Thomas Samuel Kuhn

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  • Thomas Kuhn's birth

    Thomas Kuhn's birth
    Thomas Samuel Kuhn was born on July 18, 1922 in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA into an affluent family. His parents called him Tom.
    Tom’s father, Samuel Louis Kuhn, was a Cincinnati-born industrial engineer and investment consultant. A graduate of Harvard and MIT, he had fought in World War 1. Tom’s mother, Minette Kuhn, came from a wealthy New York family. A graduate of Vassar College, she wrote unpaid articles for progressive organizations, worked as a freelance editor.
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    Thomas Samuel Kuhn

  • Kuhn Attends Harvard

    Arriving in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the fall of 1940, 18-year-old Tom Kuhn Started at Harvard. However, physics proved harder than he expected, and he scored a C in his first exam. Worried, he asked a professor if he had any future in the subject. The professor told Kuhn he needed to spend time plowing through more problems, making sure he could do them. Kuhn took the advice and scored A at the end of his freshman year.
  • Kuhn graduates from Harvard

    Kuhn graduates from Harvard
    Kuhn earned bachelor’s (1943) and master’s (1946) degrees in physics at Harvard University but obtained his Ph.D. (1949) there in the history of science. He taught the history or philosophy of science at Harvard (1951–56), the University of California at Berkeley (1956–64), Princeton University (1964–79), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1979–91).
  • Kuhn Releases The Copernican Revolution

    Kuhn Releases The Copernican Revolution
    In his first book, The Copernican Revolution (1957), Kuhn studied the development of the heliocentric theory of the solar system during the Renaissance.
  • Kuhn Releases The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

    Kuhn Releases The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
    In his landmark second book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, he argued that scientific research and thought are defined by “paradigms,” or conceptual world-views, that consist of formal theories, classic experiments, and trusted methods. Scientists typically accept a prevailing paradigm and try to extend its scope by refining theories, explaining puzzling data, and establishing more precise measures of standards and phenomena.
  • The Essential Tension

    The Essential Tension
    Kuhn’s books revolutionized the history and philosophy of science, and his concept of paradigm shifts was extended to such disciplines as political science, economics, sociology, and even to business management. Kuhn’s later works were a collection of essays, The Essential Tension (1977), and the technical study Black-Body Theory and the Quantum Discontinuity (1978).
  • Thomas Kuhn Normal Science

    Thomas Kuhn Normal Science