Quote from Thomas S. Kuhn

In other cases, however-those of Copernicus, Einstein,...

2018-05-01

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In other cases, however-those of Copernicus, Einstein, and contemporary nuclear theory, for example-considerable time elapses between the first consciousness of breakdown and the emergence of a new paradigm. When that occurs, the historian may capture at least a few hints of what extraordinary science is like. Faced with an admittedly fundamental anomaly in theory, the scientist's first effort will often be to isolate it more precisely and give it structure. Though now aware that they cannot be quite right, he will push the rules of normal science harder than ever to see, in the area of difficulty, just where and how far they can be made to work. Simultaneously he will seek for ways of magnifying the breakdown, of making it more striking and perhaps also more suggestive than it had been when displayed in experiments the outcome of which was thought to be known in advance. And in the latter effort, more than in any other part of the post-paradigm development of science, he will look almost like our most prevalent image of the scientist. He will, in the first place, often seem a man searching at random, trying experiments just to see what will happen, looking for an effect whose nature he cannot quite guess. Simultaneously, since no experiment can be conceived without some sort of theory, the scientist in crisis will constantly try to generate speculative theories that, if successful, may disclose the road to a new paradigm and, if unsuccessful, can be surrendered with relative ease.

Thomas S. Kuhn
Thomas S. Kuhn in "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions"

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