Thomas Kuhn

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  • Birth Date/ Death Date

    Birth Date/ Death Date
    Born: July 18, 1922, Cincinnati, OH
    Died: June 17, 1996, Cambridge, MA
    Full name: Thomas Samuel Kuhn
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    In 1961 Kuhn became a full professor at the University of California at Berkeley, having moved there in 1956 to take up a post in history of science, but in the philosophy department. This enabled him to develop his interest in the philosophy of science. At Berkeley Kuhn’s colleagues included Stanley Cavell, who introduced Kuhn to the works of Wittgenstein, and Paul Feyerabend.
  • Short information

    Short information
    Thomas Samuel Kuhn was an American philosopher of science whose 1962 book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions was influential in both academic and popular circles, introducing the term paradigm shift, which has since become an English-language idiom
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    The Concept of a Paradigm

    A mature science, according to Kuhn, experiences alternating phases of normal science and revolutions. In normal science the key theories, instruments, values and metaphysical assumptions that comprise the disciplinary matrix are kept fixed, permitting the cumulative generation of puzzle-solutions, whereas in a scientific revolution the disciplinary matrix undergoes revision,
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    The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

    According to Kuhn himself (2000, 307), The Structure of Scientific Revolutions first aroused interest among social scientists, although it did in due course create the interest among philosophers that Kuhn had intended (and also before long among a much wider academic and general audience). While acknowledging the importance of Kuhn’s ideas, the philosophical reception was nonetheless hostile
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    In 1983 he was named Laurence S. Rockefeller Professor of Philosophy at MIT. Kuhn continued throughout the 1980s and 1990s to work on a variety of topics in both history and philosophy of science, including the development of the concept of incommensurability, and at the time of his death in 1996 he was working on a second philosophical monograph dealing with, among other matters, an evolutionary conception of scientific change and concept acquisition in developmental psychology.
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    First Published

    one of the most influential philosophers of science of the twentieth century, perhaps the most influential. His 1962 book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is one of the most cited academic books of all time. Kuhn’s contribution to the philosophy of science marked not only a break with several key positivist doctrines, but also inaugurated a new style of philosophy of science that brought it closer to the history of science.