Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Road Since Structure: Philosophical Essays

Thomas Kuhn's book deals with subjects that most scientists seem to neglect. Kuhn’s treatment of paradigm shifts in the realms of Newton and Copernicus may turn out to influence life outside of science.The book is a compilation of his essays and an interview with him by Aristide Baltas. Throughout the essays he tries to reconcile the paradigm shifts with everyday science. Kuhn alerts many scientific minds with the statement asserting that whenever science makes a discovery, it is not always aimed at truth, but the discovery in itself is a never-ending a paradigm shift. Almost humorously, scientists are described as unconcerned with defining truth, defining it with error bars.Kuhn seems to overlook the weight of work done throughout the centuries to understand Newton’s laws, wherein he characterizes the research by famous mathematicians and physicists, in his words, as a limited mopping up operation.Kuhn also claims that a scientist's socio-cultural experience influences a paradigm shift while it is happening. This, and other exotic claims, make the book fun and entertaining for a scientific mind.