The Structure of Scientific Revolutions | Study Guide

Thomas Kuhn

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Rank of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions on Time magazine's All-Time 100 Nonfiction Books list 81 Copies of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions sold by 1987 650,000 Copies of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions sold when the book was first published in 1962 919 Degrees Kuhn earned from Harvard: bachelor of science, master of science, and doctor of philosophy 3 The Structure ofScientific Revolutionsby the Numbers Sources: Encyclopaedia Britannica, The Guardian, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Copyright © 2018 Course Hero, Inc. Paradigm A paradigm provides a model for understanding scientific problems and solutions, as well as research methods. Scientific Revolution (Paradigm Shift) A scientific revolution occurs when a dominant paradigm is unable to explain new facts. Main Ideas Normal Science Scientists’ work centers on solving puzzles suggested by a current paradigm. Kuhn was an American historian of science. Trained in physics, he became interested in the history of science while working at Harvard. His interests developed into a concern with the philosophy of science, which resulted in his landmark work, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. THOMAS S. KUHN1922–96 Author Scientific Community After reaching a consensus on a set of theories and practices, scientists often test hypotheses within these accepted parameters, a state Kuhn terms “normal science.” 1 Anomalies However, phenomena exist that accepted theories and methods of scientific investigations can’t explain. 2 Effects of Paradigm Shifts When new theories and models for conducting scientific research emerge, scientists test them, and if proven sound, they become part of the new normal science. 4 Shifts in Thinking The challenge anomalies pose to normal science can result in a scientific revolution—or paradigm shift. 3 Advancement through Revolution Kuhn argues that the scientific enterprise is largely a social construct. Rather than a progression and advancement of knowledge based on previous achievements, growth in scientific knowledge results from revolutionary shifts in how scientists understand and research phenomena. OVERVIEW Aristotle(384–322 BCE) Considered the father of Western philosophy and the first scientist Nicolaus Copernicus(1473–1543) Theorized that the sun is at the center of the universe Isaac Newton(1643–1727) Mathematician; developed principles of modern physics Albert Einstein(1879–1955) Physicist; developed the theory of relativity Galileo Galilei(1564–1642) Used telescopes to confirm Copernicus’s theory Key Figures Thomas S. Kuhn, Chapter 8 onfronted with anomaly or with crisis, scientists take a different attitude toward existing paradigms. Science English Original Language 1962 Year Published Thomas S. Kuhn Author The Structure of Scientific Revolutions Nonfiction

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