<history of philosophy, biography> American philosopher of science (1922-1996). In The Structure of Scientific Revolution (1962, 1970) Kuhn emphasized the discontinuity of scientific progress, characterized by long periods of "normal research" (conducted entirely within the framework of a prevailing theoretical paradigm) that are punctuated by brief and largely inexplicable periods of paradigm-shifting scientific revolution. On this view, there can be no rational grounds for choosing between incommensurable paradigms, each of which solves its own set of problems. Such themes are illustrated and expanded in The Essential Tension: Selected Studies in Scientific Tradition and Change (1977) and The Road Since Structure: Philosophical Essays, 1970-1993 (2000). Recommended Reading: Thomas S. Kuhn, Black-Body Theory and the Quantum Discontinuity, 1894-1912 (Chicago, 1987); World Changes: Thomas Kuhn and the Nature of Science, ed. by Paul Horwich (MIT, 1994); Howard Margolis, Paradigms & Barriers: How Habits of Mind Govern Scientific Beliefs (Chicago, 1993); Alexander Bird, Thomas Kuhn (Princeton, 2001); Steve Fuller, Thomas Kuhn: A Philosophical History for Our Times (Chicago, 2000); and Hanne Andersen, On Kuhn (Wadsworth, 2000).
[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]
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