The grounds of science provide the growth of knowledge until the general features of systemic organization of objects which are taken into account in the world, and the methods of delivery correspond the established norms and ideals of the research.
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While developing, science could face fundamentally new types of facilities which require a different vision of reality compared to those which involve the prevailing picture of the world. New objects may require changes in the scheme of cognitive activity, the system provided by the ideals and norms of the study. In this situation, the growth of scientific knowledge involves the restructuring the grounds of science. The latter can be implemented into two varieties:
- the revolution associated with the transformation of special picture of the world without significant changes ideals and norms of research,
- the revolution, during which the picture of the world has radically changed together with the ideals and norms of science.
The famous philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn in his famous book “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” (1962) established the model for science, which involves alternating episodes of competition between different scientific communities and stages, involving systematic theories, the clarification of concepts, improved technology (phases of the so-called normal science).
The period of dominating paradigm is changed by the collapse of the paradigm that is reflected in the term “scientific revolution”. Winning one of the warring parties again restores the normal stage of development of science. In the period until a new paradigm appears there is always an accumulation of facts. The withdrawal from this period has meant the setting standards of scientific practice, the theoretical postulates, accurate picture of the world, connect theory and method.
According to Kuhn, the scientific paradigm shift, the transition phase in the “revolutionary break” provides for full or partial replacement of the disciplinary matrix, research techniques, methods and theoretical assumptions. The knowledge transformed the entire set of values. The scheme proposed by Kuhn, included the following stages: prescientific stage – the crisis – the revolution – the new normal science, that is calm evolutionary development of science – a new crisis, etc.
Kuhn, exploring the turning points in the history of science shows that the period of development of “normal science” in details can also be represented by traditional concepts, such as the concept of progress, which in this case is the criterion of the number of solutions to problems. For Kuhn “the normal science” involves the expansion of the scope paradigm with increased accuracy. The criterion in the period of stay “the normal science” is the preservation of the conceptual grounds.
We can say that there is a sort of immunity to leave the conceptual framework of a paradigm unchanged. The purpose of “the normal science”, notes T. Kuhn, in no way provides predictions of new types of phenomena. The immunity or immune to the outside, which is opposite to accepted standards of factors, could not entirely resist the so-called anomalous events and facts – they gradually undermine the sustainability paradigm. Kuhn describes the “the normal science” as the cumulative accumulation of knowledge.
The revolutionary periods, or scientific revolution, led to changes in the structure of science, the principles of learning categories, methods and forms of organization.
The history of science suggests that the periods of calm, the normal development of science reflect the situation of continuity of traditions, when all scientific disciplines are developing in accordance with established laws and regulations adopted by the system. “The normal science” means the study, firmly based on past or existing scientific achievements and recognizes them as a foundation for further development. During periods of normal development of science activities of scientists is based on the same paradigms, the same rules and standards of scientific practice. There are commonality installations and the apparent harmony, which ensures the continuity of traditions of a direction.
Scientists do not compromise the establishment of fundamentally new theories, moreover, they even are tolerant the establishment of such “lunatics” other theories. According to Kuhn words, scientists are busy with “bringing order” in their disciplinary fields. “The normal science” develops, accumulating information, specifying the known facts. At the same time period of “normal science” is characterized by “the ideology of traditionalism, authoritarianism, a positive sense world outlook installation related to the overstatement of social and practical possibilities of science, its role in society”.
Each scientific revolution opens up the new laws, which can not be understood within the framework of previous submissions. The world of micro-organisms and viruses, the world of atoms and molecules, the world electromagnetic phenomena and elementary particles, the world of crystals and the opening of other galaxies – is extending the principle of human knowledge and understanding of the universe.
The scientific revolution has changed the historical perspective research and affect the structure of textbooks and scientific works, affects the style of thinking and in its consequences can go far beyond their field (so, the opening of radioactivity at the turn of XIX-XX centuries was utilized in philosophy and ideology, medicine and genetics). Scientific revolutions are seen as non-cummulative episodes of scientific development, during which the old paradigm is replaced in whole or in part the new paradigm that is incompatible with the old.
Thomas S. Kuhn , The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.