IDEA – The Essential Tension


IDEA: The Essential Tension



“In the late 1950s, Thomas Kuhn presented an analysis of what he called “the essential tension between tradition and innovation”; an analysis that later became the core of Kuhn’s phase model of scientific development in terms of normal science and revolutions.

[Kuhn] focused on the apparent paradox that, while normal research is a highly convergent activity based upon a settled consensus, progress (rather than mere description) has the ultimate effect changing the tradition.”   

  • (The word “essential” refers to the “necessary” or “indispensible” role played by the  co-constituting processes of convergent and divergent thought–an amalgam of two seemingly mutually exclusive traits (