states that he does not think any man engaged in a normal research problem is
doing it to be useful, explore new territory, find order or test established
knowledge. Kuhn does say however that
these four aspects are what attract a man to science. These motives help the man determine what problems he will engage
in. Despite this, Kuhn says the
individual engaged in the normal research problem is “almost never doing any
one of these things.
uses his metaphor of comparing paradigms and problem solving to puzzles to help
explain his statements. He says that
once engaged in the problem, the scientist’s motivation for solving it is very
different from the four motives listed earlier. According to Kuhn, most scientists’ motivation is to succeed in
solving a problem that no one before him has.
Many men have devoted their entire careers to working on problems that
could give them this satisfaction.
There are many parallelisms between puzzles and the problems of normal
science. Not only is there one definite
solution to each, but also there are rules that bound how the solution is
reached and the steps toward that solution.
For example Newton’s Law served as a limit to acceptable solutions
during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. When scientists in the eighteenth century tried to derive the
observed motion of the moon through Newton’s laws, they consistently
failed. Scientists suggested replacing
one of the laws in order to get around this problem, but that would result in
creating a new paradigm and changing he problem. This would not solve the original problem.
a more concrete level than the rules of how problems are solved, is the
commitment to what instruments can be used and how they can be used to help
solve scientific problems. For example
fire became an important instrument in chemical analyses and the development of
chemistry in the seventeenth century.
These types of instrumental commitments are another parallel between
puzzles and normal problems.
set of commitments, at a higher level is that a scientist must be concerned
with understanding the world with precision and accuracy.
This commitment must lead him to scrutinize
the work of himself and his colleagues in great empirical detail. If questions or problems arise in his
scrutiny he must refine his observational technique to fix the problem.
these types of commitments are involved with defining the rules for which a man
must follow when involved with a normal research problem. They are also a principal source of the
metaphor comparing puzzle-solving with normal science. It is this similarity with puzzle-solving
that Kuhn believes makes individuals engage in normal research problems. The self-satisfaction they receive out of
completing a puzzle, or in this case solving a normal problem is the motivation
for engaging in the problem. It is this
personal challenge of bringing a problem to a solution that more appealing than
the desire to be useful, exploring new territory, finding order or testing long-accepted
feel the reasons he uses to support his claim that men engage in problems from
the motivation to solve something no one else has are good ones. He gives examples of research that was done
more for the benefit of the individual doing the research than for the reasons
that men are attracted to science in the beginning. I would agree that most people do things for the
self-satisfaction you have when completing what you set out to do or doing something
no one else has. This is why Kuhn has
good support for saying that individuals do not engage in normal research
problems for the motivation of being useful, discovering new territory, finding
order or testing beliefs.