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Things Ancient and New: The Logic of Scientific Discovery in Thomas Kuhn

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Instructor: Samuel Loncar, Ph.D. | Yale University
Episode 5, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions: An Introduction

According to Thomas Kuhn, the most mature sciences have only a limited tolerance for novelty. Contrary to the common image of scientific progress as a continuous series of discoveries, Kuhn shows it’s actually the progress of paradigms towards ever greater precision. Progress in normal science thus does not aim at novelty but the enrichment of the depth and concreteness of the theory.

Drawing on the the insights of Edward Witten’s defense of string theory, Episode 5 of Kuhn: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions explores the concept of novelty and discovery in Section IV: “The Nature of Normal Science.”


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Instructor Bio

Samuel Loncar is a philosopher, scholar of religion and science, poet, and Editor of the Marginalia Review of Books. https://marginaliareviewofbooks.com

He received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 2019 and specializes in philosophy and its connection to religion, science, and the growth and preservation of knowledge in the digital age.

Samuel is the founder and creator of the Becoming Human Project, a multi-media project to bring philosophy as a way of life to everyone and build a community of creators seeking a more meaningful life. The Project was born from a new story about philosophy, religion, and science, rooted in Samuel’s research and made available to the public in Becoming Human, Series 1: Origins: https://www.samuelloncar.com/bhpodcast

Born in Athens, Greece, Samuel’s ancestors’ give him global roots: in Okinawa, Japan, among the Chippewa (or Ojibwe) people, and in Eastern Europe.

Samuel’s diverse background motivated his search for a truth that would respect his upbringing but answer his hardest questions, leading him to discover, at age 14, an ancient philosophy text that converted him to philosophy as a way of life.

Through years of research and practice, motivated by that moment, Samuel has discovered a path in the buried past that opens onto a better future.

He walks that path to bridge the ancient and the modern worlds by recovering philosophy as a way of becoming human in a posthuman age.

He has taught at Yale University and gives consultations, workshops, and lectures. His writing has been read at Google, taught in classes and universities across the world, and translated into Chinese and Farsi.

As a consultant and speaker, he has had the privilege to partner with clients like the United Nations, Oliver Wyman, and Redbull Arts. He is developing a new ecosystem for accessible global education in philosophy, religion, and culture through the Becoming Human Project, and working to integrate science and spirituality for a new age.

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