Skepticism, Relativism, and the Growth of Knowledge: An Exposition and Critical Analysis of Thomas Kuhn's View of the Structure of Change
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I find in Kuhn the synthesis of several ideas to which my studies, especially at Kalamazoo College, but which presumably date back even further, have led me. Primary among these is my belief that the development of western culture has been founded chiefly on so great an emphasis on logical thinking that an equally important ability -- creative thinking -- has become an uncommonly difficult talent to develop. I fear that exclusively logical thinking cannot provide solutions to the important problems which now threaten our continued existence on this planet. I do not mean to suggest that Kuhn shares this belief, but in his thesis I see the possibility of rectifying this imbalance. Secondly, his comparison of the conceptualization of a system with gestalt switches, which prompts him to liken the acceptance of a new paradigm to religious conversion strikes me as intuitively obvious; yet the similarity has been commonly denied or, at least, previously unnoticed. My reason for supporting Kuhn in this regard dates back to my secondary education when I discovered that making sense of new mathematical systems resembled conversion experiences. Finally, due to what others would probably call my pessimism but I prefer to consider my historical awareness, I am reluctant to suppose that science is any closer to the truth today than it ever was. This opinion is surely the most recent of the reasons here given, and one which I thank Kuhn for helping to substantiate. The origin for this belief is undoubtedly my earlier fanaticism about Whitehead's thought, and with Kuhn's corroboration, the question of whether or not that fanaticism was justified is now irrelevant.