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Thomas S. Kuhn (1922–1996)

Author of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

24+ Works 9,501 Members 102 Reviews 21 Favorited

About the Author

Thomas S. Kuhn's work is best described as a normative historiography of science. He was educated at Harvard University, where in 1949 he completed a doctorate in physics. As a student, he was impressed by the differences between scientific method, as conventionally taught, and the way science show more actually works. Before moving to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1979, he taught at Harvard University, the University of California at Berkeley, and Princeton University. Kuhn's most celebrated contribution to the philosophy of science is his controversial idea of paradigms and paradigm shifts. A paradigm is understood as a widely shared theoretical framework within which scientific research is conducted. According to Kuhn, science normally develops more or less smoothly within such a paradigm until an accumulation of difficulties reduces its effectiveness. The paradigm finally breaks down in a crisis, which is followed by the formation of a radically new paradigm in a so-called scientific revolution. The new paradigm is accepted, even though it might neither resolve all of the accumulated difficulties nor explain the data better than the older paradigm that it replaces. We find examples of paradigm shifts in the work of Copernicus, Galileo, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and others. Since its original publication in 1962, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions undoubtedly has been the single most influential book in the philosophy of science. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Works by Thomas S. Kuhn

La metafora nella scienza (1983) 2 copies

Associated Works

Philosophy of Science: The Central Issues (1998) — Contributor — 297 copies


Common Knowledge



Muy interesante, un incentivo a repensar las cosas, no siempre las cosas son como se cree solo por que así a sido desde antes, a veces es necesario repensarlas y puede que descubramos o teoricemos algo “nuevo”, bueno, y si no, ya solo el hecho de pensar y analizarlo es entretenido e interesante…
keplerhc | 88 other reviews | Jan 22, 2024 |
Trata da evolução dos paradigmas na na história das ciências.
rmmrodri | 88 other reviews | Oct 22, 2023 |
I would give this 6 stars if I could.

The theses of this work are fairly well know, to those who would come looking for it, so I will not get into that. Rather I will say that this is a book that deserves a re-reading or two (or three) for the nuance that runs all throughout it. I will certainly be coming back to it in a few months or a year.
1 vote
dcunning11235 | 88 other reviews | Aug 12, 2023 |
After buying a used copy, I found this more up-to-date version on Hoopla, and I recommend it instead of an older version.

As a non-scientist, I kept hearing about this book in various places, notably in several Teaching Company Great Courses on physics. So I picked it up. It isn't a difficult read, although Kuhn's language could be clearer here and there, and he has a liking for a few odd words that he repeats over and over--which is, of course, much better than just using them once. His argument, that science progresses through a series of revolutions that replace old paradigms with new ones, seems pretty self-evident to me, but apparently wasn't (and maybe isn't) to scientists themselves. The book can be dry at times, but Kuhn provides examples to demonstrate his point, so a reader like me can learn a good bit about the history of science, which I always find fascinating.

I would not call this an essential book for anyone who enjoys watching science courses, however.
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datrappert | 88 other reviews | Jul 3, 2023 |



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