Thomas Kuhn: From Kuhn’s SSR

In the above publication, Kuhn makes a claim asserting that the results of every practitioner in the field of optics before Newton failed to qualify his results as science (Kuhn 13). This claim is, however, an opinion of Kuhn, which have been criticized over the years by various scholars and philosophers. However, Kuhn made the above claim basing his rationale upon what he felt was the right determiner of science. The major reason as to why he failed to consider every prior result before Newton’s as a complete work of science was because the results failed to subscribe to any paradigm (Kuhn 15).

According to the notes, in the SSR, Kuhn’s perception for a paradigm is a solution aimed at serving a group of problems, or various achievements stipulated in a textbook or some publication. According to Kuhn, a researcher should be in a position to base his arguments on certain paradigms for the results of the research to pass as scientific. In light of the above, Kuhn made the above claim after observing that the practitioners in optics before Newton had no common belief with which to identify their observations. As a result, such practitioners build their arguments based purely on their intuition. They made observations and conducted experiments without following any standard sets of procedures or methods. Any explanations of their research results were purely a work of their intuition.

According to Kuhn, it is their results that opened the way for the development of a paradigm, that is, their results were open-ended. Newton established his research regarding what they had started (Kuhn 17). Thus, Newton’s work had a basis or foundation established by other people. The result of Newton’s work came as a result of his quest to solve the puzzles left by the prior practitioners of research in optics. Under the paradigm theory, Kuhn’s claim is justifiable since, unlike Newton’s results, those of prior practitioners had no external basis.

From Harvard Case Histories in Experimental Science

Ideally, there are two kinds of electric charges the, the negative and the positive. However, before the above fine distinction brought forth by Benjamin Franklin, prior scientists had the various contribution in the field of electricity. Specifically, the renowned French botanist Dufay first established the idea that there are two types of electricity. In his quest to study the repulsive nature electricity interactions, Dufay observed that objects made from a similar material repelled each other upon being electrified in a similar manner. From his experiments, he established the fact that two glass pieces rubbed with silk repelled each other just the same way two amber chunks rubbed with rubber did. However, his conclusion surfaced from the further observation that the amber attracted both the rubber and the charged glass with the glass attracting the silk as well as the charged amber (Roller and Roller 586).

Most of the investigation and inventions in various scientific fields turned up successful from pure luck. A reflection of electrical conduction investigations by Stephen Gray justifies the above claim to be true (Roller and Roller 571). In 1929, Gray was investigating for electricity conduction while he chanced one lucky observation. While experimenting with a glass tube that was thought to be a conductor of electricity, Gray by chance noticed that attracted laboratory debris such as leaf-brass and papers. A thought thus came into his mind that electricity, or the ‘virtue’ as he called it then, was conducted not by the glass as he presumed but by other substances (Roller and Roller 573). Luckily, he had an iron ball at the time of that thought which he used to start his experiments on other substances apart from glass, which was a huge step in the progress of his electrical conduction investigations.

Works Cited

Kuhn, Thomas. ‘The Structure of Scientific’. International Encyclopedia of Unified Science 2.2 (1962). Print.

Roller, Duane, and Duane H. D. Roller. ‘Case 8: The Development of the Concept of Electric Charge Electricity from the Greeks to Coulomb’. Harvard Case histories in Experimental Science 2 (1957): 571-596. Print.

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