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The central notion of Kuhn is that of 'normal science', that the goal of a paradigm was actually to reduce the practice of science to a kind of stability that allowed its primary work to be solving technical puzzles that could be stated in ways accepted by the entire community.

If this is what most scientists do most of the time, what happens between periods of such stability? Historically, what happens in those periods between convergent puzzle-solving looks much more like politics or religion than like logical argumentation. Appeals to intuition abound, and formulations gather adherents, rather than data.

So he characterized science as alternating between these two extremes. In each extreme, the notion of what failure means is completely different. In both cases it has something in common with Popper's idea that theories exist to be challenged, but in neither case do successful challenges actually cause theories to be abandoned.

During normal science, the not-yet-covered part of the domain is constantly predicted wrongly by the theory at hand, and yet the theory never changesremains largely intact, making finer elaborations or very small adaptations. Faith exists that some minor change in perspective, some intricate refolding of existing work, or some unaccounted fact will explain the failure. So falsification is continual -- and irrelevant.

Between periods, when new sets of groundwork are being proposed, each set acknowledges its own incompleteness, so it purposely does not try to cover large chunks of the domain that it knows it is not fit for. So falsification remains unattempted -- and irrelevant.

The point at which falsification matters is late in a 'revolution' as a paradigm comes together. And its primary application is to make sure the paradigm does not so thoroughly foreclose the imagination that those proposing it could never be made to abandon it.

It is a challenge of the imagination that prevents the ascendance of overly-philosophical attempts at science like Alchemy or Freudianism, which are so flexible they cannot be challenged, and will occupy much more time in ascendency than they deserve, in a counterproductive manner that hinders overall progress.

So although Popper has identified something extremely important, from a Kuhnian point of view, it is not useable most of the time, and surely does not apply to each individual observation in the way its originator imagined it should.

Given the ascendency of statistics, with the habitual framing of he null-hypothesis, it is easier for us to imagine or pretend that we are producing science with the intention of challenging it continually. But even though we inject it at the very base of our consideration, this is actually not true at any important level.

We still take overall theories that frame our experiments as whole systems of belief, which we do not set aside for lack of support. When a researcher finds lack of support for an accepted paradigm, it is very seldom the paradigm, and much more often the researcher who is declared to have failed.

The central notion of Kuhn is that of 'normal science', that the goal of a paradigm was actually to reduce the practice of science to a kind of stability that allowed its primary work to be solving technical puzzles that could be stated in ways accepted by the entire community.

If this is what most scientists do most of the time, what happens between periods of such stability? Historically, what happens in those periods between convergent puzzle-solving looks much more like politics or religion than like logical argumentation. Appeals to intuition abound, and formulations gather adherents, rather than data.

So he characterized science as alternating between these two extremes. In each extreme, the notion of what failure means is completely different. In both cases it has something in common with Popper's idea that theories exist to be challenged, but in neither case do successful challenges actually cause theories to be abandoned.

During normal science, the not-yet-covered part of the domain is constantly predicted wrongly by the theory at hand, and yet the theory never changes. Faith exists that some minor change in perspective, some intricate refolding of existing work, or some unaccounted fact will explain the failure. So falsification is continual -- and irrelevant.

Between periods, when new sets of groundwork are being proposed, each set acknowledges its own incompleteness, so it purposely does not try to cover large chunks of the domain that it knows it is not fit for. So falsification remains unattempted -- and irrelevant.

The point at which falsification matters is late in a 'revolution' as a paradigm comes together. And its primary application is to make sure the paradigm does not so thoroughly foreclose the imagination that those proposing it could never be made to abandon it.

It is a challenge of the imagination that prevents the ascendance of overly-philosophical attempts at science like Alchemy or Freudianism, which are so flexible they cannot be challenged, and will occupy much more time in ascendency than they deserve, in a counterproductive manner that hinders overall progress.

So although Popper has identified something extremely important, from a Kuhnian point of view, it is not useable most of the time, and surely does not apply to each individual observation in the way its originator imagined it should.

The central notion of Kuhn is that of 'normal science', that the goal of a paradigm was actually to reduce the practice of science to a kind of stability that allowed its primary work to be solving technical puzzles that could be stated in ways accepted by the entire community.

If this is what most scientists do most of the time, what happens between periods of such stability? Historically, what happens in those periods between convergent puzzle-solving looks much more like politics or religion than like logical argumentation. Appeals to intuition abound, and formulations gather adherents, rather than data.

So he characterized science as alternating between these two extremes. In each extreme, the notion of what failure means is completely different. In both cases it has something in common with Popper's idea that theories exist to be challenged, but in neither case do successful challenges actually cause theories to be abandoned.

During normal science, the not-yet-covered part of the domain is constantly predicted wrongly by the theory at hand, and yet the theory remains largely intact, making finer elaborations or very small adaptations. Faith exists that some minor change in perspective, some intricate refolding of existing work, or some unaccounted fact will explain the failure. So falsification is continual -- and irrelevant.

Between periods, when new sets of groundwork are being proposed, each set acknowledges its own incompleteness, so it purposely does not try to cover large chunks of the domain that it knows it is not fit for. So falsification remains unattempted -- and irrelevant.

The point at which falsification matters is late in a 'revolution' as a paradigm comes together. And its primary application is to make sure the paradigm does not so thoroughly foreclose the imagination that those proposing it could never be made to abandon it.

It is a challenge of the imagination that prevents the ascendance of overly-philosophical attempts at science like Alchemy or Freudianism, which are so flexible they cannot be challenged, and will occupy much more time in ascendency than they deserve, in a counterproductive manner that hinders overall progress.

So although Popper has identified something extremely important, from a Kuhnian point of view, it is not useable most of the time, and surely does not apply to each individual observation in the way its originator imagined it should.

Given the ascendency of statistics, with the habitual framing of he null-hypothesis, it is easier for us to imagine or pretend that we are producing science with the intention of challenging it continually. But even though we inject it at the very base of our consideration, this is actually not true at any important level.

We still take overall theories that frame our experiments as whole systems of belief, which we do not set aside for lack of support. When a researcher finds lack of support for an accepted paradigm, it is very seldom the paradigm, and much more often the researcher who is declared to have failed.

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source | link

The central notion of Kuhn is that of 'normal science', that the goal of a paradigm was actually to reduce the practice of science to a kind of stability that allowed its primary work to be solving technical puzzles that could be stated in ways accepted by the entire community.

If this is what most scientists do most of the time, what happens between periods of such stability? Historically, what happens in those periods between convergent puzzle-solving looks much more like politics or religion than like logical argumentation. Appeals to intuition abound, and formulations gather adherents, rather than data.

So he characterized science as alternating between these two extremes. In each extreme, the notion of what failure means is completely different. In both cases it has something in common with Popper's idea that theories exist to be challenged, but in neither case do successful challenges actually cause theories to be abandoned.

During normal science, the not-yet-covered part of the domain is constantly predicted wrongly by the theory at hand, and yet the theory never changes. Faith exists that some minor change in perspective, some intricate refolding of existing work, or some unaccounted fact will explain the failure. So falsification is continual -- and irrelevant.

Between periods, when new sets of groundwork are being proposed, each set acknowledges its own incompleteness, so it purposely does not try to cover large chunks of the domain that it knows it is not fit for. So falsification remains unattempted -- and irrelevant.

The point at which falsification matters is late in a 'revolution' as a paradigm comes together. And its primary application is to make sure the paradigm does not so thoroughly foreclose the imagination that those proposing it could never be made to abandon it.

It is a challenge of the imagination that prevents the ascendance of overly-philosophical attempts at science like Alchemy or Freudianism, which are so flexible they cannot be challenged, and will occupy much more time in ascendency than they deserve, in a counterproductive manner that hinders overall progress.

So although Popper has identified something extremely important, from a Kuhnian point of view, it is not useable most of the time, and surely does not apply to each individual observation in the way its originator imagined it should.