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Thomas S. Kuhn
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The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  14,523 Ratings  ·  677 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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Cyrille I agree with Gal gilboa.
I would simply add that his approach is close to sociologic constructivism, which means that he tries to understand the social…more
I agree with Gal gilboa.
I would simply add that his approach is close to sociologic constructivism, which means that he tries to understand the social and psychological mecanisms of scientific research.
Other than that, I would classify his relation to science as an instrumental one. Scientific "truths" are only good as long as they serve us well, an instrument of some sort. When a new paradigm emerges, it's because it is a more useful instrument to understand the world.

There's no truth to be found in science.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Manny
Oct 05, 2014 Manny rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
...more
Ahmad  Ebaid
*عن سلوك الأفراد الذين يقومون بمسح المنشورات القديمة لهم على الفيسبوك لأنها أصبحت ساذجة جداً بالنسبة لهم

***
"إن العلم الذي يتردد في مسألة نسيان مؤسسيه خاسر"
وايتهيد

"أخشى أنه لديك تغيير في البراديجم"
<u><i>أخشى أنه لديك تغيير في البراديجم</i></u><br />
يعالج الكاتب أحد المشكلات التي يراها في تأريخ العلم, وهي الإدّعاء بأن العلم تراكمي
"إن الظاهرة المميزة لكتب تدريس العلم هي أنها تحتوي على قدر قليل من التاريخ يوجد في فصل تمهيدي, أو غالبا ما يوجد في إشارات مبعثرة إلى الأبطال العظام لعصر سابق. وبفضل هذه الإشارات يشعر الطلاب والمهنيون الاختصاصيون بأنهم مش
...more
Stephen M
May 19, 2013 Stephen M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: textbook, philosophy
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
Jason
Aug 26, 2010 Jason rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Trevor
Let’s start elsewhere. Watch this and then we can talk paradigms:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ahg6qc...

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
...more
Greg
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
Maica
Jan 29, 2016 Maica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, science
description

I can understand why probably the author thanked his family for their consideration of the author's efforts towards this book, because it must have demanded a lot of painstaking effort not to mention time. I would have given it 3 stars for its complicated way of delivering its points, the language is highly complex that it tends at many certain points throughout, that the arguments contradict each other. Five stars, however for its complexity and taken as a whole it is actually coherent. The con
...more
Leonard
Aug 07, 2013 Leonard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, favorite
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
Hadrian
Jun 07, 2012 Hadrian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Tyler
Mar 07, 2009 Tyler rated it did not like it  ·  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
...more
Adam
Oct 07, 2011 Adam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1900-1969, philosophy
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
...more
Erik Graff
Mar 13, 2015 Erik Graff rated it it was amazing  ·  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
...more
Ahmed Alhefny
Feb 05, 2016 Ahmed Alhefny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
قراءة أخرى وريفيو مُحدث:

ترتكز فلسفة كون حول ما يسمى ب"النموذج الإرشادي" وهو مجموعة المعتقدات والأساليب التي يتبناها المجتمع العلمي في مرحلة ما، وبلوغ نظرية ما مرتبة النموذج الإرشادي يعني أنها أفضل من منافسيها في نظر المجتمع العلمي، وأنها قدمت إجابات على مشاكل لم تستطع سابقتها حلها، واستحدثت وفسرت ظواهر جديدة ما كان بإمكان سابقتها استحداثها. ولكن لا يعني ذلك قدرتها على حل كافة المشاكل، ركز كون صراحةً على الإتفاق المجتمعي.

أما بخصوص العلم القياسي، فهو العلم الذي يرتكن على أساس النموذج الإرشادي وينم
...more
Celine
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
...more
Gary
Feb 22, 2009 Gary rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Coral
Sep 15, 2008 Coral rated it did not like it  ·  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
Alaa Bahabri
Jan 15, 2015 Alaa Bahabri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
...more
Katie
Jan 29, 2015 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
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
...more
notgettingenough
I have made an update to my review in response to comments.

http://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpres...
Said Abuzeineh
Aug 19, 2015 Said Abuzeineh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
أهمية هذا الكتاب تكمن في أن أطروحته إيماء إلى سمة وخاصية في العلم (العلنم التجريبي في صورته الغربية) هي في بعديها اداة فعالة لتقدم العلم وفي نفس الوقت خاصية لها خطورة على فهمنا للعلاقة بين العلم والحقيقة، هذه العلاقة التي حاول الغزالي جادهدا تحديد معالمها في مجتمعه العلمي.

وهذه الخاصية هي أن المجتمع العلمي لا يتسنى له المضي قدما بدون تبنيه لنموذج حاكم مهيمن على مباحثه يحددها ويحكم مسارها.
وهذا التبني حسب تصور كون يجعل العلم جامدا وضيقا ومع ذلك فهو فعال

الخطورة في هذه الخاصية هي محاولة جعل النموذج
...more
Laura
Jan 14, 2012 Laura rated it liked it  ·  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
Wayne
Oct 28, 2008 Wayne rated it it was amazing  ·  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".
GREAT STUFF!!!
I had to read it as part of my Education Honours course at Sydney Uni in
...more
Oliver Bateman
Aug 24, 2013 Oliver Bateman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Marcus
Jun 16, 2009 Marcus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, physics
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
...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?"
Jwharah Alghamdi
Sep 27, 2014 Jwharah Alghamdi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jrobertus
Apr 23, 2009 Jrobertus rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
James
I read this in college for both History of Science and History of Economic Thought classes. Subsequently I acquired a newer edition and reread the book. While Kuhn's theories are extremely popular and they appear to be very good at explaining the changes in scientific "paradigms", they are not as rigorous as they seem to be on first reading. It is even more curious that the methods presented here are being used in areas beyond those originally considered. However, this still is a seminal work in ...more
James
Jun 03, 2009 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, philosophy
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
...more
Clif
Apr 07, 2010 Clif rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...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
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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.” 17 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” 16 likes
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