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New Meetup: Philosophy of Scientific Revolutions

From: Steve
Sent on: Saturday, July 3, 2010 5:09 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for Plato's Cave - The Orlando Philosophy Meetup Group!

What: Philosophy of Scientific Revolutions

When: Sunday, July 18,[masked]:00 PM

Where:
Austins Coffee
929 West Fairbanks Avenue
Winter Park, FL 32789
[masked]

Philosophy of Scientific Revolutions


Quotes by Thomas Kuhn:

It is, I think, particularly in periods of acknowledged crisis that scientists have turned to philosophical analysis as a device for unlocking the riddles of their field. Scientists have not generally needed or wanted to be philosophers.

Crisis alone is not enough. There must also be a basis, though it need be neither rational nor ultimately correct, for faith in the particular candidate chosen.

The crises of our time, it becomes increasingly clear, are the necessary impetus for the revolution now under way. And once we understand nature's transformative powers, we see that it is our powerful ally, not a force to feared our subdued.

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.





Kuhn said that science, heretofore viewed as a progressive study, is in fact not progressive, but rather based on large-scale changes in thought and theory. For instance, Newton is one of the fathers of modern science, with his laws and equations still being taught in physics and calculus classes to this day. However, when Einstein theorized his relativistic physics, not only did his equations give better results than Newton's, but by their mere existence showed that Newton's equations were all wrong, merely approximations of the "truth."

To put it simply, Kuhn stated that each one of these sets of beliefs was called a "paradigm." And, when a paradigm exhibited enough anomalies, for instance the inability to apply Newtonian physics to sub-atomic motion, scientists would theorize a new paradigm to take the old one's place. The upshot of this was that no paradigm in itself could be called truth. Rather, if the universe's laws were a clock, a paradigm could only describe the motion of the hands; there was no way to see the gears themselves.

Since Kuhn does not permit truth to be a criterion of scientific theories, he would presumably not claim his own theory to be true. But if causing a revolution is the hallmark of a superior paradigm, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions has been a resounding success.




Join Plato's Cave philosophers as we consider the ideas Thomas Kuhn and the Philosphy of Scientific Revolutions.

Be sure to check the Plato's Cave files and Message Boards to prepare for our discussion.

If you reserve a spot for this meeting and later learn that you will be unable to participate, graciously update your RSVP as soon as possible so that another member on the waiting list can attend.


-Steve

Learn more here:
http://www.meetup.com/PlatosCave/calendar/13994392/

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