Kuhn vs Popper’s Approaches to Science

Kuhn vs Popper’s Approaches to Science

Popper’s and Kuhn’s stance on the philosophy of science conflicts, especially in the progression of science. The positions taken by the two philosophers have brought differences among the thinkers on which is the right approach to employ in the advancement of science (Uhlmann, 2017). Popper advocates for high standards that are characterized by the scientific objectivity. He argues that scientists should constantly disprove their work; this would ensure increased research and as a result progress science further. According to Popper, any scientific theory should be a subject of disproval. Therefore, if a scientific theory has not yet been disapproved, it is evident that no extra research has been undertaken to explore more of the phenomenon or it meets the adequate contributions from the scientific community (George, 2016). On the other hand, Kuhn research on the science of theory holds that science (normal science) operates within defined paradigms and assumptions that are used as provided but not subjected to testing. According to Kuhn, scientists advance their work based on the common assumptions, and as a result, they strongly resist any attempts that may question the central paradigm (Fuller, 2013). The different positions taken by Popper and Kuhn leads this paper to explore the major differences exhibited by the two philosophers on approaches to science. Besides, the paper will investigate how their positions can be expressed in the study of political science.

As exhibited above, Popper noted that scientific theory is built on the hypothesis. Therefore, any scientific concept should be subjected to destruction through testing. Popper went further to argue that any scientific evidence that does not meet the thresholds of the hypothesis should be rejected (George, 2016). In the same light, the author tries to depict that no research hypothesis that can be said to be proven. On the other side, Kuhn uses a different approach to explain how scientific theories are created. In his argument, Kuhn used “normal science” concept to illustrate that scientists’ work is based on several topics that rely on core paradigm or assumption (Fuller, 2013). Contrarily to the Popper’s argument Kuhn views any scientific work that deviates from the central paradigm as the wrong one. According to Kuhn, END OF PREVIEW ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW


Fuller, S. (2013). Kuhn vs. Popper The Struggle for the Soul of Science. Cambridge: Icon Books UK.

George, J. (2016). A Review of Scientific Approach in the Methodology of Social Science Research: Contributions of Kuhn, Popper, and Lakatos. kalamassery: St Pauls College.

Marletta, M. (2013). Dogmatism, Learning and Scientific Practices. European Journal Of Pragmatism And American Philosophy, 2(3), 59-73.

Uhlmann, A. (2017). Approaches to the (Beckett) Archives: Popper, Coetzee, and Scientific Validity. Journal of Beckett Studies, 26(1), 103-117. doi:doi.org/10.3366/jobs.2017.0190

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