Scientists and their mode of thinking

Psychology today have a great article about how scientists think and the impact Thomas Kuhn had on the way scientists think today.

Psychology Today –

Significantly, Kuhn argued that between revolutions paradigms ruled scientists’ minds. Scientists, according to Kuhn, do not think empirically, advancing from one experimentally proven fact to another as they built an edifice of knowledge piece by piece. Their thinking was dominated by broad, sweeping paradigms they shared with their fellow scientists. These paradigms enabled them to ask questions and make sense of their observations and findings, but made them cognitively incapable of accepting a different paradigm.


Paradigms, to Kuhn, created resistance to change in the history of science. A scientific revolution—the Copernican or Darwinian, for example—only occurred when so much evidence had accumulated that the existing paradigm crumbled and was replaced by a new one.

Kuhn’s brilliant theory was that the history of science was not linear. It changed discontinuously, as all paradigms eventually crashed and burned. The whole notion of science getting steadily closer to the truth about nature was thrown open to question.

Why was this viewpoint significant? Because it punctured the myth that scientists were a class apart, people who faithfully followed a systematic, disciplined method of thinking.

Read more here.


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