Unit 2 assignment 2

On pp. 274-5, Kuhn notes a number of parallels between political and scientific revolutions. Can you think of some important differences between the two that Kuhn should have mentioned?

While I agree with Kuhn that there are parallels between political and scientific revolutions, the nature of the two are different. Science on its own prior to the influence of politics is an impartial subject. The partisanship that is so evidently present in politics is innate in politics but science seeks to find something absolute and is very unbiased in its natural form. I also feel that while political revolutions can be for what one perceives to be the greater good they can also be for one’s own self-interest and not contribute to the common good. Scientist are concerned with a better understanding of how things work and scientific revolutions don’t happen out of self-interest but because of the desire of scientist to improve the shared knowledge. While both scientific and political revolutions, according to Kuhn, leave one paradigm for the next, the manner in which the leaving of a paradigm happens is different in both cases. The switch from one paradigm to another in a scientific revolution tends to not be physically violent like political revolutions can be.


The reading for Tuesday led to an interesting discussion in my section about the truth. Scientist strive to find the truth but sometimes the truth they find isn’t the actual truth. I feel that truth is subjective to the paradigm and the ideas of that paradigm. It’s scary to question what we have been told and boxed mentally as truth in our minds but I think it’s very important to do so. This isn’t to say that science is not real but going back to Sapere Aude in order to truly be enlighted we must think and question for ourselves. I wonder if just like how there can political revolution and scientific revolutions, might there be revolutions of what is the truth? And if the truth is a definite thing, why do we believe we’ve already found it? Might we be discovering parts of the backstory to the truth but not itself yet? It can become very abstract to think about truth in this sense but there is immense value in not just taking things as they are and exploring one’s knowledge and perception of the world in a deeper way. Just like how translations shouldn’t just be taken as they are but we must think deeper about them and what they’re saying or not saying.

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