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Ian Hacking introduces Thomas Kuhn fifty years on.

That is the structure of scientific revolutions: normal science with a paradigm and a dedication to solving puzzles; followed by serious anomalies, which lead to a crisis; and finally resolution of the crisis by a new paradigm. Another famous word does not occur in the section titles: incommensurability. This is the idea that, in the course of a revolution and paradigm shift, the new ideas and assertions cannot be strictly compared to the old ones. Even if the same words are in use, their very meaning has changed. That in turn led to the idea that a new theory was not chosen to replace an old one, because it was true but more because of a change in world view. The book ends with the disconcerting thought that progress in science is not a simple line leading to the truth. It is more progress away from less adequate conceptions of, and interactions with, the world. via 3quarksdaily
posted by cgc373 on Jun 20, 2012 - 37 comments


Peter Chung, the animator who gave us Aeon Flux, The Maxx, The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury, The Animatrix: Matriculated and Reign: The Conquerer, has a new comic-to-film adaptation aimed at more mainstream audiences premiering Wednesday on Cartoon Network (US): Firebreather. Official Site. Trailer. (Caution: Some links in this post autoplay video) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 22, 2010 - 29 comments

What will future generations condemn us for?

Kwame Anthony Appiah discusses honor, moral revolutions, and the condemnation of future generations. His new book The Honor Code chronicles how the concept of honor has been crucial in the fight against immoral practices like dueling, foot-binding, and slavery. (See also 1, 2)
posted by anotherpanacea on Sep 28, 2010 - 14 comments

Cage Match: Gravity Leakage vs. Dark Matter

In 1962, Thomas Kuhn published The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. It questioned not only the "progressive" model of scientific history, but also bled over into other disciplines and brought into question human perception of just about everything else. (coining the questionable phrase "paradigm shift" in the process.)

One of the most interesting shifts came in the battle about the (not totally forgotten) aether. A modern day equivalent might be "dark matter," an undetected form of matter that explains some of the quirky behavior of gravity. Or, it could all be gravity leakage.
Let the battle begin! (The winner might just set the course of astrophysics for the next generation, or even lead to the holy grail.)
(see also here.)
posted by absalom on Mar 1, 2005 - 26 comments

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