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The Structure of Scientific Revolutions: 50th Anniversary Editionby Thomas Kuhn
Synopses & Reviews
A good book may have the power to change the way we see the world, but a great book actually becomes part of our daily consciousness, pervading our thinking to the point that we take it for granted, and we forget how provocative and challenging its ideas once were—and still are. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is that kind of book. When it was first published in 1962, it was a landmark event in the history and philosophy of science. Fifty years later, it still has many lessons to teach.
With The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn challenged long-standing linear notions of scientific progress, arguing that transformative ideas dont arise from the day-to-day, gradual process of experimentation and data accumulation but that the revolutions in science, those breakthrough moments that disrupt accepted thinking and offer unanticipated ideas, occur outside of “normal science,” as he called it. Though Kuhn was writing when physics ruled the sciences, his ideas on how scientific revolutions bring order to the anomalies that amass over time in research experiments are still instructive in our biotech age.
This new edition of Kuhns essential work in the history of science includes an insightful introduction by Ian Hacking, which clarifies terms popularized by Kuhn, including paradigm and incommensurability, and applies Kuhns ideas to the science of today. Usefully keyed to the separate sections of the book, Hackings introduction provides important background information as well as a contemporary context. Newly designed, with an expanded index, this edition will be eagerly welcomed by the next generation of readers seeking to understand the history of our perspectives on science.
The publication of Personal Knowledge in 1958 shook the science world as Michael Polanyi took aim at the long-standing ideals of rigid empiricism and rule-bound logic. Today, Personal Knowledge remains one of the most significant philosophy of science books of the twentieth century, bringing the crucial concepts of tacit knowledge” and personal knowledge” to the forefront of inquiry.
In this remarkable treatise, Polanyi attests that our personal experiences and ways of sharing knowledge have a profound effect on scientific discovery. He argues against the idea of the wholly dispassionate researcher, pointing out that even in the strictest of sciences, knowing is still an art, and that personal commitment and passion are logically necessary parts of research. In our technological age where fact is split from value and science from humanity, Polanyis work continues to advocate for the innate curiosity and scientific leaps of faith that drive our most dazzling ingenuity.
For this expanded edition, Polyani scholar Mary Jo Nye set the philosopher-scientists work into contemporary context, offering fresh insights and providing a helpful guide to critical terms in the work. Used in fields as diverse as religious studies, chemistry, economics, and anthropology, Polanyis view of knowledge creation is just as relevant to intellectual endeavors today as when it first made waves more than fifty years ago.
About the Author
Thomas S. Kuhn (1922–96) was the Laurence Rockefeller Professor of linguistics and philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His books include The Essential Tension; Black-Body Theory and the Quantum Discontinuity, 1894–1912; and The Copernican Revolution.
Table of Contents
Introductory Essay by Ian Hacking
I. Introduction: A Role for History
II. The Route to Normal Science
III. The Nature of Normal Science
IV. Normal Science as Puzzle-solving
V. The Priority of Paradigms
VI. Anomaly and the Emergence of Scientific Revolutions
VII. Crisis and the Emergence of Scientific Theories
VIII. The Response to Crisis
IX. The Nature and Necessity of Scientific Revolutions
X. Revolutions as Changes of World View
XI. The Invisibility of Revolutions
XII. The Resolution of Revolutions
XIII. Progress through Revolutions
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