By Imre & MUSGRACE, Alan Ed LAKATOS
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Extra resources for Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge
All page-numbers given in the text refer to K uhn’s . S9 6o MARGARET MASTERMAN philosophers of science, they find any thinking that is based on it opaque. Kuhn’s form of thinking, however, is not in fact opaque, but complex, since, philosophically speaking, it reflects the complexity of its material. In an analogous way Lakatos, in Proofs and Refutations^ has introduced a new complexity and realism into our conception of mathematics, because he has taken a close look at what mathematicians really do when they refine and change each other’s devices and ideas.
You may say, perhaps, that in so describing Kuhn’s ‘normal’ science, I am implicitly and surreptitiously criticizing him. I shall therefore state again that what Kuhn has described does exist, and that it must be taken into account by historians of science. That it is a phenomenon which I dislike (because I regard it as a danger to science) while he apparently does not dislike it (because he regards it as ‘normal’) is another question; admittedly, a very important one. r In my view the ‘normal’ scientist, as Kuhn describes him, is a person one ought to be sorry for.
The success of the ‘normal’ scientist consists, entirely, in showing that the ruling theory can be properly and satis factorily applied in order to reach a solution of the puzzle in question. Kuhn’s description of the ‘normal’ scientist vividly reminds me of a conversation I had with my late friend, Philip Frank, in 1933 or there abouts. Frank at that time bitterly complained about the uncritical approach to science of the majority of his Engineering students. They merely wanted to ‘know the facts’.