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The Orwellian Dimension of Scientific Progress

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Kuhn claims after a revolutionary change of theory, scientists need to write new textbooks to incorporate the new theoretical perspective. The revisions do not merely involve the addition of the new discoveries. The task involves some rewriting of the history of the discipline. Kuhn suggests there are parallels to Orwell’s 1984. The “new” history of a scientific field is written to emphasize the continuity through the change. I examine the role Kuhn’s comparison to 1984 plays in his argument, and the significance of the rewriting of a discipline’s history after a change of theory. The process tells us something about both how scientists are trained to work effectively, and the nature of the changes that occur during a scientific revolution.
TitelKuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions at 60
RedaktørerK. Brad Wray
UdgivelsesstedCambridge, England
ForlagCambridge University Press
StatusAccepteret/In press - 2023
SerietitelCambridge Philosophical Anniversaries

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