Debates within Science essay

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The science community has been griped by great debates over the last 350 years, whereby older and new scientists fight to justify various theories as the truths of science. For instance, Kuhn’s paradigms in scientific research and theorizing are said to have totally changed the view of scientific progress. The main aim of this essay is to examine the modifications and corrections made by Polkinghorne’s moderate, post-Kuhnian view of science on the epistemic confidence of Bacon and Peirce.

Kuhn argues that in the world-view of science, there are a series of revolutionary changes in which one postulation had very little connection with a previous one. This contrasts previous view that one theory is added to another in a steady progression to arrive at the truth. He also doubted that science will ever find a truth. Therefore, Kuhn out rightly rejected the positivistic notion knowledge progression through his concept of paradigm (Thomas Kuhn's concept of paradigm, n.d.).

According to Bacon, the basis of knowledge should not be on obedience, for instance to religious authorities, but on observation. On the other hand, Charles Peirce argued that true knowledge is that practical value to address the issues of the world. Polkinghorne thought that in postmodernism’s many forms, there are three consequences that will impact ‘service professions’ such as psychology and social work. These are characterized as foundationless, fragmentariness and constructivism. His suggestion is that knowledge cannot be justified at all if there is no strong foundation for knowledge claims. The same case will happen if it is not applicable across cultures (Geelan, n.d.). 

 Polkinghorne’s arguments are more convincing, since true science that will solve well the challenges in the world must have a firm foundation. There is no problem, since one theory is relating to another. Thus, whatever theories are, whether adding to other theories before or completely new, the basis of truth should be how the knowledge passes across is applicable to provide for answers regarding issues in the world today.


The debates in science are based on which knowledge is true with regards to what source they arise from. Some scientists criticize knowledge based on previous theories as the foundation, as in the case of Bacon and Peirce, while Kuhn does not agree with this view while Polkinghorne moderates these firm stands by stating that whatever the basis is, it must be a true foundation for future arguments.

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