Normal Science and the Operation of Interests
At the end of the last chapter we were left with the conclusion that there is nothing at all robust about knowledge. It does not determine its own applications. It does not have the power to impose itself upon agents. If it is accepted and if it is extended in agreed ways, then this must be because actors have achieved a practical agreement about the utility of that knowledge in a particular extension. The example of Euler’s theorem of poly— hedra suggested that conflicting interests will lead rapidly to conflicting networks in the face of anomaly or novelty.
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- 2.T. S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 2nd edn (Chicago University Press, Chicago, 1970) p. 24. In this quotation Kuhn uses the term ‘paradigm’ by which he intends the practically-shared network that comprises theory and exemplary applications. It is also worth noting that the ‘relatively inflexible box’ of the paradigm is flexible at least to the extent that we have suggested in the preceding paragraphs. Kuhn’s extensive use of examples elsewhere in the book — for instance his discussion of dynamics after Newton — makes it clear that this ‘flexible’ reading is justified.Google Scholar