Synthese 158 (1):61-73 (2007)

I re-examine Kuhn’s account of scientific revolutions. I argue that the sorts of events Kuhn regards as scientific revolutions are a diverse lot, differing in significant ways. But, I also argue that Kuhn does provide us with a principled way to distinguish revolutionary changes from non-revolutionary changes in science. Scientific revolutions are those changes in science that (1) involve taxonomic changes, (2) are precipitated by disappointment with existing practices, and (3) cannot be resolved by appealing to shared standards. I argue that an important and often overlooked dimension of the Kuhnian account of scientific change is the shift in focus from theories to research communities. Failing to make this shift in perspective might lead one to think that when individual scientists change theories a scientific revolution has occurred. But, according to Kuhn, it is research communities that undergo revolutionary changes, not individual scientists. I show that the change in early modern astronomy is aptly characterized as a Kuhnian revolution.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy of Language   Metaphysics   Epistemology   Logic   Philosophy
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-006-9050-z
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References found in this work BETA

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.David Bohm - 1964 - Philosophical Quarterly 14 (57):377-379.
Thomas Kuhn.Alexander Bird - 2000 - Routledge.

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Citations of this work BETA

Kuhn and the Discovery of Paradigms.K. Brad Wray - 2011 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 41 (3):380-397.
General Solution to All Philosophical Problems With Some Exceptions.Wayde Beasley - forthcoming - north of parallel 40: Numerous uncommitted.
Taxonomies, Networks, and Lexicons: A Study of Kuhn’s Post-‘Linguistic Turn’ Philosophy.Vincenzo Politi - 2021 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 33 (2):87-103.

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