???The Historical Structure of Scientific Discovery???
In Kuhn??™s essay about ???The Historical Structure of Scientific Discovery???, he describes the discovery of oxygen and how an individual is credited with the discovery. Throughout the essay Kuhn show that he disagrees with the current vocabulary describing how and who is the one to be accredited with the discovery of a certain thing, in this case oxygen. He believes that in many cases oxygen was discovered well before when history tells it was and by a different person. The ones he believes to have discovered oxygen did in fact observe oxygen but at that time didn??™t fully understand what they were discovering. Given these facts Kuhn thinks that a new vocabulary should be used to describe who and when actually made a discovery.
Using the approach of considering first the historical problem presented by the attempt to and place a major class of fundamental discoveries, is how Kuhn would like to start as how to give credit to a discovery. The thought that without these prior attempts and attempts at these discoveries than the later discovers of oxygen wouldn??™t have any basis to be doing their experiments off of. This is why Kuhn thinks more credit should be given to these earlier scientists working on discovering oxygen because they paved the way for later scientists. Even though these earlier scientists didn??™t fully understand what oxygen was they still discovered its existence and were able to guide later observations in the full understanding of the element.
Another thought that counters the ideas of Kuhn is the traditional thought on the subject of discoveries and where the credit is given. With traditional thought, providing a detailed explanation of your discovery backed with repeated experimentation showing that you truly understand your discovery is the way your going to credited for your discovery and be recorded in history as the true discoverer, in this case of oxygen. This is generally accepted the to accredit a discovery because the only way you can prove a discovery is to be able to explain it in full detail of what you discovered, being able to show full understanding of the discovery. If you were unable to do this, what makes anyone believe you actually discovered oxygen You cannot possibly be accredited for discovery if you are unable to explain what you discovered. This is where Kahn??™s thoughts behind come into question from the standpoint of traditional thoughts behind discovery. A true discoverer has full understanding of what they have observe and are trying to enlighten the world about.
Not all of Kuhn??™s thoughts are wrong on this matter. The fact is the earlier observers of oxygen should be given credit for observing oxygen but not credit for the discovery of oxygen. This is I think what Kuhn is trying say, that the credit shouldn??™t all be given to one person because that wouldn??™t be the truth. Without one observation the next was less likely to happen thus resulting in the need to give credit to earlier scientists working with oxygen. This is where many will agree with Kuhn on the fact that we are in great need of a new vocabulary when it comes to giving credit where credit is needed. In order to do this Kuhn believes that we need to create a new vocabulary for distinguishing where credit should be given in the area of discoveries. With this new language we would be able describe discoveries without any confusion.
Taking in all of these thoughts I think Kuhn has devolved a proper understanding of what needs to happen with the vocabulary when it comes to describing discoveries. The need for this is very necessary because in order to describe discoveries and also it would be the best way to delegate credit to those who deserve it and at what levels of credit each person deserves. This is where Kuhn is thought to be right on his theory with the need to develop a new vocabulary.