Thomas Kuhn’s Concepts of Pre-Science and Normal Science Periods in History


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Essay #: 064393
Total text length is 10,879 characters (approximately 7.5 pages).

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The beginning:
Thomas Kuhn's Concepts of Pre-Science and Normal Science Periods in History
In his essay on the structure of science, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), Thomas Kuhn indentified periods of pre-science followed by periods of normal science. The following discussion outlines Kuhn's definitions of these two periods. In the process, the distinction between these two periods is illustrated using the period of mercantilism (approximately 1500 to 1750), and the century of classical economics (Adam Smith through John Stuart Mill). Ultimately, discussion works towards a response to the question of whether these two periods conform to Kuhn's distinction.
Understanding the Meaning of Kuhn’s Periods of Pre-science and Normal...
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.....that governed inquiry and investigation. Economic thinkers during this period were largely working independently on esoteric ideas. And moreover, many of their ideas would be shown in later decades and centuries as simply being wrong. During the classical economics period, however, thinkers like Adam Smith, Jean-Baptiste Say, and John Stuart Mill would all work within the framework of some common set of assumptions and principles concerning economics. In many areas, there was fundamental agreement. But in other areas, and in a manner consistent with normal science, there was disagreement and extension of the paradigm as different thinkers introduced new ideas and concepts.
Kuhn, Thomas. Structure of Scientific Revolutions. 1962.