View Full Version : The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

09-01-2005, 12:44 PM
Has anyone read this book? "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" by Thomas S. Kuhn, what is "paradigm" anyway?

09-02-2005, 09:49 PM
I haven't read it... by teh way what is it about?

paradigm: n. a model or concept used as a standard by which people evaluate, understand and often act (?)

Hoped that helped =)

09-03-2005, 01:56 AM
S/he wrote "paradigm", so I suppose s/he didn't really ask about its literal definition.

10-24-2005, 10:34 PM
Has anyone read this book? "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" by Thomas S. Kuhn, what is "paradigm" anyway?

A paradigm is the overall perspective from which a question or problem is viewed. The paradigm of science is the scientific method.

I haven't read Kuhn's book, but some scientific revolutions evolve like revealed religions: breakthrough insight>establishment of reigning dogma>ex-communication of non-believers. Sad but true.

10-16-2014, 08:36 AM
I have read this many years ago and still have the copy. First published in 1962 it was very influential in explaining how scientific theories change. We now take this as understood, but at the time science was treated as absolute truth. Kuhn's book was the first in a whole series of social studies of science, now a thriving Society for Social Studies of Science (http://4sonline.org).

10-16-2014, 09:04 AM
I hadn't heard about SSSS before. Too often people think science is just an accumulation of facts and theories that progress in a slow, uniform manner.

What I liked about Kuhn's book was the pattern of change that he described which I think is very general. There is a long period of stability or equilibrium and then there is a briefer period of revolution or crisis where that equilibrium is punctuated leading to a new period of stability.

In paleontology this describes the evolutionary process as "punctuated equilibrium" (Gould and Eldredge) which is opposed to the neo-darwinian concept of selfish genes undergoing random mutations in a continuous manner.

For personal development one could describe the individual changes in our lives as crises (revolutions, punctuated stasis) that force us to change. I am thinking here of a book by Laura Day, "Welcome to your Crisis" that tries to help the reader take advantage of these periods of change.

In all of these there is a pattern that Kuhn described for science: long periods of stable activity punctuated by crises that allows growth to occur.

10-16-2014, 09:38 AM
That's very well put YesNo.

SSSS or S4 also publish several journals (http://www.4sonline.org/resources/journals), including gender, science as culture, and many more.

10-17-2014, 09:22 AM
Thanks, Dreamwoven. Are you a member of 4S? I am mainly interested in the philosophy of science.

10-17-2014, 09:36 AM
No I am not a member, but I am interested in it. Mike Mulkay was the founder of the sociology of science, look him up on the internet.