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ERIC Number: EJ925090
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jul
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 64
ISSN: ISSN-0926-7220
The Nature of Scientific Revolutions from the Vantage Point of Chaos Theory: Toward a Formal Model of Scientific Change
Perla, Rocco J.; Carifio, James
Science & Education, v14 n3-5 p263-290 Jul 2005
In sharp contrast to the early positivist view of the nature of science and scientific knowledge, Kuhn argues that the scientific enterprise involves states of continuous, gradual development punctuated by comparatively rare instances of turmoil and change, which ultimately brings about a new stability and a qualitatively changed knowledge base. Although this discontinuous or nonlinear view of scientific knowledge is shared by a number of philosophers of science and science educators currently, Kuhn's description of how progress in science occurs has never been formally modeled from a nonlinear mathematical perspective. In this article, we represent aspects of Kuhn's main thesis and ideas as stated in his classic work "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" using catastrophe theory, which is a particular instantiation of chaos theory capable of describing discontinuous phenomenon. Through this catastrophe theory representation we attempt to depict and develop a formal nonlinear model of scientific change. The pedagogical implications of the model developed and presented are discussed.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A