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The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  20,549 ratings  ·  1,035 reviews
Thomas S. Kuhn's classic book is now available with a new index.
 
"A landmark in intellectual history which has attracted attention far beyond its own immediate field. . . . It is written with a combination of depth and clarity that make it an almost unbroken series of aphorisms. . . . Kuhn does not permit truth to be a criterion of scientific theories, he would presumably
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Paperback, 3rd, 226 pages
Published 1996 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.

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really liked it 4.00  · 
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 ·  20,549 ratings  ·  1,035 reviews


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Manny
Jan 24, 2013 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.
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Stephen M
Feb 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, textbook
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
Manuel Antão
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.


Incommensurability of Science: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" by Thomas Kuhn



Pure mathematics is an abstraction of the real world and is a subjective art-form like music, art and literature; as was correctly defined by Aristotle, “The mathematical sciences particularly exhibit order, symmetry, and limitation; and these are the greatest forms of the beautiful”: Aristotle, Metaphysics, M3, 1078b.

But has modern physics, since Alb
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Roy Lotz
To listen to this review as a podcast, click below:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast...
________________________
Observation and experience can and must drastically restrict the range of admissible scientific belief, else there would be no science. But they cannot alone determine a particular body of such belief. An apparently arbitrary element, compounded of personal and historical accident, is always a formative ingredient of the beliefs espoused by a given scientific community at a given t
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Jason
Aug 15, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Jan 04, 2011 rated it liked it
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
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Hadrian
Apr 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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Jamie
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
When this book came out fifty years ago it changed the terms of the debate about what scientific progress meant. Using multiple historical examples, and drawing on his own extensive research into the history of science, Thomas Kuhn developed an intellectual framework for how science develops, progresses, and changes in response to new paradigms. At the time of his writing the word paradigm was obscure and unknown to most readers, but it has since entered our common vocabulary, and this book is w ...more
Maica
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy, science
description

I can understand why the author thanked his family for their consideration of the author's efforts towards this book, as 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.

description

Like the choice betw
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Tyler
Mar 07, 2009 rated it did not like it
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
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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
Adam
Oct 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy, 1900-1969
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
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Leonard
Jul 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Peter Mcloughlin
Kuhn hit on an interesting idea. Sometimes new discoveries lead to a foundational crisis. The foundation in an area of science come into question and that is when the view of the world changes. I don't think it is so much that science goes through periods of suppressing anomalies while it solves puzzles merely that some puzzles hit the bedrock of unexamined assumptions and revising assumptions can be a messy business. the Twentieth Century examples of Relativity and QM are foremost in the mind ...more
Erik Graff
May 27, 2009 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
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Coral
Sep 01, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
Jrobertus
Mar 25, 2009 rated it did not like it
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
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
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Katie
Aug 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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Mehrsa
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really fascinating book about how science changes--how old theories (paradigms) fall apart and new ones develop. I think this theory also applies to political theories and other cultural ideas. This book is old, but it's a classic and I learned a lot
Laura
Jan 14, 2012 rated it liked it
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
notgettingenough
I have made an update to my review in response to comments.

http://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpres...
Marcus
Jun 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
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Hoodlum
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
A great and classic work that gives a thorough and eruditious account of the evolution of science throughout history. Very much a humbling work for the sciences that allows a more guided approach.
Academic Eric
Referred to by the authors of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and Future Edge: Discovering the New Paradigms of Success, this may help one see truths to bring forth new technologies, business models and other re-organizational necessities.
William Liggett
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Who hasn't heard the term "paradigm shift?" Guess who introduced it into the popular lexicon? Thomas Kuhn was a philopher of science who retraced the history of many scientific discoveries, especially in physics. He demonstrated how the subjective worldview of the scientists led to their paradigms, or mental models, and ultimately supported a paradigm shift in a whole field like physics. Often major scientific discoveries are made by young outsiders who are not yet steeped in the worldview of an ...more
Oliver Bateman
Jul 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Wayne
Oct 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
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Miquixote
Some say the most important non-fiction book ever written...
Bryan "goes on a bit too long"
This book pushed me to the limit of what kind of abstract argument I'm able to absorb, but what I was able to get out of it was very illuminating. The argument Kuhn develops of revolution in thought due to paradigmatic change seems to me to be something that has proliferated, because even in lay situations, I've run across a portion of these ideas before--I just didn't know from where they originated. Nor were they ever as developed as they are here.

The takeaway from the book, for me, stretches
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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
“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” 38 likes
“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.” 27 likes
More quotes…