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By F. D'Agostino

In deciding on that the fundamental pressure is the stability among conservative and cutting edge methods within the improvement of information -- tried-and validated or new instructions -- Kuhn mentioned that those attitudes are either acceptable. This examine provides to this photograph the social and mental dynamics that underpin this kind of balancing.

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Extra resources for Naturalizing Epistemology: Thomas Kuhn and the 'Essential Tension'

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T]he tension produced by minority dissent and the majority’s desire to resolve this tension produce divergent thinking: Majority members consider the issues from multiple perspectives, one of which is suggested by the minority. De Dreu and West report the results of experiments, in effect; they are telling us what people confronted by dissenting opinions do actually (sometimes anyway) do. Christopher McMahon, approaching the matter philosophically and hence not purely empirically, arrives, however, at much the same analysis.

In such a case, there can be disagreement because each is focusing on different facts, yet exchanging factual information will not solve the problem because as new information is brought to mind, old information inevitably slips from view. Even without exceeding the limits of our current vocabularies, then, there is, demonstrably, much more of potential relevance in ordinary everyday situations than we can possibly encompass, in real time, in our thinking. Even, indeed, when we divide the labor of devising situationrelevant descriptions, as in my classroom thought experiment, we never get anything remotely like all, or even indeed any very substantial portion, of the descriptions that actually might be relevant.

And, even when coherence is achieved, we may find that it is achieved at the cost of a certain arbitrariness—that we do not, in dividing labor coherently, necessarily divide it optimally. This deserves and will receive a much fuller discussion later in Chapter 7. Of course, even these very elementary observations point to a potential trade-off. While it may be better in one way to allocate A and B separate tasks (as in the decomposition of P), it will be worse in another way, as they cannot then cross-check each other’s work in the same way as when they are working in the replicative modality.

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