Reading Questions on The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Mon. 2/20

Ch. 1-2:
1. What is Pre-normal or Pre-paradigmatic inquiry (the state before any paradigm has yet emerged)? What are some of the signs of this stage?

2. What is normal science? What three types of activities or foci of activity does it involve?

3. What is a scientific revolution?

4. What are the two main senses of the word paradigm as used by Kuhn?

5. What is a disciplinary matrix? What are its components?

6. What is an exemplar? What role does it play in a paradigm and in normal science?

Wed. 2/22

Ch. 3 -6:
1. How is normal science like puzzle solving?

2. Why is normal science so successful? Why does it progress so rapidly?

3. Does normal science encourage novelty? Why or why not?

4. What role does a paradigm play in normal science?

5. How is a paradigm not just a set of rules, but something more fundamental from which rules may later be abstracted? How does a paradigm involve tacit knowledge?

6. What is an anomaly?

7. Why does normal science naturally produce anomalies?

8. How does normal science naturally lead to revolutionary science? Why would revolutions be less likely to occur in the absence of a paradigm?

Logical Postivism:
1. What is logical atomism?
2. What is emotivism?
3. What is the verificationist criterion of meaning?
4. What is the hpothetico-deductive method? How does it differ from logical atomism?

Fri. 2/24

Ch. 7-8:
9. What is crisis or revolutionary science? What are some signs of this stage of science?

10. How does science normally react to anomalies?

11. What causes an anomaly to prompt a revolution?

Ch. 9
What is meant by saying that two theories are incommensurable?

2. Can the theories in an old paradigm be derived from the new? Why or why not?

Mon. 2/27

Ch. 10-11:
3. Why do discoveries of new facts almost always involve paradigm changes?

4. How does a change in paradigm involve a change in world view?

5. How does a change in paradigm involve a change in the definitions of terms.

Wed. 3/1

Ch. 12-14.
6. What problems does this present for explaining how science progresses and how theory change is rational?

7. What is the basis for the acceptance of a new paradigm and the rejection of the old? Why can't this involve any logical or rational argument?

8. Does Kuhn think Science progresses in normal science by the steady accumulation of knowledge?

9. How about in revolutionary science? Why or why not?