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Thomas Kuhn, Annotated Bibliography Example

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Annotated Bibliography

http://catdir.loc.gov/catdir/samples/cam032/98020166.pdf

The Power of Power Politics : From Classical realism to Neotraditionalism

John A Vasquez

This site discusses the work of Thomas Kuhn from the perspective of ‘ evaluation of scientific enquiry’.  The book discusses a framework in the determination of  ” whether the realist paradigm has adequate guided enquiry in international relations”.  The book examines some of the controversial issues and particularly the definition of ‘paradigm’ within this context.  The author John A Vasquez is a Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University. He is a noted expert in this subject area with many publications to his name.  This is an academic site previewing the book published by Cambridge University Press.  The book discusses many other academic opinions for example ” A textual analysis of the work by Margaret Masterman (1970) shows that the concept of paradigm was used by Kuhn in 21 different ways”  The book examines the use of these definitions and places them into context within  scientific enquiry.  Despite stylistic differences Vasquez maintains that the concept of the paradigm is used in two distinct ways:

  1. The term stands for ‘ the entire constellation of beliefs, values, techniques etc’ , as shared by the members of a given community.
  2. It depicts the elements of a constellation ‘ the concrete puzzle solutions, which employed as models or examples, can replace explicit rules as a basis for the solution of the remaining puzzles of normal science’. (Vasquez, 1998)

http://www.jstor.org/pss/2093493

The structure of scientific fields and the functioning of University Graduate departments

Janice Beyer Lodahl,  Gerald Gordon,  Cornell University

These scientific researchers from Cornell University developed a series of hypotheses involving degrees of task predictability.  Aimed at Kuhn concepts of paradigm, they collected data from 80 University graduate departments, physicists and chemists.  They found that these scientists were far more willing to spend time with researchers and graduate students than that of sociology or political scientists.  Hence Kuhn’s concept of paradigm ” suggests that academic disciplines could be viewed as technologies involving degrees of task predictability”.  The findings were published in the American Sociological Review in 1972.  The research embraced a diverse range of academic opinions and factual analysis.  The work is useful in pointing out the value of Kuhn’s conceptual frameworks  and how these can be applied to this research problem.  The research team stated ” The scientific paradigm defined by Kuhn, includes not only the accepted theories and findings of the field but also the preferred methodologies, the tacit understanding of those areas considered important to study etc.  The paradigm provides structure by suggesting  which problems next  re-emerge’  (Janice Bayer Lodahl, 1972).

http://books.google.ca/books?hl=en&lr=&id=aLyyxpaAbn4C&oi=fnd&pg=PA3&dq=Kuhn%27s+concept+of+the+paradigm&ots=VaYd6ngByW&sig=JbmKjxcVcNo2Rgn1oYqwJ1CLcXQ#v=onepage&q=Kuhn’s%20concept%20of%20the%20paradigm&f=false

Reconstructing scientific revolutions: Thomas S. Kuhn’s philosophy of science

Paul Hoyningen-Huene

This book examines Kuhn’s philosophy of science in scientific development terms.  The book examines the different focus or perspectives that drives Kuhn’s scientific projects.  It is the exploration and definition of sciences in comparison with how Kuhn views this world.  Kuhn focused more on his interest of the “hard sciences” and the theory of scientific development. Kuhn tended to exclude social sciences, history and the philosophy of science.  The book examines some of the more controversial areas of Kuhn’s theories.  In this sense it is critical of Kuhn’s interpretations of the philosophy of science.  The fact that Kuhn only addresses what has been termed as pure science and as such interprets that pure and applied sciences can be distinguished from one another.  The authors state that ” future science may violate this assumption” .  The author is a German Philosopher at the University of Munich. He received a Doctorate in theoretical physics from the University of Zurich.  His interests are in scientific theory and following the works of Kuhn and Feyerabend. The book  has a forward by Thomas Kuhn and is highly commended by his as a leading academic book in this field.  They both met at  MIT in Boston where they spent a year together with the author doing research on the philosophy of Kuhn’s work.  The book takes in a range of different philosophical opinions and considered an extremely credible source in this field.  (Hoyningen, 1993)

http://www.esajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1890/0012-9658(2002)083%5B1481:OTEOEI%5D2.0.CO%3B2

On the Evolution of Ecological Ideas: Paradigms and Scientific Progress

Michael H. Graham and Paul K. Dayton Center for Population Biology, University of California, Davis, California 95616 USA

Graham and Dayton, from the University of California develop a ” heuristic model for studying the evolution of ecological ideas based on Thomas Kuhn’s concept of the development of scientific paradigms.” The model researches the processes leading to ecological progress.  The concept of collecting data over time that support or refutes accepted paradigms.  The research leading to increased knowledge and understanding in the field of ecology.  The objective of the research paper being to . ” Enhance our historical perspective on the evolution of ecological ideas will be key in overcoming the negative consequences of progress and safeguarding the continued advancement of ecology.”  (Michael H Graham, 2002).  The authors make an interesting point concerning the negative side of increased knowledge and learning in this field ” Unfortunately, heightened ecological understanding also builds impediments to future progress. Increased specialization and the parallel evolution of seemingly independent sub disciplines generally compel researchers to become increasingly canalized”  (Michael H Graham, 2002).

The Ecological Society of America (ESA) is a highly credible learned journal and the authors have a proven track record of expertise in this area.

http://books.google.ca/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Vutfm5n6LKYC&oi=fnd&pg=PA25&dq=Kuhn%27s+concept+of+the+paradigm&ots=HkNHTyTJ5G&sig=Xwi4zgCANYvBRmw_WWSkwN8fg4I#v=onepage&q=Kuhn’s%20concept%20of%20the%20paradigm&f=false

Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge

Vimre Lakatos, Alan Musgrave

Vol 4 Cambridge University Press

This is an excellent book for looking at the holistic picture of Kuhn’s theories and the arguments / confrontations that took place.  It is light-hearted and extremely enjoyable to read where both Kuhn and leading scientists discuss their respective points of view.  There is a bit of tension between what Kuhn states and the rebuttal by Sir Karl Popper ( relative to Kuhn work on the structure of scientific Revolution).  I particularly enjoyed the discussion from John Watkins of the London School of Economics ‘Against Normal Science’ (Page 25 refers).  Watkins explains the conflict and main difference of opinion between Kuhn and Sir Karl Popper.  He narrows this down to one specific statement ” It is precisely the abandonment of critical discourse that marks the transition to a science”.  In addition to the discussions between Kuhn and Popper the book contains lively debates from other leading academics and in this sense it is an extremely stimulating and thought provocative book.  It is interesting to read Kuhn own views and reflections on his critics ( page 231 refers).  The book has a high degree of credibility because of the discussions and arguments that examines the paradigm from several different perspectives. All of the contributors are leading academics and subject matter experts.  (Imre Lakatos, 1970)

Works Cited

Hoyningen, P. (1993). Reconstructing Scientific Revolutions. In P. Hoyningen, Reconstructing Scientific Revolutions (p. 302). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Imre Lakatos, A. M. (1970). Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Janice Bayer Lodahl, G. G. (1972). The structure of scientific fields and the functioning of University graduate departments. American Sociolgical Review , 57-72.

Michael H Graham, P. K. (2002). On the evolution of ecological ideas : Paradigms and scientific progress. Ecology Vol 83 , 1481-1489.

Vasquez, J. (1998). The Power of Power Politics, from social realism to neotraditionalism. In J. Vasquez, The Power of Power Politics, from social realism to neotraditionalism (p. 369). Cambridge England UK: Cambridge University Press.

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