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am 16. August 1999
This book is a classic and will be rememebered, those who give it less than five stars, I think, are experiencing intellectual panty creep because of Kuhn's assertion that science isn't fundamentally driven by the search for truth.
The critics have a point, Kuhn's own theory can be used to place some of his arguments in context, in 1962 people thought truth was an easy thing to discover, I think the most conservative academic today understands how difficult it can be to pin a new idea down, how compelling is the desire to think that what we believe to be truth is, in fact, true.
Kuhn's book was a milestone, one author's attempt to show that science is not ruled only by logic, there's a human element involved, and while I think he went overboard and wasn't the only person who took this approach I understand and respect and think readers will appreciate the contributions made by this book.
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am 27. März 1999
"Paradigms" are the cliché of the 90's. Today we talk about "changing our paradigms" about as often as we "change our tires" and "change our minds". Here is a little trivia: Thomas Kuhn invented the concept of "paradigm shift" in 1962. This book is a classic. Kuhn is one of the giants of systems thinking. Read the source and find out how Copernicus caused a 30 year crises when he suggested that the earth might revolve around sun! Are we more advanced than the days of Copernicus? Probably not. This book is worthwhile exercise in humility training.
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am 26. Oktober 1998
There are few words to describe the powerful insights which Kuhn offers us in the area of science. It is clear to me that we are now moving through just the kind of scientific revolution Kuhn describes. Darwinism is inexorably replacing creationism as a paradigm (Kuhn`s word) for how we all got here. It is slow to be sure, just as Kuhn says, but it is happening with tidal force. Anyone wanting to understand these kinds of scientific changes will profit from getting Kuhn`s point of view. I don`t believe in shouting (in print or otherwise) so I`ll type: g-e-t i-t !!
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am 9. April 2010
According to Kuhn scientific thinking rests on paradigms, on universally recognized scientific achievements that for a time provide model problems and solutions to a community of practitioners. The term paradigm, he adds, relates closely to normal science. The paradigm is a body of presuppositions which make science possible. No natural history can be interpreted in the absence of at least some implicit body of intertwined theoretical and methodological belief that permits selection, evaluation and criticism. Without these presuppositions, all data are equally relevant and equally meaningless. Thus a paradigm is an accepted model or pattern which establishes what shall be regarded as science. It defines both the problems of science and the area of the answers. The paradigm refuses by nature, you can say, to tolerate data which do not conform the presuppositions.
It follows that scientists normally aim to invent new theories, and they are often intolerant of those invented by others. Normal scientific research is directed to the articulation of those phenomena and theories that the paradigm already supplies. A paradigm is thus a criterion for choosing problems. Other problems are dismissed as metaphysical although they may have been relevant previously. Science, says the author, progresses rapidly because it chooses only those problems it can solve in terms of it s paradigm. There is no science without commitment to a paradigm. Kuhn points out that circular reasoning is used to defend the basic presupposition. In times of change each group uses its own paradigm to argue in that "paradigm`s defense" with a "resulting circularity". Paradigms so govern science that all past science is reviewed and seen in terms of progress towards the present paradigm.
What is the conclusion to this all? That science does not know truth, but builds its own model of a "truth" which it strives for. Modern science is operating on the basis of two mutually exclusive paradigms. First it assumes the eternal degree of brute, meaningless factuality. Second it assumes the autonomy of man as the sole source of law and meaning in a meaningless world.
In terms of its autonomy, modern science refuses to ascribe any goal or purpose to the universe. But, again, in terms of its autonomy, it can visualize a scientifically guided and created goal. This is an out crying contradiction.
This is a disconcerting idea, that scientists absolutize themselves and seriously plan to remake humanity in terms of their imagination. They dream the dream of reason, limited by themselves. The choice they have had was between God`s paradigm and man`s paradigm. The widespread acceptance of Kuhn`s paradigm clearly means that scientists have recognized their religious foundation, and they have self-consciously elected themselves as god-substitute, because they say what "truth" is, they command what is right or wrong. They are the modern priests. It seems that the relentless juggernaut of science is swiftly shattering the world we know and generating a blizzard of ethical, moral, and legal problems which mankind is already being called upon to solve.
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am 14. November 1998
I read this book for a philosophy 101 class and it was the only title on the list that was bearable. I was surprised because I'm as terrible at science as philosophy, but Kuhn makes it understandable. This is one of those books that just makes the reader say "wow..." Everybody interested in learning more about the history/philosophy of science should read this.
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am 6. Mai 2000
Kuhn's book is eminently popular and with good reason - it surveys a large number of important historical developments in science.
Unfortunately, his main thesis for which the book is famous, namely that science occurs in incommeasurable revolutions, is very dubiously supported. A more careful investigation of cases (see, for instance, P. Kitcher's book _The Advancement of Science_ and _The Norton History of Chemistry_) suggests Kuhn is wrong. A logical analysis suggests the strongest reading of his thesis is logically false (see Bunge's _Philosophy of Science_). Read these and decide for yourself case by case; it may be that some scientific developments are "more Kuhnian" than others.
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am 4. Januar 2000
Amazon recommended this book and this time I found the recommendation to be very good indeed. Kuhn develops is argument slowly and methodically building carefully upon his initial themes. His precise style reminds me of Darwin’s Origin of Species although this book is far more readable. His ideas have stood the test of time and have influenced many fields as is obvious from the overuse of his phrase the “paradigm shift�. I enjoyed the book thoroughly but felt it could do with an update. I would be particularly interested in the overlap between his ideas and complexity theory, the similarities between paradigm shifts and phase transitions and the ways in which his argument may be influenced by the works of people like Matt Ridley and his ideas on the evolution of human cooperation detailed in his book “The Origins of Virtue�
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am 6. Juni 1999
this classical book is a real mind changer for the amateur scientist - philosopher. Kuhn gives the world of science and scientists a new perspective and leads the way for contemporary philosophy of science. a great first look at an open field of philosophy.
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am 4. Oktober 1998
I agree with reader #2: this text is difficult to assimilate. Kuhn writes terribly (long, convoluted sentances). Is it worthwhile? Probably. The material presented by Kuhn might best be contrasted with George Basalla's book THE EVOLUTION OF TECHNOLOGY.
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am 30. März 1999
Thomas S. Kuhn, the former professor of phylosophy at MIT, explains us the ideas, causes, events, and effects of scientific revolutions. He gives the definition of the "paradigms" and shows the way they work. Mainly, the author explaines that the resulting "shift" from the old paradigm to a new one is a scientific revolution itself. The clarifying of the major differences between the pre- and the post-paradigm periods in the development of science plays an important role too. The only problem is that the major aspects of the book aply to the natural science only. Very well-written and well-systemized book. It might be especially interesting for scientists who like to see and understand the history of their field.
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