Lisa's Notebook

Writing Exercises by Lisa McNulty.

Drabble - Kuhnian Incommensurability

Thomas Kuhn, in the Structure of Scientific Revolutions, suggests the science does not accumulate knowledge in a linear way. Instead there are periods of ‘normal science’, in which scientists work within a paradigm (e.g. Newtonian physics) to solve puzzles. Eventually anomalous results build up which challenge the paradigm, but scientists are not inclined to abandon the paradigm unless a rival paradigm is available. A scientist adopting a new paradigm is a radical intellectual shift. Rival paradigms are incommensurable, meaning it is not possible to understand one paradigm through the terminology of another, and they may address different core questions.

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