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Thomas S. Kuhn (1922-1996)

  • Who was Thomas Samuel Kuhn (1922-1996)?

    Thomas S. Kuhn, 18 July 1922-17 June 1996, was the most influential philosopher of science in the 20th century. Kuhn studied physics, but after reading some of Aristotle's work took an interest in history of science. In 1956 he became interested in philosophy of science after working some time at UC Berkeley. There he discussed a draft of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), with a colleague. It is through this book, that Kuhn makes his most influential contribution(s) to science.
  • "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" (Kuhn, 1962)

    In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), deemed controversial at the time of its release, Thomas Kuhn presents his thesis of incommensurability and the idea of a "paradigm." Kuhn's ideologies were extremely influential and presented the world of science with a new image of the structure of scientific discoveries.
    Thomad Kuhn: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions YouTube
  • The Thesis of Incommensurability ("The Structure of the Scientific Revolutions" (1962))

    Kuhn's claim in his thesis of incommensurability is that certain comparisons of theories are not possible. Theories are considered to be incommensurable when they have nothing in common. There are three tiers of incommensurability; in methodological the theories have nothing in common, in observational observant evidence doesn't give commonality to theories, and in semantic languages of the theories being compared, having come from different eras, may not have the same translations among them.
  • Paradigms ("The Structure of the Scientific Revolutions" (1962))

    The central idea of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), is a paradigm. A paradigm doesn't just happen, it's a cycle. Anomalies are discoveries that cannot be explained. A crisis is a moment of panic in which the scientist cannot solve an anomaly. A model revolution happens after a crisis and is when the new & improved replaces the old. The infamous "paradigm shift" introduces new thinking to incoming scientists.
  • Citations

    Bird, Alexander, "Thomas Kuhn", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2022 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL =

    Kuhn, Thomas S. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. 4th ed., The University of Chicago Press, 2012.

    Image (Riano, Nayeli 04 January 2021)