the cedar ledge

On the Non-Linearity of Science

Date: May 22 2022

Summary: The radical view that Thomas Kuhn introduced that science itself is not moving to any specific truth but rather that the scientific organ continues to move forward in a very heap-like fashion.

Keywords: #view #paradigm #progress #science #history #textbooks #nonlinear


T. S. Kuhn and I. Hacking, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Fourth edition. Chicago ; London: The University of Chicago Press, 2012.


On the Non-Linearity of Science

One thing out of this book is that I very much appreciated and agreed with Kuhn’s notion that science is not linear nor is it necessarily the result of a universal truth being uncovered. Rather, it is the confluence of emerging theories that evolve and find they can fit with other theories or paradigms. These newly combined theories then come together to possibly overturn or change the understanding of currently practiced science.

This fallacious notion of linear knowledge going to a particular truth about the world is based in part on science historians and textbook makers. As textbooks are designed to assist students in learning as much material as possible, the teacher with the textbook maker chooses to formulate a textbook around one particular area of knowledge thereby giving a sense of progress to a domain’s particular truth. As science does not deal with all possible experiments but only those which are doable according to an existing paradigm, so too a textbook must be very judicious in what it presents to a student from its paradigm.



CC BY-SA 4.0 Jacob Zelko. Last modified: June 21, 2022. Website built with Franklin.jl and the Julia programming language.