-enterprise would structurally in that perhaps eventhe truth. Onecouldarguethatthis would not happen any case, the progression infinite, that natureis ever-shifting, too complexfor human or is to understanding, it would be a hardercase make--ffid,likely, would be less but leading stages persuasive the reader. Graphically, is easyto imagineprogressive it to to to an someplace importante.g.,a stairway heaven; escalator the top of the building;the a from apeto homosapiens, child into andadult of upwarddevelopment the backbone with its not etc. In fact, Kuhn might be well advised to havethe word progress, consideration. nearour cognitivepalettefor serious meanitrgs, anywhere associative and With progress, thereis emancipation, this couldleadus to a "weak link" in his will theoretical construction: thepasthold truefor thq futgrer J.- / ,i-$ r '-" f,-,*,.-.lS- "'',,,'"*. , ,?4-. -). c,fiil --...- $ view of the { " a permissible Kuhn tells us that "[t]hough logical inclusifg4gs.s_iemains (98;my it scientific theories, is a historicalimplausibility" relationbetween successive should What,though,aboutthe future? Kuhn is telling us that scientists emphasis). to the abandon their questfor truth because historicaltrendamounts a universalconstant: knows of in we canexpectmoreof the same.Anyonegrounded the philosophy science their into remembering that Kuhn is not the f,rst sp-ectrulL f94!hto frighten scientists (supposed) humanimderfedtAbili$;Humeis also usedto provethat what holdstrue for =-> z.---",-{-L? $.JE philosopher deit instant!). Now anhonest today,may not tomorrow(or'eventh-e science in who doesnot takespecialandparticularpleasure humblingthe scientific of science, he will enterprise, admitthat if Humecanbe usedto scoldscience, canalsobe usedto as scoldthosewho meanto humblescience well. So let us imagine,inspiredby Hume,a you that everything tell us aboutthe with Kuhn: "Sure,Kuhn, I'll agree conversation will not proveto me that science holdstrue,but tomorrow,you cannot historyof science couldonly be: " (sigh) . . . I turn into a pink, fluffy bunny!" No doubthis response to no therefore universe longermakessense me." the cannotdisproveyour contention,
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Maybenot. Hume'spoint aboutthe natureof inductionbelongs the "imagineyour a in brain in a vat" sortof philosophy: the lay person holdsno morelastingpersuasive to it effectthana magician'stricks--youforgetaboutit onceyou areoutsidethe magician's tent. Kuhn's argument, though,wffi widely readandaccepted.But you canstill use Hume to counteract Kuhn's attemptto draw our attentionto the historical past,and address possibilitythat whatholdstrue for the pastdoesnot necessarily the hold tnre for the future. I canimaginea historicalparadigm similar in manyways composed stages, of in form andin character Kuhn's, but which endsin a final stagethat persiststhereafter to without muchchange.This is Piaget'smodelof the natureof humancognitive development. shifts Piagettells us that we all go throughvariouscognitive,revolutionary, schematic the however, which terminates througlrthe 'history" of our lives. It is not death, I sequence. Instead, we duringadolescence, enter and th-l*ig,ytrich is with us thereafter.Beforereachingformal operations, thinking in, a say,the onalmode, child doesnot know sheis thinkingirrationallyor overly {teoperati r'Heis, ratheramanifestingtype of thinkingwhich precedes . . the . self-centerbd. a appearance log*al opry&n" (Hundert1989,ll2). If we wereto imaginethe latest of (preoperational; phase concrete) of scientificparadigmasequivalent an intermediate to to equivalent Piaget's Piaget's"paradigm"we might imaginethat a scientificparadigm pro phaselies ahead.Therearereasons, andcon, for arguingthe final formal operational in relevance this analogy. I will startwith an argument supportof its relevance. of Therearestriking similaritiesbetween two theories.Both Piagetand Kuhn are the the specifically, interested cognitive"map-making"(Kuhn 109). Kuhn mentions, in (109). Paradigms a offer scientists mapwith which to cognitive functionsof paradigms what "naturedoesanddoesnot containandaboutthe waysin which those determine the for entitiesbehave"( I 09). And they offer directions map-making: gestaltof theories, to the needed determine legitimacyof problemsandsolutions methods standards and as (109). With Piaget,a cognitiveschema characterrzed a " 'mobile frame' is to (Hundert1l0) of the world that determines, appliedto variouscontents" successively someextent,what a person"sees." Both Kuhn andPiagetmakethis point: a scientific generally to finds what it expects find. This is why paradigm, a cognitiveschema, or



Kuhn tell us that "cumulativeacquisitionof novelty is not only rare in fact but improbable principle" (96),andthat "[t]he manwho is strivingto solvea problem in definedby existingknowledge technique not,just looking around. . . [: he] knows and is what he wantsto achieve, he designs insbuments directshis thoughts and his and accordingly' (96). EdwardHunderttells us that,according Piaget, to "oncea concept. . . is constructed, is appliedto experience . . : it is immediately it so . externalized that it givenproperty of theobjectand independent appearsto thesubjectas a perceptually of thesubject'sown mentalactivity" [la; emphasis original).Both Kuhn andPiaget in imaginethough,that natureeventuallythrowsup challenges existingparadigms, to or schemas, which accumulate, which eventually and necessitate revolution(Kuhn) or a (Piaget): radicalreorientation waysof mappingthe revolution-likeaccoillmodation in a world which account the anomalies.Beforeandafterthis occurs,for Kuhn, the for scientificcommunitygoesaboutthe assured business dealingeffectivelyand of childrengo abouthappilyand efficiently with problemsat hand(64),while, for Piaget, you for effectivelyassimilating their worlds. With the shift, however, both theorists, are left with scientists, Kuhn, andchildren,for Piaget, for who havetroubleunderstanding or thoseoutsideof their paradigm schema.Thuswe learnfrom Kuhn, that scientific communities up "talk[ing] througheachother" (109),andfrom developmental end psychologrsts childrenahead behindtheir peers termsof cognitivephase will or in that havedifficultybeingunderstood,orunderstandingtheirpeerS.wu--ldiffer: ( Thereare,however,several significantwaysin which the two theories and thatthe succession cognitiveschemas integrative are Piaget,contraKuhn, believes of

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progressive.Childrenmovefroman..inabilitytoexperiencethereversibm in of states affairs" (HundertI 18; emphasis original)to beingableto do so. Onemight imaginethat it might be neatto be ableto go back andno longerbe ableto ableto experience world this way,but what we havelost is an inability todo something, 0 lL the are ratherthana capacityto view the world in a profitableway. (2) Piaget'sschsmas overtime--soif a reversibilityof emphasis Kuhn emphasizes irreversible, whereas scienceemphasizesessentialessences,thendiscardsthem,atsomelaterpointth"ym as (3) once againbeembraced. Piaget'smodelhighlightssignificantchange something in that Kuhn emphasizes a change that occursduringa person'slifetime,whereas

paradigmcanonly be adopted a different generation scientists, Piaget'smodel by of i.e., is l,amarckianwhile Kuhn's is Darwinianin nature.(4) Finally, Piaget'sfinal schema of forrnal relationsis not really abouta capacityto und€rstand natureof the world, i.e., the the truth,brtt, instead,involvesa capacityto useour "concrete"knowledgeof the 'teal" world to imaginenew truths. Hoa*gljflr of be analogous the scientific enterprise to uncoveringtruths,the wisdom o2rctrKubn hopeshis thesiscalls into question? I believethat the first tlree differences baween PiagetandKuhn amountto arguments againstacc€pfingKuhn's prerrisethat tuth for€verlies outsidescientists'grasp,andthe last one canbe usedto arguethat, nonetheless, Kuhn-so long asthe readerhasbeen persuaded, my listing of the similaritiesbetween theoriststo imagine seduced, by the them asmodelsin competitionwith one another-is riglrt that this scieotific questfor huth interfereswith bett€rprojects. Is Kulur correctthat scientific paradigms neith€rintegrativenor progressivgin are the sense they leavevery importantways of understanding world out from that the paradign to paradigm.? am not c€rtain;but if we arenot looking at the pastwith Kuhn's I he map in mind, perhaps will begin to noticethe kind of integrativeprogression we reluctance of claimsdoesnot exist. For instance, Kuhn drawsour attentionto extrerne 'lrofessionals" (171; scientists?) acc€ptDarwin's theory. The oneideathat was to particularly unappealing themwasDarwin's ideaofnatural selection:it seemed to to leaveno role for a supreme artificer working with a plan towardsa goal. Kuhn is both haveswitchingparadigms, using natural selectionto demonshate difficulty scieirtists the and also asa model with which to compare own model of scientific rwolution:UJr( his He tells us that "the resolutionofrevolutions is the selectionby conflict within the scientific communityof the fittest way to practicefuture science"(172). This fitness,he qualifies earlier,must me€ttwo all-importantconditions: "First, the new candidate problem and to tparadigrn]must seern resolvesone outstaading generallyrecognized a that canbe met in no other way. Second, new paradip. mustpromiseto preserve the problern-solving ability that hasaccruedto science relatively largepart ofthe concrete (169).That is it. Yet Kuhn is telling us that wen after througbits predecessors" therestill existsa needW n" 7 the selectionbecame paradign for most scientists, r' |9\ I D Pn

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Is it possible by that a third requirement mustbe met for a paradigm be adopted a to new generation scientists: mustU_" it of *t"ti""Ary p*.t"Utrt The qeryral impression t\/t L you get from Kuhn is that drring the revolutionarystage, variouspowersgo at it, and with the victor goesthe prize of establishing their modelasthebasisfor the next paradigm. So you might haveLatitudinarians favourof Newton'smodelbecause they in which is a goodmatchfor their own desirefor a society seeit asa modelof the universe (Jacob predicated curbingself-interests, maintaining socialstability,andcommerce on of a 1976,142). They win the revolution,andwe thenhave,supposedly, generation whetherthe paradigmaticscientific scientistswho arenot by natureall that concerned just modelthey usematches well with their own religion,say--they want a model,an! for unaccounted by model,that seems explainthe universe to alongUlth the anomalies .-,'.--\ tsA bold scientists irt the lastparadigm, they canproceed, neuter;l]pfa$hion (not Popper's so here!),abouttheir monkishbusiness mappingthe details. The model"chosen"may of from view it but indeedhavebeenoneof manypossibilities, oncedecided, obstructs phase. duringthe revolutionary otherpossible modelsthat lost thebattlefor hegemony For his purposes, Kuhn therebyaccomplishes usefulgoals:(l) He hasus imagining two existsanother that it is impossible datato be "explained"by only oneparadigm--there for out there,thoughno longervisible,thatwould do thejob equallyaswell. (2) Thoughhe (e.9.,'opreserve a muststill fulfill certainrequirements insiststhat the paradigm adopted problem-solving throughits to largepart of the concrete ability thathasaccrued scie,nce (169))in orderto be accepted a scientificcoilrmunity(which is what he predecessors'n by this from political revolutions), qualification, saysdistinguishes scientificrevolutions room to thoughimportant,still seems leaveto powerpolitics a gooddealof maneuvering of the heightening sense subjectivityand in the sort of modelthey couldherald--thereby
decreasingthe senseof objectivity we associatewith scientific paradigm "progression"

tirde. But Kutrn offers us an anomalyto his own theorythat oncea paradign is W that adopted, othersby andlarge slip from view. Kuhn in fact emphasizes evenwell after as Newton'stheories having havenot beenquick to understand Einstein,ffiffiy scientists it to beenproven'\rrong" (99; his word) bVEinstein. This is maddening Kuhn, because has is well pasttime for themto havedoneso! "Wakeup, the paradigm shifted!" The as Newton'stheories casecouldbe madethat Kuhn is not right that Einsteinestablished



perhaps shouldconsider we beingfundamentally wrong;but evenif this is the case, whetherthereis something universe which may not be palatable aboutthe Einsteinian evento a new generation scientists who havenot grownup with Newton'stheories. of (e.g., If we canimaginethat a scientificparadigm mustbe "emotionallt'' acceptable of mustleaveroom for God;mustleaveroom for primacyof "man", etc.)to a generation in scientists it to reign asthe modelof choice,which mustbe factored whenaccessing for why a particularparadigm'\rins" ttle battle during the revolutionaryphaseandwhy it is (i.e., let[ not be intimidated currentintellectual hendsto meekly by accepted thereafter, for accept that the powerful few really areresponsible the naflre of the socialworld we might be proportional needwe feel for powerful to live in. The powerof our leaders peopleto 'hold the world up"--the"Queenbee,may reallybe the slaveof the sisterwe workerbees;"the "dog may really waghis own tail", etc.)thenperhaps couldlook at the natureof the paradigmaccepted a way to gaugethe emotionalstateof a generation as in of scientists.Therein,might therebe signsof a kind of realprogress the scientific which Kuhn's mapdoesnot show? Beforebriefly pursuingthis possibility,to enterprise, with an emotionalaswell might be metaphors help further makethe point that paradigms (Abram 1991),I will pursuean example, which, I think, might be asa logical character relevantto my reader. especially in Assumethat anomalies appear our currentscientificrecord*@ull yearsold. fossilsdiscovered asbeingonly a couplethousand date the new, say,dinosaur thing: that theynow showthe same We recheckall our previousfossil finds anddiscover at thatperished exactlythe same it appears all thesefossilsareremains animals that of of then,that while the currentgeneration time, andnot so long ago. Shouldwe imagine, (as would not accept theseanomalies anomalies Kuhn would haveus as scientists the would accept datawithin a of the imagine),that, somehow, next generation scientists new paradigmeventhoughit couldnot helpbut be a very goodfit for fundamental our Christianwaysof conceiving universe?I, myself,havedifficulty imaginingwhere of they would not be the sonsanddaughters would comefrom--surely thesescientists telling his most living scientists!If therewas a revolution(with MichaelRuseasGeneral would be badly fortunately, that forcesto fight on!), I would guess the fundamentalists, in outnumbered outgunned countrieswith the fire-powerto matter(the American and
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t0 Republican lest Partyalwaysdistances itself from its fundamental elements it neverwin a populating post-revolutionary nationalelection),so I cannotimaginefundamentalists this paradigmstage.My bestguess the likely outcome is would be fortuitousto anyone


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of downnature'sfiuths: I picturea new generation hopingscientists stopchasing potentialscientists preferringfi,garative truthsto literal ones--"allthe world really is a you who asksto seethe wood andnailsis nothingbut an annoying stage, know; anyone fuddy-duddy, worse,a subversive!" or (1982)tells us, with greatpassion, MichaelRusein his article"DarwinismDefended" for not only that creationism doesnot account the "facts,"but that,if a creationist prevailed, would stifle the scientificenterprise paradigm ofaccumulatin$truths--no it

wtrifi"ttiffifshes it enterprise for smallthing,because Ruse, is thescientific \thebrute (327).Hetellsusthat: s" UJ

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Humanbeingshaveffiffiy, many failings. In a centurywhich hasseenboth I Auschwitz andHiroshima" needhardlydwell on them. And yet, for all this, abouthumanity. We may be little higherthanthe apes. thereis something noble We arealsolittle lower thanthe angels.We striveto live, ffid thuswe produce art, our technology.But, mandoesnot live by breadalone:he produces and for the literature,ffid knowledge, its own sake.Perhaps modelof the double to technologtcal DNA techniques, great helix will lead,throughrecombinant advances. But, themodelin itselfis a thing of beauty,ffid an inspiring (327;my emphasis) testament humanachievement. to but For thosewho arefamiliar with Ruse,this maybe a stretch, imaginehim asthe basis for our conceptual modelof the "scientist." Now revisit Kuhn's thesis. You might and as thoughfitting a popularimageof a scientist detached wonderif Kuhn's scientists, 'trnreal." Ruse, powerfrrlly,is telling us of the might be somewhat unemotional, to importance him of modelsasthingsof beauty. They seem havenearreligious to significance: they arepart of mans'"salvation." Might this havebeentrue for scientists of that history andif so,arescientists malleable they arecapable so throughout in imagininganymodelthey aredeeplyimmersed this way? If Newton'smodelallowed for for role, or place,whatsoever, God,yet still accounted anomalies no conceivable
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as modelappear a thing of would theNewtonian tripping up the previousparadigm, perhaps, that all shift to Newton'stheorf Possibly, aftera paradigm beautyto scientists generation struggle with this, to be followedby a to is requiredis an intermediate



generation scientists of who canmove from teleologicaltheories, nahral selection, to leadingto subsequent oneswho eventuallyconceiveofuniverses,like Stephen Hawking does,without a beginning without a prime mover,andwithout themselves being different in temperament from scientists who previouslyneeded fwfiwnental placefor a God in their paradigrnatic instead, uncertaintyofthe truthuniverse. But perhaps, the generates value of rftrsaccountofthe history of science enoughdissonance requireour to further attention,andprompt our firther inquiry, beforecategorizing astruth. it Is it possiblethat we humansarematuringover time? The psychiatristCasper Schmidtbelieves(also seedeMause1982)that: revolution,with the Darwiniantheory of [a]s in the casewith the Copemican evolutionarychange, and,most recenfly,with Freudianpsychology(eachof which constitutes assault the omnipotence grandiosityofthe infant in an on and eachofus), eachpersonon earthhasto work througheachofthese rwolutions themselves.The closerto hometheseschemes reach,the more difficult they are to acceptandinteglate. Thus,morepeopleacceptthe Copemican revolution pill than the Darwinian, andthe hardest of all to swallow is the onethat sayswe arenot themasters our own minds."(1981,339)t in , ,{ f 4" .. . mastersi4.e'tr1qr1m we 4ginds-instead, areGaia'smind, so we Cfodd'<lirectour (her) Lovelock's theory, for examplg of a living motherEarth,Gaia,t;)b us that we arenot





(1991,l9). Scientists, mind to Gaia'spurposes scholars, with oftenhotly disagree Invelock's largerclaims. James Kirchner,for example, a difficult time swallowing fv.has this particularaspectof the Gaiathesis,thoughnot so for David Abram. Are we witnessingtemperamental the differences between two men,which explainswhy model,while Abram prefersan Kirchner, acmrding to Abram,prefersa mechanistic ecologicalepistemologf Abram tells us that'[w]hen the naturalworld is conceivedas retainsa godlike position outsideof that world. a machine,the humanmind necessmily mastery,and It is this privileged position,the licenseit givesus for the possession, metaphot''(68). But control ofnature, that makesus so reluctantto drop the mechanical
I find this theory suggestive,though I do not accept that being able to imagine oneself as something's "servant/slave" necessarily proves your maturity--the opposite may be true: these days scientists never seem to tire telling us we are really automatons, perhapsbecausethey secretly enjoy imagining thernselvesas exceptions to the rule? t

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t2 if only we coulddo so,because "this humanprivilegecomes the expense our at of perceptual (68). Abram,like Schmidt, experience" imagines stumblingblock to the paradigmchange be a matterof giving up seemingly to childishimpulses.It is beyond this paperto document, beyondmy means evenconduct, historicalinvestigation and to a of my own to seeif thereis the gradual maturityovertime of the scientificcommunity that Schmidtbelieves a true account thehistoricalrecord. However,thesesortsof is of (seedeMause speculations beginningto percolate are 2001?; lggT.2 Greenspan plausibleenough theoryto me,that Kuhn would haveto Emotionalprogress doesseem a haveaddressed emotional the appeal paradignsto help persuade that what is lost me of paradigm not someof its "childish" appeal.3 it is, from oneparadigm another As to is grvenmy awareness counter-arguments,seems justifiableto usePiaget'smodelof it as of the maturingmind to understand science's history,asto useKuhn's. Are scientificparadigms meaningfully understood reversible, that what wasonce as so emphasized dropped, be the subject attention a laterparadigm?As will and of of

in Don Lepan(1995),in fact, inspired Piaget, by looksto literature seeif thereactuallyis an increase to "cognitive sophistication"in the writings of the "giants of literature" across time. He finds them: is Shakespeare, HaroldBloom andhis "Inventionof the Human"be damned!, dethroned.Shakespeare with his "one hundredandone derogatory wordsappliedto women" is gettinga hard time from feminist critics aswell. And my professor EnglishHistory,JohnMoneyn of surprised (andhimselfactually)last me semester, askinghimself out loud if theremight "in a very real sense" a quantumleap with Jane by be Austin in the range,and subtlety,of emotionsexplored. Thoughbeginningto wobble,ffid perhaps paradigmin the humanitiesfavours contraryto what is found in the science, currenthegemonic the relativity, and enjoysscoffing at thosewho believethat "progress'n be something more thanan can power-saturated, (oh, if only we couldbe Uebermenschen them,andseebeyond like ideological, construct our ideologicalfog asthey areableto do!)

on reliableexplanations depends that to Harding(1991)believes the ability for science produce Sandra the social conditionsof the time. I haveto admit a strongattractionto the ideathat the natureof the social almostentirely on the amountof warm interactions conditions,the natureof any particularculture,depends the aggregate peoplehad, in particularwith their mothers,duringtheir childhoods(seedeMause1982, of that as 1997). For an account cultures not beingsui genesis, takeson the of 2001?;andGreenspan the that tautologicalideathat "the cultural and socialelements mold the individual precede individual and 1992,26), seethebrilliant book soonto be published areexternal the individual" (ToobyandCosmides to (untitled,thoughpossiblyThe Emotional Life of Nations,publishingdate2001?; by Lloyd deMause anotheralternativeis to visit


t3 mentioned, Kuhn tells us that with Newtonianism, science encountered "genuine a (105;my emphasis). reversiontoascholastic standard" and "Innateattractions joined size,shape, positionandmotionasphysicallyimeducible primary repulsions properties matter"(105-106; emphasis). my Without Kulur's mapin our mind, of guidingour historicalsearch, this, too, might be suspect.In Abram's essay, "The as Mechanical the Organic",he tells us that science betterunderstood, a whole,as is and to imaginingsubstances passive barren(67). Newton,according Abram,is not to and as be seenasbringingbackAristotilean-like essences, ashavingplayeda part in but and magic,by 'hid[ing] andvery publicly severing link between the science alchemical researches occupied his deny[ing]the vastalchemical him throughout life" (67). He that from a otiew of the materialworld, of matteritself, as is part of the distancing science of a locusof subtlepowersandimmanent forces,a dynamicnetworkof invisible sympathies who must of For andantipathies"(67). Abram,it is the currentgeneration scientists paradigm, a and reverse their currentcourse, imagine,with the help of a new ecological this world alive with essences more,because to datehasnot beenpart of the once to historyof science.Again, asI do not know historywell enough know sequential p
fto the historical record--Kuhn's or Abram's--and as I

*" havetroublesufficienttyprrffiling myselfthatboth theories lilnty r\th*


of me to be fiue (thoughthis may be the case), Kuhn hasnot persuaded of the tendency ;*d;r in to reversethemselves importantways(andthereforenot be a progressive process time. across akin to Piaget'scognitiveschemas) stage-like it as Kuhn's theoryoffersus scientists menwho are"rigrd", unchangng--leaving to to from paradigm paradigm.He of the process selection movegenerations scientists of to tells us that scientifictrainingis suchthat: to the [I]t is not well designed produce manwho will easilydiscovera fresh for with a new candidate paradigmappears approach.But so long a6somebody -usuallya youngman onenewto the field--thelossdueto rigidity accrues 9f individual in only the individual. Give,na generation which to effect change, paradigmto rigidity is compatiblewith a communitythat canswitch from (166) paradigm demands. whenthe occasion and Is therea necessary conflict betweenkhrpigid scientists Piaget'sgrowingchildren Just to It andadolescents? is possible imagineboth modelsascomplernentary. asin


t4 science, you movefrom physics, chemirtry,to biology you do not necessarily as to expectthe "rules" to remainconstant; that theremay arcal sense what appliesto children andadolescents not applyto the creative does world of adultscientists.Yet not all of Kuhn's scientists sorigid. In fact,thoseyoungerscientists, new onesto the field are or They do not that Kuhn refersto, arenot simply"fresh"--theyarecreativegeniuses. perhaps command muchof Kuhnos because Darwin their role is secondary like attention, professional to "[n]atureitself . . . lundermining] securityby makingprior achievements problematic"(l69),but theymuststill transcend paradigm the that will be left seem of anomalies within a newparadigm their own c:reation. behindby way of incorporating to Thesegeniuses, fact, seemto do what Piagetrury&gql_gpgatiqgs permit everyone in are modelsof experience. The otherscientists everyday be ableto do: to transcend presented Kuhn almostasPiagetimagines previous the by Accordingto Kuhn, is stage--as operating.The resernblance obviousandremarkable. a "the new paradigm mustpromiseto presewe relativelylargepart of the concrete my problem-solving throughits predecessors"(169; ability thathasaccrued science to Fortunately, is all but certainbecause ernphasis). this "[n]ovelty for its own sakeis not a fields" (169),so "new desideratum the sciences it is in somanyothercreative in as paradigms . . usuallypreserve greatdealof the rnoffiutt a . besides" concrei,ieisoblem-solutions achievement they alwayspermit additiogrdl -and ''.-*r;.rJ*,.;.,;*_*-\





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(169;my ernphasis). too it For us to accept Kuhn thesis, is importantthatwe not consider closelythe who are possibilitythat a change the way scientists taughtmight producescientists are in to and/orcapable moving from paradigm paradigm of of eithercapable bold imaginings, part within their lifetimes,ffid remaina scientificcommunity.Why? Because of the persuasive of appeal Kuhn's theoryis the consistency the modelhe proposes.It is the of that proposed with its inevitablefutureo informs consistency the pastrecordof science, of abandon their questfor tnrth. It helpsthat his scientists Kuhn's suggestion scientists that of explorers advenfurous limited--notPopper's arecharacterrzed beingfundamentally as that the unknown,but thosefollowing in their wake,making all the observations the while haversinga route of of couldnot because the "newness" their enterprise, explorers us previouslylaid down ffid, therefore, safe. To helppersuade to adapthis own


paradigm, imageof the timid, limited scientist an idealimpression leaveus with, an is to with because scientists be bold, capable integrating if can different,new paradigms, of , cautiously limipwl It to beyondour apprehension. is importantthat,compared scientists its themselves assenrbling to demonstrates (her) God-likeability data,natureeventually havecraftedto "cage" it (her). And there ls something to subvertany paradigmscientists of JackNicholson'scry: "Truth--youcan't handlethe truth!" (my gratefulthanksto thatmanyof us might be pre-disposed JeffreyFossfor this) which informsKuhn's thesis, of to associate characteristic the humancondition. His modelmight even"fit" our as therearenow so Subliminallypersuasive then? Thereason own critical self-evaluation. for manyKuhniansaboutthesedays? I think so;but a problememerges Kuhn's paradigm havereal lastingpowerin the future,i4 with the help of a countermodel,we to of canimaginethe possibility,soto speak, a scientificcommunityof "JackNicholsons" who can handlethe truthl paradigm stayingpowerwhose which hashadconsiderable Thereis an old conceptual so accuracy sense inevitabilitymustalsobe challenged that we do not grveKuhn's and of Pierce,for powerthanit deserves. That is the idea asCharles modelmorepersuasive few amongst mediocre many: the example, offersus, of the great someindividualswill be foundwho But [even]in the mostpriest-ridden states areraisedabovethat condition[unableto put two andtwo together].Thesemen possess wider sortof socialfeeling;they seethatmenin othercountries in and a other ageshaveheld to very different doctrinesfrom thosewhich they havebeenbroughtup to believe;andthey cannothelp seeingthat it themselves is the mereaccident their havingbeentaughtastheyhave,andof their having of they with the manners associations have,that hascaused and beensurrounded themto believe they do.(1971:1877,37). as to of A scientificcommunitycomposed manymenandwomensimilarin character Pierce'sgreatrr*,-6@st be up to the taskof finding, and'handling", nahue'sbuths-if in fact thereis any suchthing. In fact,Kuhn,by drawingour attention the cause of to the stifling education--increases likelihood of us scientists'limited nature--their scientists! this considering very possibility:a communityof "formal operation"superstar Would sucha communityfind universaltruths? Maybethey could--butit would not relish,thennaturedoesnot aseasilyseemassomething great that it lies forever .ro

t6 probr*t be their primary concern.Formaloperations, "[r]atherthanfinding in practical instances the constancies the real world . . . [involves]apply[ing]the algebra of of of formal thought/o situations which havenot yet arisen"(Hundert124). The biologist Brian Goodwin,influenced Piaget,explains by whatthis would meanfor life forms: adapted) can by organisms be generated eithera [A]ppropriate(genetically response a new environmental to challenge, hereditary a statearisingby some meansandresultingin an appropriate organismicform for that environment;or spontaneous gantzations reor within the hereditaryconstraints occur, can producingorganisms patterns and which must with new morphologies behaviour ($-5a; my emphasis) theneitherdiscoveror createappropriateenvironments. Imaginethis communityof scientists a newkind of life form, which ratherthanusing as problemsasKuhn science simply to betterhelpus adaptto nature, to solverelevant or
hopes it would, focuses on creating its own preferred surround, its own "nafire." The

/ I \


I ideamight soundunnaturalso perhaps will sayinsteadthat this communitymight itself with creating own'tnnature." concern its monsfrous one. like a Frankesteinian No, I like my idea"so I will not let it seem as Instead, will suggest scientists I that shouldimaginethernselves naturalmagicians trying to shouldreconsider oncemore (asAbram recoilrmends).Kuhn is right, scientists refocus find out universallaws astheir primarygoal,but so thatthey caninstead please!) makethe universe more enchanting. themselves a new one:help (please! on of They could,of course, continueseeking currentproperties the naturaluniverse out (while it lasts)if it expands their tool kit; certainlyhelp us solvethe utilitarianproblemof of business makinga then happiness; getto the important bringingaboutwidespread and moon out of greencheese, riversthat flow chocolate, a "gravity''that works asit does else(onceyour heartcommits to now, but only while you arereally atfracted something like you canmove (upwards! on). Scientists this downwards! sideways!) to another would needan imagination morethanthey would needa methodology.So they would of the the haveto mix their textbook(BasicToolsto Re-Make Universe: Science they and learning,with a goodmix of fantasy fun. I would recommend Generatology) ones. Psychology, as takeat leastasmanyhistory,andenglishclasses they do science too--if they canget throughall the "neurons"and"gay matter"to humanist courses--especially psychologists Carl Rogers.Finally, they couldtakephilosophy like



Jeffiey Foss's: theywould learnwhat it really means be subvert naturalorderof to the

things. L+ftr.|^{





Soundgood? I think so. Soundlike a "childish" regression? do not think so: a child I might preferhis/trerprivate fantasyto "reality'', andanimism,aspleasant it seems as to the modernreader,might amotrntto unhealthyprojections, butpreferring natureas mundane not an indicationof one'smaturity. Only a senile,old fool insiststhat what is now "is" is alsonecessarily what "ought" to be. (We miglrt,like Bill Clinton,alsoquibble aboutwhat the right definition of "is" is). Kuhn knows this, but his cormter-offer too is mundane, modest. Instead, how aboutyoujoin me, dearreader, too alongwith all the otherffi89r,wizards,andwitches(lions andtigersandbears, my!) who will oh fashioninga goldenbrick roadto a tnrly brave,new accompany andcomme,nce us, world!

, t )

Bibliography Abram, David. "The Mechanicalandthe Organic:On the Tmpact Metaphorin Scienc€,"h Stephen of Schneider Penelope and Boston,eds,Scientists Gaia,Cambridge: MIT Press,1991. on DeMause, Lloyd. Foundations Psychohistory,New of York Creative Roots,Inc., 1982. Goodwin,Brian. "ConstnrctionalBiology'', in GeorgeButterworth,Julie Rutkowska,ffid Michael Scaife, eds, EvolutionandDevelopmental Psychologt, Press,1985. Brighton,Sussex:The Hawester Greenspan, Stanley. Growth of theMind: and theEndangered Origins of Intelligence, AddisonWesley, 1997. Whose Knowledge?: ThinkingfromWomen's Lives,Ithica:Cornell Harding,Sandra.Whose Science? Press, 1991. University ThreeApproaches theMind, Oxford: to Hundert,Edward. PhilosophyPsychiatryand Neuroscience: Press,1989. Oxford University 1689-1720,Ithica: CornellUniversity Jacob, Margaret. TheNavtoniansand theEnglishRevolution Press, 1976. Schneider Are Kirchner, James."The Gaia Hypotheses: They Testable? They Useful?", in Stephen Are MIT Press, 1991. on andPenelope Boston,Eds,Scientists Gaia,Cambridge: Chicago:University of ChicagoPress,1970. Kuhn, ThomasS. TheStructureof ScientificRevolutions, Press, LePan,Don. TheCognitive Ranlution in Western Culture:Ihe Birth of Expectation,Broadview 1995 A. Pierce,CharlesS. "Approaches Philosophy'',in James Gould, Ed, ClassicPhilosophicalQuestions, to 1971. Columbus:Charles Merrill Publishing E. Company, Don Mllls: Addison-Wesley, 1982. Ruse,Michael. DartvinismDefended, Vol. 8, No.3, Jotrnal of Psychohistory Schmidt,Casper."Alchemists,Critics,ffid Psychohistorians",

Tooby, John and Cosmides, Leda. "The Psychological Foundations of Culture", in Jerome H. Barkow, Leda Cosmides, ild John Tooby, Eds, The Adapted Mind: Evolution and Psycholog and the Generation of Culture, New York Oxford University Press, 1992.