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Thomas Kuhn: A Historian’s Personal Recollections

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Chapter Summary

Immediately after Thomas S. Kuhn (1922-1996) published the first edition of his The Structure of Scientific Revolutions in 1962, philosophers of science attacked him. Professionally, the philosophy of science was grounded as an academic discipline that aimed to teach philosophical basis of Western science at colleges and universities. Kuhn himself was by no means a conservative, but an ambitious liberal as his youthful days testified. Everybody seemed to have expected Kuhn to work in the sociology of science to become the founder of Kuhnian sociology of science. In the late sixties, along with the rise of the student movement, the Kuhnian paradigmatic shift gave support to their anti-establishment mentality in their fundamental questioning of the conventional course of studies of science. Turning to the original direction of a social or sociological issue, Kuhn's scheme must have certainly led, as a matter of necessary course, to the analysis of scientific community.

Keywords: Kuhnian sociology; scientific community; scientific revolutions; Thomas S. Kuhn; western science



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