The development of science second paper assignment



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HONORS 280 -- THE DEVELOPMENT OF SCIENCE

SECOND PAPER ASSIGNMENT

Due: 12/4/09

Length: This is up to you. But I can imagine you covering everything in 5 well composed pages.


I. I want you to write an essay about the period in astronomy from Plato (and Eudoxus) to Newton (including Aristotle, Ptolomy, Copernicus, Brahe, and Kepler and Galileo), in which you describe the major developmental turns of thought and argument. For instance, describe changes in developing attitudes toward perfect circularity and action at a distance (just to name two -- I want you to identify at least one more).
II. Now consider two extreme points in this story: Ptolemy’s astronomy, as supplemented by Aristotle's physics) and Kepler's astronomy, as it became subsequently supplemented by Newton's physics. Now, consider the central claims of Kuhn on scientific revolutions, in particular the incompatibility and incommensurability theses.
A. In your own reflective opinions, describe whether or not you think that these two book ending paradigms cited above are
1. Incompatible

2. Incommensurable


and say why or why not.
B. Do you think that two paradigms can be both incompatible and incommensurable? Say why or why not.

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