Kuhn

Kuhn : Philosopher of Scientific Revolutions

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Thomas Kuhna s shadow hangs over almost every field of intellectual inquiry. His book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions has become a modern classic. His influence on philosophy, social science, historiography, feminism, theology, and (of course) the natural sciences themselves is unparalleled. His epoch--making concepts of a new paradigma and a scientific revolutiona make him probably the most influential scholar of the twentieth century. Sharrock and Read take the reader through Kuhna s work in a careful and accessible way, emphasizing Kuhna s detailed studies of the history of science, which often assist the understanding of his more abstract philosophical work. These historical studies provide vital insight into what Kuhn was actually trying to achieve in his The Structure of Scientific Revolutions: an endeavour far less extreme than either his a foesa or his a fansa claim.
In the booka s second half, Sharrock and Read provide excellent explications, defences and, where appropriate, criticisms of Kuhna s central concept of a incommensurabilitya , and tackle head on the crucial issue of whether Kuhna s insights concerning the natural sciences can be extrapolated to other disciplines, such as the social sciences. This is the first comprehensive introduction to the work of Kuhn and it will be of particular interest to students and scholars in philosophy, theory of science, management science and anthropology.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 248 pages
  • 153.4 x 240.3 x 23.4mm | 480.82g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1, black & white illustrations
  • 0745619282
  • 9780745619286

Back cover copy

Thomas Kuhn's shadow hangs over almost every field of intellectualinquiry. His book The Structure of Scientific Revolutionshas become a modern classic. His influence on philosophy, socialscience, historiography, feminism, theology, and (of course) thenatural sciences themselves is unparalleled. His epoch-makingconcepts of 'new paradigm' and 'scientificrevolution' make him probably the most influential scholar ofthe twentieth century.


Sharrock and Read take the reader through Kuhn's work in acareful and accessible way, emphasizing Kuhn's detailed studies ofthe history of science, which often assist the understanding of hismore abstract philosophical work. These historical studies providevital insight into what Kuhn was actually trying to achieve in hisThe Structure of Scientific Revolutions an endeavour farless extreme than either his 'foes' or his'fans' claim. In the book's second half, Sharrock andRead provide excellent explications, defences and, whereappropriate, criticisms of Kuhn's central concept of'incommensurability', and tackle head on the crucialissue of whether Kuhn's insights concerning the natural sciencescan be extrapolated to other disciplines, such as the socialsciences.


This is the first comprehensive introduction to the work ofKuhn and it will be of particular interest to students and scholarsin philosophy, theory of science, management science andanthropology.
show more

Table of contents

Acknowledgements. Abbreviations for Kuhn's Works. Introduction: The Legendary Thomas Kuhn. Part I Exposition. 1 The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. 2 The Historical Case Studies. Part II Critical Issues. 3 Kuhn and the Methodologists of Science. 4 Incommensurability 1: Relativism about Truth and Meaning. 5 Incommensurability 2: World Changes. Conclusion: The Unresolved Tension. Notes. Bibliography. Index
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Review quote

"As Thomas Kuhn indicated in the first sentence of his great book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, his aim was to "produce a decisive transformation in the image of science by which we are now possessed". Unfortunately, many of Kuhna s readers have been possessed by a distorted image of Kuhna s own position, and so failed to appreciate the signal contribution he made to our understanding of scientific practice. Sharrock and Read aim to do for our image of Kuhn what Kuhn did for our image of science. They succeed brilliantly, giving a wonderfully insightful and nuanced account of what Kuhn was up to and what he achieved." Peter Lipton, University of Cambridge
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About Wes Sharrock

Wes Sharrock is Reader in Sociology at the University of Manchester and Rupert Read is Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of East Anglia
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