The Structure of Scientific Revolutions: 50th Anniversary Edition

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions: 50th Anniversary Edition

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by Thomas S. Kuhn
     
 

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A good book may have the power to change the way we see the world, but a great book actually becomes part of our daily consciousness, pervading our thinking to the point that we take it for granted, and we forget how provocative and challenging its ideas once were—and still are. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is that kind of book. When it was

Overview

A good book may have the power to change the way we see the world, but a great book actually becomes part of our daily consciousness, pervading our thinking to the point that we take it for granted, and we forget how provocative and challenging its ideas once were—and still are. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is that kind of book. When it was first published in 1962, it was a landmark event in the history and philosophy of science. Fifty years later, it still has many lessons to teach.

With The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn challenged long-standing linear notions of scientific progress, arguing that transformative ideas don’t arise from the day-to-day, gradual process of experimentation and data accumulation but that the revolutions in science, those breakthrough moments that disrupt accepted thinking and offer unanticipated ideas, occur outside of “normal science,” as he called it. Though Kuhn was writing when physics ruled the sciences, his ideas on how scientific revolutions bring order to the anomalies that amass over time in research experiments are still instructive in our biotech age.

This new edition of Kuhn’s essential work in the history of science includes an insightful introduction by Ian Hacking, which clarifies terms popularized by Kuhn, including paradigm and incommensurability, and applies Kuhn’s ideas to the science of today. Usefully keyed to the separate sections of the book, Hacking’s introduction provides important background information as well as a contemporary context.  Newly designed, with an expanded index, this edition will be eagerly welcomed by the next generation of readers seeking to understand the history of our perspectives on science.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226458144
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
04/18/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
264
Sales rank:
100,393
File size:
740 KB

Meet the Author

Thomas S. Kuhn (1922–96) was the Laurence Rockefeller Professor of linguistics and philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His books include The Essential Tension; Black-Body Theory and the Quantum Discontinuity, 1894–1912; and The Copernican Revolution.

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The Structure of Scientific Revolutions 3.8 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 28 reviews.
Tunguz More than 1 year ago
As a practicing scientist and someone who has always been interested in history and the development of scientific ideas "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" has for long time been the book that loomed large on my intellectual horizon. Thomas Khun's book has for a long time had a reputation as the definitive and seminal work on understanding how new scientific ideas come about and how and why they gain support. Part of my reluctance to start reading this book stemmed from my belief that it would be an overly philosophical work, with a lot of opaque technical jargon, and with very little relevance to actual scientific practice. However, to my great surprise and delight, nothing could be farther from the truth. This book is written in a very matter-of-fact style, and it is easy to understand what Khun is getting at. His own background in science and history of science probably made him very sensitive to the working and thinking of practicing scientists. The insights that Khun has arrived at are still relevant almost half a century after this book has been published. The idea of "paradigm shifts" has even entered the mainstream consciousness, to the point that it can be caricatured in various cartoons and silly t-shirts. However, after reading this book it is not quite clear to me whether Khun wanted this to be a description of the way that science works, or more of a normative prescription for how to arrive at truly fundamental changes in some scientific discipline. This is particularly relevant for disciplines or directions of research that seem to have gotten stuck in some dead end, as has been the case with particle physics for several decades. Whether you are a practicing scientist, someone interested in science, or someone who would like to know more about how scientific breakthroughs happen you'll greatly benefit from reading this book. You may not agree with Khun's every conclusion, but the longevity of the ideas presented here makes them relevant for every serious discussion about scientific endeavor.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alas, Kuhn will not be remembered for his theories in philosophy of science. For the many ways in which he got it wrong, imprecise, or vague, take a look at Lakatos and Musgrave's 'Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge'. However, Kuhn will be remembered as the guy that got philosophers of science off their collective heinies, and took a serious look at what scientists actually do, rather than what philosophers of science think that they ought to. Philosophy of science, as it is now practiced, is now much closer to history, sociology, psychology, economics, and rhetoric--and it's *much* better for it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book helped me think more clearly about my life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A person believes that science is like religion. In ancient people believe that phenomenon of nature is made of gods. It must be myths rather than beliefs. As a fact of, in science flow of history is intervened between normality and anomality. Kuhn appealed well dual aspects of history of science to readers
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a good book, that I highly recommend. Having said that, however, this version is not pristine. There are several typos, and characters inserted that should not be there. It does not hinder reading, but it is noticeable and a bit annoying.
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IRF More than 1 year ago
I originally read this book over 30 years ago in a high school AP Poly Sci class. Now as a university professor it informs most of my thinking and research. It tops my list of most important books I've ever read.
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theolosopher More than 1 year ago
This book presents a compelling argument not only for how scientific knowledge is brought about, but Kuhn's work also challenges the reader to reconsider what it means to say that one has "scientific knowledge" about a subject. I highly recommend it to any philosophically-inclined reader as a major work in the philosophy of science in the 20th century.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
A bit of a tough read at times, and perhaps better replaced by a 2 page synopsis, Kuhn's theory of scientific revolution is required reading for anyone interested in the history of science, or any other social science. This is the modern dogma of the history of scientific development, and is increasingly influential in explanations of technological advancement, business change, and others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kuhn is a master of organizing universally recognized content into a well-stuctured arguement for the nature of change.