the cedar ledge

Scientific Revolutions

Date: May 22 2022

Summary: The careful nuance that Kuhn used when he created the phrase “Scientific Revolution”

Keywords: ##outline #revolution #scientific #shift #paradigm


T. S. Kuhn and I. Hacking, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Fourth edition. Chicago ; London: The University of Chicago Press, 2012.


“Scientific Revolutions” and the Term “Revolution”

According to Kuhn, these crises are the requirements for a new paradigm to come forth. This leads to extraordinary science as this episode in a paradigm’s life is extraordinary that causes a basic shift in how science is even conducted. This period, coined by Kuhn, is called a “Scientific Revolution.”

Kuhn was very particular in invoking the term “revolution.” He related the phrase “scientific revolution” analogously to a political revolution. In the same way that a political revolution is often fomented when a political body fails to serve adequately the growing body of its populace, so too are the grounds set for a scientific revolution.

Although a paradigm may shift how one does science, the world itself does not change. Rather, the way we view and operate in the world does. For the adoptees of a new paradigm, the adoptee must say something to the effect of “I once understood X to be Y, but I was mistaken” and in doing so admit a form of error in looking at reality.



CC BY-SA 4.0 Jacob Zelko. Last modified: June 21, 2022. Website built with Franklin.jl and the Julia programming language.