Weekly Reading Notes Handout

Weekly Reading Notes Handout - August 26, 2009 Weekly...

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Weekly Reading Notes Handout The key to reading notes is that they are intended to be useful , both for this class and for your broader academic career. As such, the form of your reading notes will vary by what you find useful. At a minimum, they should include a full citation, a summary of the text, and your reaction to it. Beyond that it is up to you. You may prefer to take stream of consciousness notes, cataloging your thoughts as you read. Or you may prefer a detailed summary followed by a few questions. Below are a few samples of my reading notes. You will see that I tend to stick to a close reading of the text, adding my own reactions sporadically. This is my preference, and you are free to differ as you find useful. Notes on a 9 page article: Kuhn, Tomas S. 1970. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Second Edition. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, pages 66-91, 198-207 Main Points: Paradigms are developed within a field of science in order provide a way to interpret the natural phenomena observed. They are so ingrained in the training and practice of a scientist that it takes considerable evidence in order to change one’s paradigm. Paradigm shift is hard to come by and requires two elements: 1) a crisis in the field wherein scientists are increasingly unable to explain the phenomena they observe using the framework of the old paradigm; and 2) a new, competing paradigm which, by comparison is better able to handle these empirical problems. A competing paradigm is necessary because theories must be compared in order to be judged; a paradigm cannot be simply discarded, it must be replaced. Major Concepts: Paradigm: a way of interpreting the world, or more specifically at one’s particular set of research problems. For example, historical systems of astronomy centering the universe first on the earth, with all other bodies revolving around it, then on the sun. Everything else in the study of astronomy is built upon this fundamental concept. Crisis: the point at which too much counterevidence exists to support the continuing viability of the old paradigm. An example is the incompatibilities to Newton’s theory in physics which eventually gave rise to the acceptance of Einstein’s theory of relativity. Sadly, having never taken a physics course, I don’t really understand the technicalities.
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Weekly Reading Notes Handout - August 26, 2009 Weekly...

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