Applying Kuhn’s Structure to biological aging research, part 1: initial questions

Recently I acquired a free copy of Kuhn’s classic The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Second Edition with Postscript 1969) and immediately realised its potential to help us understand what’s going on in biological aging/longevity research currently. See my Twitter thread under hashtag #studyingstructure. This book is perhaps the best example of a 20th century philosophy – philosophy of science, to be more accurate – book that is easy to read and easy to popularise and was actually immensely read already. This also means easy to misunderstand and overgeneralise, see the mainstream over-use of the word paradigm, but this does not concern us here, since we are applying it within it’s own domain, to conceptually make sense historical change in a scientific discipline.

What seems sure is that we are at a historical turning point in aging science, I’ve already hinted at in What is the philosophy of biological aging research/biogerontology/translational geroscience/? Introduction.

I’ve read Structure in Hungarian while a philosophy undergrad back in Budapest, but this time reading it in the original English is way more exciting as I can apply it to my own discipline, biological aging/longevity research, and save time on primary interpretation.

For this first post, am being lazy and for philosophers it means firing several questions quick and I can rely on my Twitter thread. Let’s call these direct questions. Am currently only finishing Chapter 6, so will add more questions here later.

Then I’ll go deeper in subsequent post and become particular about these questions, sometimes by posing more derivative, indirect questions.

Direct Questions, applying Kuhn’s concepts, highlighted in bold:

  1. What constitutes ‘normal science’ in aging research today?
  2. Kuhn mentions 4 types of rules of game for normal-scientific puzzle solving including theoretical, conceptual/ontological, methodological, instrumental commitments, what are examples of these rules 4 current aging research/geroscience?
  3. What can be an example of an anomaly of current aging research?
  4. Do we have a new paradigm emerging in aging research or not?
  5. If yes, what is at the core of this new paradigm?