ADVANTAGES

Given that cyclic theories of history have, for the most part, longgiven way to linear, progressive accounts, readers may be surprised atKuhn critic, physicist Stephen Weinberg’s comment thatKuhn’s overall model is still, in a sense, cyclic (Weinberg2001). In fact, Kuhn himself had already recognized this. After thefounding paradigm in Kuhn’s account in Structure, wehave normal science under a paradigm, then crisis, then revolution,then a new paradigm—a development that brings back a new periodof normal science. At this abstract level of description, the model isindeed cyclic, but of course the new paradigm heads the science inquestion in a new direction rather than returning it to a previousstate. Other commentators, including Marxists, have regardedKuhn’s mechanism as dialectical, as illustrated by thesuccession of self-undermining developments in the theory of light,from a Newtonian particle theory to a wave theory to a new kind ofwave-particle duality. (For the dialectical interpretation seeespecially Krajewski 1977 and Nowak 1980 on the idealizationalapproach to science, as originated by Karl Marx.)

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