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by Howard Margolis

  • ISBN: 0226505227
  • Category: Math & Science
  • Author: Howard Margolis
  • Subcategory: History & Philosophy
  • Other formats: lrf mbr azw doc
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; 1 edition (August 15, 1993)
  • Pages: 275 pages
  • FB2 size: 1877 kb
  • EPUB size: 1463 kb
  • Rating: 4.4
  • Votes: 923
Download Paradigms and Barriers: How Habits of Mind Govern Scientific Beliefs (Dissertation Series; 144) fb2

These habits of minds govern our cognitive processes and are similar to what .

These habits of minds govern our cognitive processes and are similar to what Polanyi called "tacit knowledge". Habits of mind guide our critical intuitions within a community and are therefore constitutive of a paradigm. A barrier is an entrenched habit of mind that can block a cognitive breakthrough in science. The conceptual distance between a prevailing view and a conflicting new proposal determines whether or not a paradigm shift within a scientific community takes place. This book by Howard Margolis is really an academic text and is certainly not intended for the average non-academic reader.

PDF Habits of mind, like physical habits, are usually not explicitly taught or recognized are learned slowly, and are . How we measure 'reads'

PDF Habits of mind, like physical habits, are usually not explicitly taught or recognized are learned slowly, and are changed with difficulty, if a. .How we measure 'reads'.

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1 Ptolemaic Belief in a Copernican World - 11. Hobbes versus Boyle - 12. A Note on the Scientific Revolution - 13.

Habits of Mind - 2. Paradigms - 3. Barriers - 4. The Overthrow of Phlogiston: 1 - 5. The Overthrow of Phlogiston: 2 - 6. The Emergence of Probability - 7. A Ptolemaic Tutorial - 8. A "New" Ptolemaic System - 9. A Copernican Detective Story - 10. Ptolemaic Belief in a Copernican World - 11. On Whiggishness.

In Paradigms and Barriers Howard Margolis offers an innovative interpretation of Thomas S. Kuhn's landmark idea of "paradigm shifts," applying insights from cognitive psychology to the history and philosophy of science

In Paradigms and Barriers Howard Margolis offers an innovative interpretation of Thomas S. Kuhn's landmark idea of "paradigm shifts," applying insights from cognitive psychology to the history and philosophy of science.

Margolis, Howard (1993). Paradigms and Barriers: How Habits of Mind Govern Scientific Beliefs". Margolis, Howard (1982). Selfishness, Altruism and Rationality: A Theory of Social Change". University of Chicago Press. Margolis, Howard (1987). Patterns, Thinking, and Cognition: A Theory of Judgment.

Keywords: habits, Scientific Beliefs, Mind Govern, Govern Scientific, Howard Margolis, Chicago Press. For questions or feedback, please reach us at support at scilit.

Paradigms and Barriers: How Habits of Mind Govern Scientific Beliefs. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993. Published online by Cambridge University Press: 02 September 2013.

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In Paradigms and Barriers Howard Margolis offers an innovative interpretation of Thomas S. Kuhn's landmark idea of "paradigm shifts," applying insights from cognitive psychology to the history and philosophy of science. Building upon the arguments in his acclaimed Patterns, Thinking, and Cognition, Margolis suggests that the breaking down of particular habits of mind—of critical "barriers"—is key to understanding the processes through which one model or concept is supplanted by another. Margolis focuses on those revolutionary paradigm shifts— such as the switch from a Ptolemaic to a Copernican worldview—where challenges to entrenched habits of mind are marked by incomprehension or indifference to a new paradigm. Margolis argues that the critical problem for a revolutionary shift in thinking lies in the robustness of the habits of mind that reject the new ideas, relative to the habits of mind that accept the new ideas. Margolis applies his theory to famous cases in the history of science, offering detailed explanations for the transition from Ptolemaic to cosmological astronomy, the emergence of probability, the overthrow of phlogiston, and the emergence of the central role of experiment in the seventeenth century. He in turn uses these historical examples to address larger issues, especially the nature of belief formation and contemporary debates about the nature of science and the evolution of scientific ideas. Howard Margolis is a professor in the Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies and in the College at the University of Chicago. He is the author of Selfishness, Altruism, and Rationality and Patterns, Thinking, and Cognition, both published by the University of Chicago Press.
Reviews about Paradigms and Barriers: How Habits of Mind Govern Scientific Beliefs (Dissertation Series; 144) (3):
catterpillar
Why is it that at some periods of history it took hundreds of years to discover and important new law while all empirical data had long been available to logically infer the law or theory? This major question in the history and philosophy of science is being tackled by the barrier theory. The highly original work of Howard Margolis argues for the bold and strong thesis that revolutions in science mainly consist in surmounting a single conceptual barrier that prevents the emergence of a new theory. Margolis has previously published Patterns, Thinking and Cognition in which he argued that pattern recognition is all there is to cognition. In his defence of the barrier theory, he starts from the cognitive pattern he calls "habits of mind". These habits of minds govern our cognitive processes and are similar to what Polanyi called "tacit knowledge". Habits of mind guide our critical intuitions within a community and are therefore constitutive of a paradigm. A barrier is an entrenched habit of mind that can block a cognitive breakthrough in science. The conceptual distance between a prevailing view and a conflicting new proposal determines whether or not a paradigm shift within a scientific community takes place.
Margolis illustrates with historical examples how overcoming these barriers was critical for the emergence of new ideas in the seventeenth century. Even if one doubts the core idea of the barrier theory, Margolis' exposition on some of the major discoveries of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries are convincing and truly original. In his account on the Copernican revolution Margolis shows that the critical barrier to overcome was not that of a stationary earth, as sometimes suggested, but the step to a heliocentric model with nested spheres. Using recently discovered notes of Copernicus on the Alphonsine tables, Margolis shows how logically simple it was to step from geocentric to heliocentric astronomy, but - as is typical with habits of minds - conceptually very difficult. Also his treatment of the emergence of probability theory is highly original. All intuitions for a probability theory were present for centuries, but the habit of mind was to perceive probability as a result of a bargaining process, like a fair price for the risks involved. The breakthrough of Pascal and Fermat was to attach a single quantifiable number to the concept of probability that was not considered to be countable. Once this missing concept was introduced of usefully attaching numbers to comparative values even if there is nothing immediately to count, a theory of probability could be established. Other case studies treated by Margolis are the overthrow of the phlogiston theory in the eighteenth century and the dispute between Hobbes and Boyle about the air pump. The conceptual barrier to view phlogiston as the negative for oxygen was removed by Cavendish's weight experiments with a mixture of inflammable air (hydrogen) and dephlogisticated air (oxygen) producing water when exploded. That was the birth of pneumatic chemistry in which gases suddenly became part of chemistry and which provided Lavoisier with arguments to abandon phlogiston. The dispute between Hobbes and Boyle on the air pump and the existence of vacuum is the subject of Shapin and Shaffer's seminal case study of constructivist analysis. Margolis is highly critical of their social constructivist approach and argues that they are simply wrong in their representation of Hobbes account. Instead of a constructivist interpretation, the dispute can be explained by the fact that the counterintuitive premise of living "at the bottom of an ocean of air" acted as a conceptual barrier for Hobbes understanding of the Boyle's experiments.
There can be some doubts about the nature of habits of minds acting as conceptual barriers in the process of scientific discovery. Margolis gives little evidence from experimental psychology or cognitive science to prove his case. But the analysis and case studies presented in the book are truly original and provide new insights for a theory on discovery. This work can therefore not be neglected in the study of scientific revolutions and philosophy of science.
Agagamand
Margolis has a good premiss on the impact of habits of mind on our ability to perceive flaws in current theory and practice. However this information has been known to behavioral scientists for decades. Like Kuhn he has taken well known human traits and spun them into a "new" discovery. Old hat to people working in organizational change. The real annoyance with this book, apart from having paid for it, is that the main thesis is detailed in the first 29 pages and the next 200 pages give you more detail than you would ever wish on early chemistry and ptolemic astronomy. Get it from the library, if you must, my copy's going to the second hand book store for a refund to minimize expenses.
Ka
This book by Howard Margolis is really an academic text and is certainly not intended for the average non-academic reader. There are plenty of readers who read interesting material such as the title promises but are not experts in the field. Whether they be academics themselves, in other fields, or scholars or simply someone willing to read more intellectually than the magazine and coffee crowd.
Although vaguely related to Kuhn's well known work, Kuhn never suggested that scientific advances were hindered by old habitual forms of scientific thought. Nonetheless there does exist a relationship in that Kuhn thought that there were periods of ordinary science followed by revolutionary steps which could have been prevented because of old ways of thinking. Old ways of thought is one claim but actually stating that it is the typically human trait of habits that cause these problems is another.
Margolis does exactly this, and rightly so. It has been clear from behavioural studies that such habitual ways of thought strongly interfere with a new approach to a problem. Margolis suggests that it is in fact such habits which interfere here bringing to mind the commonly known expression about having to wait until your opponents died until it could be accepted. Margolis does not investigate this psychological aspect but rather makes his point early on in the book and then spends the rest of it, some 80 %, in demonstrating how this occurred in explicit detail for the Copernican revolution, Boyles work on gas theory and phlogiston.
Unfortunately two main points must be made, firstly the writing style of Margolis. This kind of writing is made for academic analysis and not for reading. The book is not well written and is clearly what has been noticed by earlier reviewers. The second point relates to the fact that Margolis takes much time in describing the facts surrounding each of the different cases dealt with. It is not a criticism that these aspects are dealt with in such laborious detail, rather it is the fact that the psychology of human habitual thought is not studied in anywhere near the required depth to explain why this kind of thinking persists (it is not enough just to say that certain kinds of facts force this).
Nonetheless this kind of work needed to be done and Margolis has done the groundwork to continue a more in depth study of the human thought that gives rise to this kind of scientific history.

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