Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME FORUMS BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Sun Sep 21, 2014 1:09 pm




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 
Chapter 4 - Normal Science as Puzzle-solving 
Author Message
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

BookTalk.org Owner
Diamond Contributor 3

Joined: May 2002
Posts: 13947
Location: Florida
Thanks: 1924
Thanked: 733 times in 583 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)
Highscores: 10

Post Chapter 4 - Normal Science as Puzzle-solving
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
by Thomas S. Kuhn


Chapter 4 - Normal Science as Puzzle-solving



Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:49 pm
Profile Email YIM WWW
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Book Slut

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 4141
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 1136
Thanked: 1184 times in 891 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: Chapter 4 - Normal Science as Puzzle-solving
Once again, using Prof Pajares excellent summary from http://des.emory.edu/mfp/Kuhn.html

Quote:
Chapter IV - Normal Science as Puzzle-solving.

Doing research is essentially like solving a puzzle. Puzzles have rules. Puzzles generally have predetermined solutions. A striking feature of doing research is that the aim is to discover what is known in advance. This in spite of the fact that the range of anticipated results is small compared to the possible results. When the outcome of a research project does not fall into this anticipated result range, it is generally considered a failure, i.e., when "significance" is not obtained.
The "known in advance" comment is not quite right. Research can confirm a hypothesis, but if the outcome is certain there is no point in conducting the study. All investigation has a purpose, framed as an explicit reason for activity. Failure to confirm a hypothesis is not failure of a research study. For example, an astrology study analyzed correlation between birth charts and suicide data, and found none. This shows that any planetary effects are far weaker than is imagined by astrologers.
Quote:
Studies that fail to find the expected are usually not published. The proliferation of studies that find the expected helps ensure that the paradigm/theory will flourish.
This one applies strongly to pharmaceutical research especially drugs for mental illness. The proponents have a conflict of interest, pushing them to publish results that will be to their commercial advantage, and to suppress results that will not aid them financially. So we see the flourishing of the paradigm of drug treatment of mental illness and neglect of other methods. This example shows that a paradigm is not just an objective framework, but is conditioned by money and politics.
Quote:
Even a project that aims at paradigm articulation does not aim at unexpected novelty. "One of the things a scientific community acquires with a paradigm is a criterion for choosing problems that, while the paradigm is taken for granted, can be assumed to have solutions" (37). The intrinsic value of a research question is not a criterion for selecting it.The assurance that the question has an answer is the criterion (37).
The bottom line here is that no one who has vested interests welcomes surprises that may put their interests at risk. "Intrinsic value" is a very obscure notion. Intrinsic to whom? There is no value without a valuer. And assurance of solvability is also not a real priority. People fund research they consider useful. "Pure" research with no immediate use always has some deeper strategic purpose, such as reinforcing a cultural framework (English literature) or enabling possible future technology (pure mathematics). Obscure research proposals need to articulate a strategic justification if they are to get resources.
Quote:
"The man who is striving to solve a problem defined by existing knowledge and technique is not just looking around. He knows what he wants to achieve, and he designs his instruments and directs his thoughts accordingly" (96). So why do research? Results add to the scope and precision with which a paradigm/theory can be applied.
The way to obtain the results usually remains very much in doubt—this is the challenge of the puzzle. Solving the puzzle can be fun, and expert puzzle-solvers make a very nice living.
This distinction between puzzle solving and paradigm shift is comparable to the military distinction between tactics and strategy. Most practical work is tactical, operating within a defined strategy. Debate over strategy is high level, and generally proceeds within a framework of shared assumptions. Yet, a strategic shift, especially one that changes core assumptions, produces major change in tactical possibilities.
Quote:
To classify as a puzzle (as a genuine research question), a problem must be characterized by more than the assured solution. There exists a strong network of commitments—conceptual, theoretical, instrumental, and methodological. There are "rules" that limit the nature of acceptable solutions—there are "restrictions that bound the admissible solutions to theoretical problems" (39). Solutions should be consistent with paradigmatic assumptions.
This idea of a paradigm as 'a strong network of commitments' is illustrated by religious debate. Adherents of a creed view any doubt as threatening to unravel their entire belief system. So creationists see evolution as a threat to community and morality, and cannot separate the metaphysical and the social functions of belief. The rule of Biblical inerrancy is seen to limit the nature of acceptable solutions. Yet once inerrancy becomes questionable, the whole network of practices based on it may also become questionable, potentially sometimes in ways with destructive or unforseen consequences.
Quote:
There are quasi-metaphysical commitments to consider.
This observation that scientific theory contains a metaphysical dimension is important. Part of the standard scientific paradigm includes the assertion that metaphysics is obsolete. But then Kuhn's observation that theory determines which questions are admissable shows that scientific values do function in a way that goes beyond merely empirical observation. In functioning as a network of commitments, the paradigm has a subconscious dimension, revealed in emotional reactions to ideas that may challenge the paradigm. George Orwell explained this psychological syndrome very astutely in 1984 with his concept of 'crimestop', the ability to see that a line of thought has risky potential and so to nip it in the bud.
Quote:
There may also be historical ties to consider. the steps by which they are to be obtained (methodology). commitments to preferred types of instrumentations. the ways in which accepted instruments may legitimately be employed. Despite the fact that novelty is not sought and that accepted belief is generally not challenged, the scientific enterprise can and does bring about such unexpected results.
Again, looking at the religious example, theologians and archaeologists have studied the Bible and historical sites in order to confirm traditional belief. However, their research has often led to findings that refute the premise that inspired them.


_________________
http://rtulip.net


The following user would like to thank Robert Tulip for this post:
ant
Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:29 pm
Profile Email WWW
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Reads spoilers. Doesn't care.


Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 2649
Thanks: 436
Thanked: 333 times in 283 posts
Gender: None specified
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Chapter 4 - Normal Science as Puzzle-solving
Quote:
Again, looking at the religious example, theologians and archaeologists have studied the Bible and historical sites in order to confirm traditional belief. However, their research has often led to findings that refute the premise that inspired them.


Religion is a subjective experience, not an objective discovery.
You are speaking of die-hard literalists here, and nothing more. You need to make a clear and honest distinctions to avoid broad generalizations.


Other than that, thanks for sharing some good thoughts on this chapter.


_________________
The algorithm dun it


Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:57 am
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Reads spoilers. Doesn't care.


Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 2649
Thanks: 436
Thanked: 333 times in 283 posts
Gender: None specified
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Chapter 4 - Normal Science as Puzzle-solving
Does somebody still have the link to this outline?
I remember it was great and I'd like to look at it again.


_________________
The algorithm dun it


Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:17 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Book Slut

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 4141
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 1136
Thanked: 1184 times in 891 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: Chapter 4 - Normal Science as Puzzle-solving
ant wrote:
Does somebody still have the link to this outline?
I remember it was great and I'd like to look at it again.


Here you go. Google is your friend.


_________________
http://rtulip.net


Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:27 pm
Profile Email WWW
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Reads spoilers. Doesn't care.


Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 2649
Thanks: 436
Thanked: 333 times in 283 posts
Gender: None specified
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Chapter 4 - Normal Science as Puzzle-solving
sweet

where's the hug smiley when you need it


_________________
The algorithm dun it


Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:28 pm
Profile Email
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:


BookTalk.org Links 
Forum Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Info for Authors & Publishers
Featured Book Suggestions
Author Interview Transcripts
Be a Book Discussion Leader!
    

Love to talk about books but don't have time for our book discussion forums? For casual book talk join us on Facebook.

Featured Books

Books by New Authors



Booktalk.org on Facebook 



BookTalk.org is a free book discussion group or online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a group. We host live author chats where booktalk members can interact with and interview authors. We give away free books to our members in book giveaway contests. Our booktalks are open to everybody who enjoys talking about books. Our book forums include book reviews, author interviews and book resources for readers and book lovers. Discussing books is our passion. We're a literature forum, or reading forum. Register a free book club account today! Suggest nonfiction and fiction books. Authors and publishers are welcome to advertise their books or ask for an author chat or author interview.


Navigation 
MAIN NAVIGATION

HOMEFORUMSBOOKSTRANSCRIPTSOLD FORUMSADVERTISELINKSFAQDONATETERMS OF USEPRIVACY POLICY

BOOK FORUMS FOR ALL BOOKS WE HAVE DISCUSSED
Oliver Twist - by Charles DickensSense and Goodness Without God - by Richard CarrierFrankenstein - by Mary ShelleyThe Big Questions - by Simon BlackburnScience Was Born of Christianity - by Stacy TrasancosThe Happiness Hypothesis - by Jonathan HaidtA Game of Thrones - by George R. R. MartinTempesta's Dream - by Vincent LoCocoWhy Nations Fail - by Daron Acemoglu and James RobinsonThe Drowning Girl - Caitlin R. KiernanThe Consolations of the Forest - by Sylvain TessonThe Complete Heretic's Guide to Western Religion: The Mormons - by David FitzgeraldA Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - by James JoyceThe Divine Comedy - by Dante AlighieriThe Magic of Reality - by Richard DawkinsDubliners - by James JoyceMy Name Is Red - by Orhan PamukThe World Until Yesterday - by Jared DiamondThe Man Who Was Thursday - by by G. K. ChestertonThe Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven PinkerLord Jim by Joseph ConradThe Hobbit by J. R. R. TolkienThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsAtlas Shrugged by Ayn RandThinking, Fast and Slow - by Daniel KahnemanThe Righteous Mind - by Jonathan HaidtWorld War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max BrooksMoby Dick: or, the Whale by Herman MelvilleA Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer EganLost Memory of Skin: A Novel by Russell BanksThe Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. KuhnHobbes: Leviathan by Thomas HobbesThe House of the Spirits - by Isabel AllendeArguably: Essays by Christopher HitchensThe Falls: A Novel (P.S.) by Joyce Carol OatesChrist in Egypt by D.M. MurdockThe Glass Bead Game: A Novel by Hermann HesseA Devil's Chaplain by Richard DawkinsThe Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph CampbellThe Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark TwainThe Moral Landscape by Sam HarrisThe Decameron by Giovanni BoccaccioThe Road by Cormac McCarthyThe Grand Design by Stephen HawkingThe Evolution of God by Robert WrightThe Tin Drum by Gunter GrassGood Omens by Neil GaimanPredictably Irrational by Dan ArielyThe Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel by Haruki MurakamiALONE: Orphaned on the Ocean by Richard Logan & Tere Duperrault FassbenderDon Quixote by Miguel De CervantesMusicophilia by Oliver SacksDiary of a Madman and Other Stories by Nikolai GogolThe Passion of the Western Mind by Richard TarnasThe Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le GuinThe Genius of the Beast by Howard BloomAlice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll Empire of Illusion by Chris HedgesThe Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner The Extended Phenotype by Richard DawkinsSmoke and Mirrors by Neil GaimanThe Selfish Gene by Richard DawkinsWhen Good Thinking Goes Bad by Todd C. RinioloHouse of Leaves by Mark Z. DanielewskiAmerican Gods: A Novel by Neil GaimanPrimates and Philosophers by Frans de WaalThe Enormous Room by E.E. CummingsThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeGod Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher HitchensThe Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama Paradise Lost by John Milton Bad Money by Kevin PhillipsThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettGodless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists by Dan BarkerThe Things They Carried by Tim O'BrienThe Limits of Power by Andrew BacevichLolita by Vladimir NabokovOrlando by Virginia Woolf On Being Certain by Robert A. Burton50 reasons people give for believing in a god by Guy P. HarrisonWalden: Or, Life in the Woods by Henry David ThoreauExile and the Kingdom by Albert CamusOur Inner Ape by Frans de WaalYour Inner Fish by Neil ShubinNo Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthyThe Age of American Unreason by Susan JacobyTen Theories of Human Nature by Leslie Stevenson & David HabermanHeart of Darkness by Joseph ConradThe Stuff of Thought by Stephen PinkerA Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled HosseiniThe Lucifer Effect by Philip ZimbardoResponsibility and Judgment by Hannah ArendtInterventions by Noam ChomskyGodless in America by George A. RickerReligious Expression and the American Constitution by Franklyn S. HaimanDeep Economy by Phil McKibbenThe God Delusion by Richard DawkinsThe Third Chimpanzee by Jared DiamondThe Woman in the Dunes by Abe KoboEvolution vs. Creationism by Eugenie C. ScottThe Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael PollanI, Claudius by Robert GravesBreaking The Spell by Daniel C. DennettA Peace to End All Peace by David FromkinThe Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerThe End of Faith by Sam HarrisEnder's Game by Orson Scott CardThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark HaddonValue and Virtue in a Godless Universe by Erik J. WielenbergThe March by E. L DoctorowThe Ethical Brain by Michael GazzanigaFreethinkers: A History of American Secularism by Susan JacobyCollapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared DiamondThe Battle for God by Karen ArmstrongThe Future of Life by Edward O. WilsonWhat is Good? by A. C. GraylingCivilization and Its Enemies by Lee HarrisPale Blue Dot by Carl SaganHow We Believe: Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God by Michael ShermerLooking for Spinoza by Antonio DamasioLies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al FrankenThe Red Queen by Matt RidleyThe Blank Slate by Stephen PinkerUnweaving the Rainbow by Richard DawkinsAtheism: A Reader edited by S.T. JoshiGlobal Brain by Howard BloomThe Lucifer Principle by Howard BloomGuns, Germs and Steel by Jared DiamondThe Demon-Haunted World by Carl SaganBury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee BrownFuture Shock by Alvin Toffler

OTHER PAGES WORTH EXPLORING
Banned Book ListOur Amazon.com SalesMassimo Pigliucci Rationally SpeakingOnline Reading GroupTop 10 Atheism BooksFACTS Book Selections

cron
Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2014. All rights reserved.
Website developed by MidnightCoder.ca
Display Pagerank