The Value of Ignorance in the Progress of Science: A Revision to Kuhn on Why Revolutions in Science Must Happen

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Goldhaber, Michael H
preprint description
Why do scientific revolutions occur? Not chiefly because of accumulated anomalies, as Kuhn originally suggested. Rather, it is because scientists each must start from scratch. If a paradigm remains successful long enough, newcomers to the field will take more time than they can afford to get up to speed. If a new paradigm jettisons much former knowledge, it will seem increasingly attractive. While advances in the old paradigm require high levels of experience and sophistication even to understand, the new, once its basic mindset is adopted, is replete with low-hanging fruit.