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Research Models & the Scientific Revolution

1. Kuhn's (The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. Kuhn-3rd ed.) perspective on scientific revolutions in terms of how it connects with Arbnor and Bjerke's (Methodology for Creating Business Knowledge by Ingeman Arbnor and Bjorn Bjerke-2nd ed.) delineation of the research models.

2. Are the paradigms identified by Arbnor and Bjerke consistent with Kuhn's discussion of paradigmatic and advancement of knowledge?

3. Are there any issues with Kuhn's key points in how knowledge advances?

4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of a paradigmatic approach?

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1. Evaluate Kuhn's (The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. Kuhn-3rd ed.) perspective on scientific revolutions in terms of how it connects with Arbnor and Bjerke's (Methodology for Creating Business Knowledge by Ingeman Arbnor and Bjorn Bjerke-2nd ed.) delineation of the research models.

A mature science, according to Kuhn, experiences alternating phases of normal science and revolutions. In normal science the key theories, instruments, values and metaphysical assumptions that comprise the disciplinary matrix are kept fixed (si,ilar to Arbnore and Hjerke's ideas), permitting the cumulative generation of puzzle-solutions, whereas in a scientific revolution the disciplinary matrix undergoes revision, in order to permit the solution of the more serious anomalous puzzles that disturbed the preceding period of normal science. http://www.lib.unb.ca/Texts/JCIM/bin/get.cgi?directory=vol7_2/&filename=yeganeh.htm This idea of the need for a change is consistent with Arbnor and Bjerke's ideas, although worded somewhat differently.

According to Kuhn, one compenent of the matrix is referred to a 'paradigm'. For example, a particularly important part of Kuhn's thesis in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions focuses upon one specific component of the disciplinary matrix. This is the consensus on exemplary instances of scientific research. These exemplars of good science are what Kuhn refers to when he uses the term 'paradigm' in a narrower sense. He cites Aristotle's analysis of motion, Ptolemy's computations of plantery positions, Lavoisier's application of the balance, and Maxwell's mathematization of the electromagnetic field as paradigms (1962/1970a, 23). Exemplary instances of science are typically to be found in books and papers, and so Kuhn often also describes great texts as paradigms-Ptolemy's Almagest, Lavoisier's Traité élémentaire de chimie, and Newton's Principia Mathematica and Opticks (1962/1970a, 12). Such texts contain not only the key theories and laws (and this is what makes them paradigms), but the applications of those theories in the solution of important problems, along with the new experimental or mathematical techniques (such as the chemical balance in Traité élémentaire de chimie and the calculus in Principia Mathematica) employed in those applications. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/thomas-kuhn/ In other words, paradigms are theories and laws with consensus and agreems on paradigms-as exemplars, according to Kuhn. It is his attempt to include the flebibility of paragigms )theories and laws) necessary to embrace revolutionary changes in knowledge acqusition.

In the postscript to the second edition of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn argues that paradigms in this sense that they are "the most novel and least understood aspect of this book" (1962/1970a, 187). The claim that the consensus of a disciplinary matrix is primarily agreement on paradigms-as-exemplars is intended to explain the nature of normal science and the process of crisis, revolution, and renewal of normal science. It also explains the birth of a mature science. Kuhn describes an immature science, in what he sometimes calls its 'pre-paradigm' period, as lacking consensus. Competing schools of thought possess differing procedures, theories, even metaphysical presuppositions. Consequently there is little opportunity for collective progress. Even localized progress by a particular school is made difficult, since much intellectual energy is put into arguing over the fundamentals with other schools instead of developing a research tradition. However, progress is not impossible, and one school may make a breakthrough whereby the shared problems of the competing schools are solved in a particularly impressive fashion. This success draws away adherents from the other schools, and a widespread consensus is formed around the new ...

Solution Summary

This solution examines how the Kuhn's perspective on scientific revolutions connects with Arbnor and Bjerke's delineation of the research models on several dimensions e.g. if the paradigms identified by Arbnor and Bjerke are consistent with Kuhn's discussion of paradigmatic and advancement of knowledge; if there any issues with Kuhn's key points in how knowledge advances, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of a paradigmatic approach.

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