NORMAL SCIENCE

Normal Science is a term coined by the philosopher Thomas Kuhn in 1962 to describe the everyday, taken-for-granted activities of scientists that make up the majority of scientific work. Normal science is characterized by a series of activities such as puzzle-solving, data collection, experimentation, and theory-building, all of which are conducted within the bounds of a particular scientific paradigm. According to Kuhn, normal science is the “routine achievement” of a scientific community, and is the basis upon which new discoveries and paradigm shifts can be built.

The concept of normal science was first introduced in Kuhn’s 1962 book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, in which Kuhn argued that scientific communities operate within the framework of particular paradigms or “normal science”. For Kuhn, normal science is the process by which scientific knowledge is accumulated and refined. It is the type of research that is done day-in and day-out by scientists in their laboratories and universities, and is characterized by a series of activities such as problem solving, data collection, experimentation, and theory-building.

Kuhn argued that normal science is the “puzzle-solving” activity of scientists, and that these activities are conducted within the bounds of a particular scientific paradigm. According to Kuhn, the paradigm or “normal science” serves as the foundation upon which new discoveries and paradigm shifts can be built. It is the activity of “normal science” that allows for the advancement of scientific knowledge, and thus the scientific revolution.

Kuhn’s concept of normal science has been widely accepted and has had a major impact on the way scientists think and work. It has been used to explain the structure of scientific research and the way that scientists interact with each other. In addition, it has been used to explain why some scientific theories and ideas are accepted while others are rejected. Ultimately, normal science is a key concept in understanding how science works, and it continues to be a major part of scientific discourse.

References

Kuhn, T. S. (1962). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

McMullin, E. (1977). The Nature of Normal Science. In E. McMullin (Ed.), The Concept of Normal Science (pp. 17-31). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Reidel.

Schickore, J. (2006). The Nature of Normal Science Revisited. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 37(4), 531-558. doi:10.1016/j.shpsa.2006.05.007

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