Kuhn's description of the aggregate dynamics of scientific change rests on a vague and fragmented account of how scientists choose between theories. Criteria of theory choice are not an algorithmic set of rules waiting to be discovered but rather "rules of thumb": vague and conflicting. Theory choice
can therefore never be settled by logic and experiment alone,
but relies on "persuasion" and "conversion". And once converted, scientists "dogmatically" stick to their paradigm even when good reasons arise for its
rejection. The lack (impossibility?) of rationality on Kuhn's approach is one
of the main reasons why Kuhn's philosophy of science failed to gain
widespread acceptance despite its intuitive appeal and popularity among
practicing cientists. 50 years after the publication of the Structure of
Scientific Revolutions the following questions still arise:
- Is an
account of Kuhnian rationality impossible or did Kuhn just fail to articulate
- In what sense can Kuhnian scientists be said to be rational?
Can new perspectives (network theory, bounded confidence,...) on rationality
clarify Kuhn's claims to rationality?
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