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The Structure of Scien...
Thomas S. Kuhn
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The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  12,895 ratings  ·  622 reviews
Since the publication of this book in 1962, Kuhn's writings (and many of his ideas, such as "paradigm shift") have been highly influential in academic and popular discourse. This book is must-reading for anyone studying the history and philosophy of science specifically, or cultural or technological change generally.
Hardcover, 210 pages
Published January 1st 1970 by University of Chicago Press (first published 1962)
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Gal gilboa Scientific discourse is meaningless to true or false. Field of science discourse refers to confirmation or refutation only.…moreScientific discourse is meaningless to true or false. Field of science discourse refers to confirmation or refutation only.(less)
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Oct 05, 2014 Manny rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone seriously interested in the history of science
Scientists are so passionate about their work, and even if you're a scientist yourself it can sometimes take you by surprise to see just how passionate they are. A few years ago, when I was working at NASA, we made up a game called If Research Were Romance. Here, let me show you how to play.

In real life, Thomas Kuhn wrote a book about paradigm changes in science. But if research were romance, he might have written a book about relationships instead. It might have been quite similar in many ways.
Stephen M
With the publication of this landmark work, Kuhn gave an entirely new way to think about science and the process of scientific discovery; it completely contradicted what was previously believed about the functioning of scientific discovery and how we came to discoveries about the natural world. The philosophy of science before Kuhn began writing was most influenced by Karl Popper. He put forth the popular notion of falsifiability, whereby all scientific theories are tenable only if they are fals ...more
Remember your 10th grade Geometry class? It was a 55 minute class just before lunch. Picture yourself, 15 years old, Friday, ensconced in Geometry on a beautiful late September day. If you’re a girl, you’re much more interested in whether the new boy is going to sit with Amber during lunch for a third day in a row, and what he’s going to say to her this time; he’s so confident and handsome. If you’re a guy, you’re much more interested in the 17 year old Varsity cheerleader at the front of your c ...more
Let’s start elsewhere. Watch this and then we can talk paradigms:

Now, I don’t normally do that – nor do I like to talk about optical illusions. I generally think illusions mean quite other things to what most people like to say they mean. I find that people tend to say the most boringly predictable things about optical illusions. That is a large part of the source of my aversion to them, like Pavlov’s dogs, I have been taught to cringe at the first sight o
I first read Kuhn's book during my first year as a Ph.D. student, and found it rather interesting. It challenges notions of scientific progress as liner by suggesting instead a process of "paradigm shift." Essentially, Kuhn argues that researchers in a branch of science accept as normal a set of "received beliefs" that guide and bound their investigations into new phenomena. Because of this set of accepted beliefs and assumptions, new ways of looking at the world are often suppressed or ignored. ...more
Thomas Kuhn, through the concept of paradigm shift, has demythologized science as an accumulation of knowledge through smooth progress. That, for Kuhn, is just normal science, the incremental progress within the limits, biases and assumptions of a paradigm. For him, a paradigm is a set of accepted practices within the scientific community, the scientific traditions the scientists have grown up with. For him, “The success of a paradigm… is at the start largely a promise of success discoverable in ...more
a response to some of the reviews here:

From those giving the book a negative rating, we inevitably get the standard accusation of relativism, which is bullshit and Kuhn and his followers have responded appropriately. A positive three-star review says Kuhn's major thesis is that scientific progress is largely illusory, when Kuhn says nothing of the sort and has also defended himself against such objections in the past by explaining, very simply, what a careful reader would have already gleaned fr
Mar 07, 2009 Tyler rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Science Professionals, Possibly
Recommended to Tyler by: GR Group Read List
Shelves: philosophy
Within this book, a 15-page essay somehow gets crammed into 174 tedious pages and crowned by a lengthy 35-page postscript. In its chapters Kuhn, father of the expression “paradigm shift,” shows us how science advances in spasmodic fractures that shatter previous models of nature. But at 210 pages, mission creep sinks in.

The book does more than propose a new model of scientific progress. It also tells us why other models are mistaken. Kuhn refutes the correspondence theory of truth, logical posit
A really interesting book, and one that's become ingrained so much that you feel like you're not learning too much at first.

Science is not a linear ordered means of progress, within neat and orderly steps as we are taught in grade school. There is the slow steady expansion and exploration of knowledge within a specific ordered system, or paradigm. Many scientists work within this paradigm, as 'recieved beliefs', and unconsciously work to forward these beliefs, although they may claim to work to
A rebellion against science is running rampant in the West, causing such oddities as the cult of Global Warming. Here we can focus on one of the most important fomenters of this rebellion: Thomas Kuhn (1922-1996), author of the enormously influential "Structure of Scientific Revolutions."

Kuhn rejects the traditional view that science is a linear accretion of knowledge. In the traditional view, scientists build on the corpus that preceded them; through experiment and observation, they add a new f
Sep 15, 2008 Coral rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: insomniacs
Bit of a preface: I hated this book. It contains some really good ideas, which are totally worth discussing, but the whole thing is so much wordier and denser than it needs to be (this, coming from me!); seriously, the ideas put forth in this 200-page monstrosity would have been better shared in a 5-10 page article. Still, we were assigned to read it for LIS 2000, Understanding Information, and asked to write a 400-word review, describing "how the content of this book relates to the information ...more
Erik Graff
Mar 13, 2015 Erik Graff rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: John Bannon
Shelves: philosophy
Kuhn, a physicist and philosopher and historian of science, wrote The Structure of Scientific Revolutions in 1962, producing other editions until his death in 1996. The book was very influential (see description), serving as a starting point for reappraisals within several disciplines. One, psychology, was specifically covered by John Bannon's Philosophy of Psychology class held during the second semester of 1982/83 at Loyola University Chicago.

I found the book profoundly stimulating, challengin
Alaa Bahabri

كتاب لا بد أن يقرأ!
يستطيع هذا الكتاب أن يمنحك رؤية جديدة للعلم ، والمعرفة،،أن يقم لك فكرة أصيلة ، غير مكررة،،
و على الرغم من أن الكتاب ثقيل (ربما للترجمة، أو ربما لغة الكتاب ، لست متأكدة في الحقيقة) إلا أنني استمعت بالقراءة، و ربما أعدت قراءة عدد من الصفحات مرة بعد أخرى، ذلك لأنني في كل فصل لابد و أن أصادف فكرة جميلة، أتوقف عندها، وأعيد قرائتها، ثم تنهال علي أمثلة مما أعرف، أو ربماأتذكر مقولة تؤكد رأي الكاتب، أو ربما أحس بالجمال فقط! جمال اكتشاف حقيقة جديدة

في نهاية الكتاب ، وددت لو أنني أستطيع تذ
Original, 2-star review:

I think the common criticisms that have been popping up here - Kuhn's conclusions are very relativistic, and he's not always clear or concise in the way he conveys them - are fair. Kuhn puts forth a very interesting theory, and I think at least a few sections are very helpful when approaching the history of science. But it's certainly not a fun read, and much of the argument's density could have been fairly easily avoided. If you're a scientist, or have an interest in the
Isn't it ironic that a book about paradigm shifts caused a paradigm shift in itself? And isn't it even more ironic that I'm studying this book from a humanities perspective, a science Kuhn himself might not even call a science?

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is a fascinating book because it works out, detail after tiny detail, how a scientific revolution takes place. One of the most interesting ideas Kuhn posits is that we can't compare two paradigms with each other (say, Newtonian physi
I have made an update to my review in response to comments.

Jan 14, 2012 Laura rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Lists of books I'm supposed to have read
I’ve seen citations to this book for decades, and it’s been on my shelf, unread-by-me, nearly as long. Finally read it. Kuhn contends that the then-accepted description of scientific process as a largely smooth increase in human knowledge isn’t accurate. Instead, it’s Hegelian-esque: an accepted model less and less satisfactory as more and more things are observed that do not fit; new models emerge and are resisted for reasons rational and not; and one fine day, the paradigm shifts. For reasons ...more
Oliver Bateman
Yet another "important" book, one that advances a theory of "paradigm shift" to explain the transition between scientific worldviews (or transitions from pre-paradigm to paradigm worldviews, in the case of a coalescing field). Although written in an easy-to-understand way, Kuhn's presentation of this material--as evidenced by the somewhat defensive tone he adopts when responding to criticisms about his slipshod use of the term "paradigm" and his tendency to pass between descriptive and normative ...more
Jwharah Alghamdi
في اي ترجمة لكتب دراسة او نقد او تحليل يقدمها باحث غربي عن فلسفة او منهج او قوانين تمت للحضارة الغربية بصلة لا تخلو مقدمة المترجم من أمرين:
أما سخط وغضب من ما يراه انه انتقاص وتشوية للحضارة الغربية.
او سعادة عارمة اعتقادا منه ان حضارة كسيحة وقد انكشفت عللها وهي على وشك الأفول.
كلهم بصراحه يجيبون لي مغص بمخي
Oct 28, 2008 Wayne rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Recommended to Wayne by: my uni tutor
Shelves: re-reads, science
This book was a revelation...I felt the scales literally fall from my eyes and knew the world would never be the same again. In fact I experienced a "paradigm-shift" experience in the reading of it. If you want to know what that is click on the 'book cover' icon and you'll end up at a site where more eloquent people than me can and will tell you about the content of this book and all about the "paradigm-shift".
I had to read it as part of my Education Honours course at Sydney Uni in
The premise of the book is that science doesn't progress by the cumulative addition of knowledge, but instead advances by major shifts in paradigms that replace, rather than increment, large parts of previous paradigms.

To begin with, scientific research in a specific subject is carried out within the bounds of a generally accepted framework that defines what scientists already know about the field, as well as the questions that remain unanswered. This is what Kuhn calls a paradigm. A paradigm i
I understand this is a fairly famous book, but I don't understand why. There is enough material for a short essay, and here it is. As scientific instruments and measurements improve, discrepancies appear between what is observed and what the current theory, or paradigm, predicts. As a result, the theory or paradigm must change, but some people resist it. The change from the geocentric model of Ptolemy to the helio-centric model of Copernicus is an example, as it the change from Aristotle to Newt ...more
Jann Cather Weaver
This book changed my life when I read it in college. I have used its fundamental ideas in my future studies and in my teaching career. Although it is a history of science, it is a history of how ideas change and how our world changes with them. This book unleashes us from the chains of certainty, and frees us to explore the unknown. It is a book that compels us to always ask,"Is there another way to see this?"
This is a book/author that was referenced many times in my college classes, both in psychology and philosophy, though the book itself is specifically centered around the nature of science and the history of science. I'm really glad that I got around to reading it.

Kuhn's ideas about science are both fascinating and revolutionary, and they have implications for any sort of hard or soft science or philosophy. Basically, Kuhn presents the idea that science may not be as impartial, linear, and straig
Warning - this book is not light reading.

I give the book only 3 stars because, not being a member of the scientific community, I have no way of judging the accuracy of the author's assertions.

However, as a layman and an avid follower of science, what he has to say rings true.

Kuhn claims that science is not cumulative, that is it isn't a simple tower of knowledge with each level built upon and adding to the earlier levels. Rather, science is practiced and has meaning within the framework of a par
Bojan Tunguz
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 w ...more
This book is a classic. It still causes debate as to the extent of how historicity and the social study of science has a genuine role.

His main contribution for me is: Science is what human scientists do, there’s a method to it (to ensure its not a madness).

The paradigms that it offers as explanatory sets are not something to “believe in” in any other respect than they are (tentatively and for the time being since they are in principle falsifiable, an inheritance from Popper) the best fit to empi
I found this book pretty frustrating overall. I didn't feel like the writing was very clear and I found some of the insights boring and others problematic. I'm sure it was more groundbreaking when it was first published, but now it feels dated and fairly relativistic. Kuhn seems to have defended himself against claims of relativism, but I'm not sure if he escapes them entirely. I really don't know enough about the subject matter to be sure.

Some of the ideas are interesting, and the concept of "
Roxanne Russell
Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is a scientific historian’s attempt to describe the discovery process more honestly than it has been described in scientific disciplines. Reading The Age of Wonder while also reading this, I was introduced to even more excellent examples of the messy ways that solid scientific beliefs become outdated myths and new fangled ideas cause revolutionary changes. I have sticky note bookmark flags hanging all out of this copy of the book and plan to use it ...more
This book introduces the concept of paradigm, which is a very interesting approach to better understand changes in Science and society. What is puzzling is the author's insistence that a new paradigm is not better than the old one it replaced, neither is it a generalization of the old one. He tries to demonstrate this argument by giving examples of paradigm changes that happened hundred of years ago, also denying the very known fact that Newtonian Mechanics can be derived from Relativity Theory ...more
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American historian and philosopher of science, a leading contributor to the change of focus in the philosophy and sociology of science in the 1960s. Thomas Samuel Kuhn was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He received a doctorate in theoretical physics from Harvard University in 1949. But he later shifted his interest to the history and philosophy of science, which he taught at Harvard, the University of ...more
More about Thomas S. Kuhn...
The Copernican Revolution: Planetary Astronomy in the Development of Western Thought The Essential Tension: Selected Studies in Scientific Tradition & Change The Road since Structure: Philosophical Essays, 1970-1993, with an Autobiographical Interview Black-Body Theory and the Quantum Discontinuity, 1894-1912 The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Black-Body Theory and the Quantum Discontinuity, the Copernican Revolution

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“And even when the apparatus exists, novelty ordinarily emerges only for the man who, knowing with precision what he should expect, is able to recognize that something has gone wrong.” 15 likes
“Normal science, the activity in which most scientists inevitably spend almost all their time, is predicated on the assumption that the scientific community knows what the world is like” 15 likes
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