The spell of Kuhn on psychology: An exegetical elixir

Philosophical Psychology 6 (3):267 – 287 (1993)
In their meta-scientific studies of psychology, psychologists often use what they take to be the views of Thomas Kuhn. Although a critical examination of psychology or aspects of psychology is laudatory, psychologists' also need to accurately understand and to assume a critical stance toward the meta-scientific views that they employ. In this paper the views of the historian of science, Thomas Kuhn, are examined. The following questions are addressed: What were Kuhn's investigative methods? What are his views of science? What exactly do Kuhn's conclusions about science mean? How does Kuhn rely on psychology? and, What does Kuhn have to say about psychology? The extent to which psychologists find Kuhn so attractive is puzzling given the significant ambiguities and inconsistencies in Kuhn's views, his informal and unsystematic use of psychology, and his disparaging comments about psychology. It is recommended that psychologists adopt a more critical stance toward Kuhn and that they consider other meta-scientific theories in their studies of psychology.
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