Thomas Kuhn’s “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions”


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Essay #: 057885
Total text length is 5,126 characters (approximately 3.5 pages).

Excerpts from the Paper

The beginning:
Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is a seminal work that introduced the idea of a “paradigm shift,” a total shift in the way science—and society—look at things. Science was thought to be about constants, facts, yet Kuhn showed that truth itself can change.
Kuhn points out that science enjoys periods of stable growth (“normal science”) where scientists work together guided by a set of rules and assumptions to create a body of knowledge that, for a time, is not troubled by exceptions to rules or evidence that does not seem to fit with what is known. Then, there are “revolutions” due to discoveries such as the existence of germs or electricity--because this new “paradigm” or way of understanding how things work actually...
The end:
..... occurred, political recourse fails,” notes Kuhn. He also points out the sobering idea that “Political revolutions aim to change political institutions in ways that those institutions themselves prohibit.” In science, scientists themselves may try to prevent us from making scientific progress. This is sobering in terms of the energy crisis, for instance, and makes us realize how easy it may be for scientists to be manipulated by politicians towards a certain way of thinking. Kuhn explains the inevitable nature of our world in this important work.
Works Cited
Kuhn, Thomas. “The Nature and Necessity of Scientific Revolutions.” March, 2005 version. Web. 1 March. 2010.