sexta-feira, abril 12, 2019

"Creating Minds: An Anatomy of Creativity as Seen Through the Lives of Freud, Einstein, Picasso, Stravinsky, Eliot, Graham, and Gandhi" by Howard Gardner



Kuhn's book did indeed create its own paradigm shift. But curiously, Kuhn never seemed to realise that those who change paradigms are nearly always a completely different kind of scientist than those who extend existing ones. The paradigm breakers are those few who "can't be told anything", who automatically question everything, and who tend to either make a huge breakthrough or (more usually) to pass on without a ripple. They are the few who blew their stacks over the APS slogan "Science is Curiosity Satisfied" when it was accepted by a large majority of APS members - non-paradigm-breakers all.

When it comes to things like the Periodic Table, it's worth recalling that scientists clung on to Ptolemy's ideas for well over a thousand years. The paradigm shift initiated by the Copernican revolution didn't render obsolete the data built up over the previous millennia (indeed, it was used to support Copernicus's ideas), it just set it in a new light. Given the fact that scientists always change their minds, the same could happen here; the facts will remain the same, but they will be put in a new light. If the past is anything to go by, there is a very high probability this will happen. The Periodic Table is now understood in a vastly different way to Mendeleev, who invented it; Quantum Mechanics saw to that. Mendeleev knew nothing of electrons and protons, etc. [You can find the details in Eric Scerri's book on The Periodic Table.]

And, of course, Relativity Theory has meant that Geocentric models of the solar system are now no less scientific than Heliocentric models are -- the Equivalence Principle lies behind this shift (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/spacetime-iframes/ and http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2005/10/03/does-the-earth-move-around-the-sun/)

It's not a terribly sucessful take on the subject, but nevertheless read H.E.Gardner's "Creating Minds" to get a sense of those who kick science into progress.

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