The essential tension

Table of Contents

The essential tension

Tradition and Innovation in Scientific Research. Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide. An abstract is required. Reading Log: “The Essential Tension: Tradition and Innovation in Scientific Research” Summary Kuhn (1991) in “The Essential Tension: Tradition and Innovation in Scientific Research” states that the basic scientist should not have prejudice so as to be able to recognize obvious and facts or concepts without having to accept them, and this is in effect should allow him to be as creative as possible (p. 459).

The essential tension
The essential tension

In this article, Kuhn believes that the best results are achieved when one uses the tools that he has rather than wasting time thinking of other alternatives (p. 458). He brings to question the reliability of divergent thinking in scientific work and research.

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According to him, convergent type of thinking is just as important in the success of science as is the divergent type of thinking. He says that although these two thought processes are completely contradictory to each other, the tension they generate has the ability to bring out the best outcome in a scientific research. He compares this tension with how scientists normally abandon a scientific practice in pursuit of another one that is new or incompatible with the old one. He says that this revolution is one of the major factors of success in any scientific work (p. 460).

The essential tension
essential tension


According to Kuhn (1991), essential tension is very important in the area of scientific research (p. 458). He says that this is the tension that is brought about by the combination of two completely different ways of doing things. He also says that revolution is essential in the success of any scientific undertaking.

I concur with the author on the issue of conflict that comes about as a result of changing the way that we do things in our daily lives. However, I also do not think that opting for one way of doing things should result to a conflict. Revolutionalizing some aspects of some aspects of our everyday lives is inevitable, but the revolution should be done rationally. I think that two opposing ideas can be combined to come up with something excellent, better than what could have been achieved if only one idea had been used.

Technology has greatly influenced the way people carry out their everyday businesses. Before the computer age, most people used to keep hard copies of their documents. However this was a very efficient way of storing important information about individuals and companies. Therefore, when technology presented a new way of storing the same information, many people abandoned the old storage and opted for the soft copy mode of storage.

This is not to say that it is very safe, but it is better than the old method. The ability to be flexible must be one that every individual should embrace in order to live in harmony with others. The world is changing at a very fast rate and anyone not willing to move along with the change is normally left wishing he would have joined the bandwagon.

In the business field, the focus has moved from being company oriented to being market oriented. The quality of products and services being offered by many of today’s companies is very high and this stirs up competition. The only way to stay relevant is to change marketing strategy and focus on the people for whom these products and services are created.

In today’s world, the customer is king, and therefore, every thing has to be done to make him happy. This is different from how marketing was done in the past, when advertisements were not so much about the customer but about the company itself. Those companies that have turned to the new marketing strategies that focus on the consumer have greatly benefited as compared to those who decided to stick to the old way of doing things.


Kuhn, T.S. (1991). The essential tension: Tradition and innovation in scientific research. In Boyd, P.G. and Trout, J.D, The philosophy of science (pp. 455-473). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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