Thomas Kuhn

Timeline created by buffalo_bill91
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    1922-1996 - Lifespan

    Thomas Kuhn was born in 1922 in Cincinnati Ohio and died of lung cancer in 1996.
  • Education

    Thomas Kuhn attended Harvard University and graduated with both a bachelors degree in physics in 1946 and a PhD in physics in 1949. Kuhn studied under John Van Vleck an American mathematician and physicist. Kuhn taught at the University of California, Berkeley, and taught history as well as philosophy and took over as the professor for the History of Science in 1961.
  • The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

    By far Kuhn's most influential work, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions influenced the world of science, philosophy, sociology, historians, and numerous other fields. In this book Kuhn brought to light some of his most important theories. The theory of paradigm shifts and his criticism of what he called "normal science" that took place within a paradigm. (Shapere, 1964) Kuhn theorized that in order to shift from one paradigm to the next a revolution or dynamic change was needed.
  • Paradigm Shifts

    Following the publication of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, one of the Kuhn's theories of paradigm shifts became a central part of modern thinking and creating new ways to view and solve problems. The video linked below gives an overview of Kuhn's key theories including the paradigm shift and the necessity of scientific revolutions for progress.
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    Revolutionary critiques

    One of the key points Kuhn made in his theory of paradigm shifts was that it was essential to have both a catalyst, or revolution, as well as a new theory, or paradigm in order to have a transition from one period of science to the next (Godfrey-Smith, 2003). Critics of Kuhn's work brought to light the many examples where there is little evidence of a crisis preceding a revolutionary breakthrough. One example is the discovery of molecular structure.