Reconstructing Scientific Revolutions: Thomas S. Kuhn's Philosophy of Science / Edition 2

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Few philosophers of science have influenced as many readers as Thomas S. Kuhn. Yet no comprehensive study of his ideas has existed--until now. In this volume, Paul Hoyningen-Huene examines Kuhn's work over four decades, from the days before The Structure of Scientific Revolutions to the present, and puts Kuhn's philosophical development in a historical framework. Scholars from disciplines as diverse as political science and art history have offered widely differing interpretations of Kuhn's ideas, appropriating his notions of paradigm shifts and revolutions to fit their own theories, however imperfectly. Hoyningen-Huene does not merely offer another interpretation--he brings Kuhn's work into focus with rigorous philosophical analysis. Through extended discussions with Kuhn and an encyclopedic reading of his work, Hoyningen-Huene looks at the problems and justifications of his claims and determines how his theories might be expanded. Most significantly, he discovers that The Structure of Scientific Revolutions can be understood only with reference to the historiographic foundation of Kuhn's philosophy. Discussing the concepts of paradigms, paradigm shifts, normal science, and scientific revolutions, Hoyningen-Huene traces their evolution to Kuhn's experience as a historian of contemporary science. From here, Hoyningen-Huene examines Kuhn's well-known thesis that scientists on opposite sides of a revolutionary divide "work in different worlds," explaining Kuhn's notion of a world-change during a scientific revolution. He even considers Kuhn's most controversial claims--his attack on the distinction between the contexts of discovery and justification and his notion of incommensurability--addressing both criticisms and defenses of these ideas. Destined to become the authoritative philosophical study of Kuhn's work, Reconstructing Scientific Revolutions both enriches our understanding of Kuhn and provides powerful interpretive tools for bridging Continental and Anglo-American philosophical traditions.

Scholars from disciplines as diverse as political science and art history have offered widely differing interpretations of Kuhn's ideas, appropriating his notions of paradigm shifts and revolutions to fit their own theories, however imperfectly. Destined to become the authoritative philosophical study of Kuhn's work. Bibliography.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226355511
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/1993
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 330
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Translator's Note
Pt. I Introduction 1
Ch. 1 The Topic of Kuhn's Philosophy of Science 3
1.1 The Issue: Scientific Development 4
1.2 The Construction of the Target Issue: The Historiography of Science 12
1.3 The Focus: Structure 24
Pt. II Scientific knowledge and Its Object 29
Ch. 2 The World Concept 31
2.1 The Double Meaning of "World" and "Nature" in SSR and the Plurality-of-Phenomenal-Worlds Thesis 31
2.2 Stimulus and Sensation in the 1969 Papers 42
2.3 The Phenomenal World after 1969 60
Ch. 3 The Constitution of a Phenomenal World 64
3.1 The Learning Process 70
3.2 Similarity Relations 71
3.3 Ostension 77
3.4 Social Community 81
3.5 Perception 83
3.6 Empirical Concepts 90
3.7 Knowledge of Nature 111
3.8 The Nonneutrality of the Analyst's Viewpoint 122
Ch. 4 The Paradigm Concept 131
4.1 Reasons for Introducing the Original Paradigm Concept 132
4.2 The Development of the Paradigm Concept 140
4.3 The Disciplinary Matrix 145
4.4 The Functions of Paradigms in the Sense of Exemplary Problem Solutions 159
Pt. III The Dynamic of Scientific Knowledge 165
Ch. 5 Normal Science 167
5.1 Normal Science: Provisional Characterization 167
5.2 Analogies to Puzzle-solving 170
5.3 The Research Problems of Normal Science 180
5.4 Progress in Normal Science 182
5.5 What Makes Normal Science Possible? 185
5.6 The Functional Role of the Quasi-dogmatic Element of Normal Science 194
Ch. 6 The Concept of a Scientific Revolution 197
6.1 Kuhn's Extension of the Concept of a Scientific Revolution 197
6.2 Change of World 201
6.3 Incommensurability 206
Ch. 7 The Dynamic of Scientific Revolutions 223
7.1 The Dialectic of Normal Science: The Production of Significant Anomalies 223
7.2 Unexpected Discoveries 228
7.3 The Triggering of Revolutions in Theory 230
7.4 Theory Comparison and Theory Choice 236
7.5 The Discourse of Theory Choice 252
7.6 Scientific Progress through Revolutions 258
Epilogue: Reality as Understood by Kuhn's Philosophy of Science 267
Bibliography 273
Works of Thomas S. Kuhn 273
Secondary Literature 278
Additional Works of Thomas S. Kuhn 302
Index 303
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