“Man tries to make for himself in the fashion that suits him best a simplified and intelligible picture of the world. . . . The supreme task is to arrive at those universal elementary laws from which the cosmos can be built up by pure deduction. There is no logical path to these laws; only intuition, resting on sympathetic understanding of experience, can reach them.” — Albert Einstein, 1918
If I had to pick to most dominant theme in the discussion of Kuhn’s famous book, it would be the specter of relativism. The most controversial aspect of Kuhn’s work is the claim that the world itself changes with each paradigm shift, Dylan says in the precognition of episode 86. There has been much negative reaction, Seth says, to Kuhn’s picture of science as a human endeavor, as opposed to science as the quest for “Truth” with a capital “T”. Yes, Mark agrees, Kuhn is rejecting the myth of the given. And presumably because of this strong note of anti-realism, Wes says that Kuhn’s conclusions are “too strong” and he has been “over-interpreted” too. If Kuhn’s picture asks us to give up on the notion that scientific inquiry is progressing toward the one and only Objective Truth, then what kind of truth is science ‘progressing’ toward?