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Thomas Kuhn's revolutionary theory on scientific change.,
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This review is from: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions: 50th Anniversary Edition (Paperback)
Thomas Kuhn's controversial 1962 book produced a radical change in the way of thinking about science and also introduced the now pervasive term 'paradigm shift'.
Before Kuhn, the orthodox view was that science progressed in an evolutionary, cumulative way, gradually getting nearer to the 'truth'. In a nutshell, Kuhn's thesis states that there are alternating periods of 'normal' and 'revolutionary' science. After a revolutionary paradigm shift normal science is resumed with a new theoretical framework. Examples of this shift are the transition from Ptolemy's earth-centred solar system to the Copernican sun-centred paradigm and Newtonian mechanics being superseded by quantum mechanics.
'The Structure of Scientific Revolutions', which has now sold 1.4 million copies, is one of the most influential books of the 20th century and this 50th Anniversary Edition has an excellent new preface by philosopher Ian Hacking.