Change Resistance as the Crux of the Environmental Sustainability Problem Do you every wonder why the sustainability problem is so impossibly hard to solve? It's because of the phenomenon of change resistance. The system itself, and not just individual social agents, is strongly resisting change. Why this is so, its root causes, and several potential solutions are presented.
A Role for History. Kuhn begins by formulating some assumptions that lay the foundation for subsequent discussion and by briefly outlining the key contentions of the book. A scientific community cannot practice its trade without some set of received beliefs p.
These beliefs form the foundation of the "educational initiation that prepares and licenses the student for professional practice" 5. To this end, "normal science often suppresses fundamental novelties because they are necessarily subversive of its basic commitments" 5.
Research is "a strenuous and devoted attempt to force nature into the conceptual boxes supplied by professional education" 5. A shift in professional commitments to shared assumptions takes place when an anomaly "subverts the existing tradition of scientific practice" 6.
This is difficult and time consuming. It is also strongly resisted by the established community. In this chapter, Kuhn describes how paradigms are created and what they contribute to scientific disciplined inquiry.
Normal science "means research firmly based upon one or more past scientific achievements, achievements that some particular scientific community acknowledges for a time as supplying the foundation for its further practice" These achievements must be sufficiently unprecedented to attract an enduring group of adherents away from competing modes of scientific activity and sufficiently open-ended to leave all sorts of problems for the redefined group of practitioners and their students to resolve, i.
These achievements can be called paradigms Students study these paradigms in order to become members of the particular scientific community in which they will later practice.
Because the student largely learns from and is mentored by researchers "who learned the bases of their field from the same concrete models" 11there is seldom disagreement over fundamentals.
Men whose research is based on shared paradigms are committed to the same rules and standards for scientific practice A shared commitment to a paradigm ensures that its practitioners engage in the paradigmatic observations that its own paradigm can do most to explain 13i.
New paradigms are adopted because the scientific community considers it to have greater potential for the new (albeit only vague, in their entirety unknown) problems to be solved. They have an essentially rational factor, and seem to be more useful for future research (Keat and Urry ). The Kuhn Cycle is a simple cycle of progress described by Thomas Kuhn in in his seminal work The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. In Structure Kuhn challenged the world's current conception of science, which was that it was a steady progression of the accumulation of new ideas. The philosopher and historian of science Thomas Kuhn introduced the term paradigm as a key part of what he called “normal science”: In normal (that is non revolutionary) periods in a science, there is a consensus across the relevant scientific community about the theoretical and methodological rules to .
How are paradigms created, and how do scientific revolutions take place? Inquiry begins with a random collection of "mere facts" although, often, a body of beliefs is already implicit in the collection.
During these early stages of inquiry, different researchers confronting the same phenomena describe and interpret them in different ways In time, these descriptions and interpretations entirely disappear.
A preparadigmatic school movement appears. Such a school often emphasizes a special part of the collection of facts. Often, these schools vie for preeminence. As a paradigm grows in strength and in the number of advocates, the preparadigmatic schools or the previous paradigm fade.
Those with "older views. If they do not accommodate their work to the new paradigm, they are doomed to isolation or must attach themselves to some other group" 19or move to a department of philosophy or history. A paradigm transforms a group into a profession or, at least, a discipline And from this follow the formation of specialized journals.
Such endeavors are left to the theorist or to writer of textbooks. If a paradigm consists of basic and incontrovertible assumptions about the nature of the discipline, what questions are left to ask? When they first appear, paradigms are limited in scope and in precision.
But more successful does not mean completely successful with a single problem or notably successful with any large number Initially, a paradigm offers the promise of success.
Normal science consists in the actualization of that promise. In other words, there is a good deal of mopping-up to be done.
Mop-up operations are what engage most scientists throughout their careers. Mopping-up is what normal science is all about!
This paradigm-based research 25 is "an attempt to force nature into the preformed and relatively inflexible box that the paradigm supplies" The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
by Thomas S. Kuhn. A Synopsis from the original by Professor Frank Pajares From the Philosopher's Web Magazine. I Introduction. A scientific community cannot practice its trade without some set of received beliefs.
What is a Paradigm Shift? "The successive transition from one paradigm to another via revolution is the usual developmental pattern of mature science" - Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific revolutions.
It is very common for scientists to discard certain models or pick up emerging theories. The philosopher and historian of science Thomas Kuhn introduced the term paradigm as a key part of what he called “normal science”: In normal (that is non revolutionary) periods in a science, there is a consensus across the relevant scientific community about the theoretical and methodological rules to .
New paradigms are adopted because the scientific community considers it to have greater potential for the new (albeit only vague, in their entirety unknown) problems to be solved. They have an essentially rational factor, and seem to be more useful for future research (Keat and Urry ).
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. Kuhn. Outline and Study Guide Men whose research is based on shared paradigms are committed to the same rules and standards for scientific practice may turn to philosophical analysis and debate over fundamentals as a device for unlocking the riddles of their field.
In science and philosophy, a paradigm / ˈ p ær ə d aɪ m / is a distinct set of concepts or thought patterns, including theories, research methods, postulates, and standards for what constitutes legitimate contributions to a field.