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Kuhn's 'The Structure of Scientific Revolutions': A Reader's Guide (Reader's Guides) 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0826493767
ISBN-10: 0826493769
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Editorial Reviews

Review

'This richly succinct guide to The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, T.S. Kuhn's hugely influential book, combines a lucid and subtle presentation of its main themes with an incisive and probing assessment of its reception and significance.'
Vasso Kindi, Department of Philosophy and History of Science, University of Athens, Greece


'Preston's book admirably illuminates the most philosophically compelling and enduring elements of Kuhn's thought without diluting their complexity or sidestepping their perplexing consequences.'
Matthew Lund, Department of Philosophy and Religion, Rowan University, USA


'This richly succinct guide to The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, T.S. Kuhn’s hugely influential book, combines a lucid and subtle presentation of its main themes with an incisive and probing assessment of its reception and significance.'
Vasso Kindi, Department of Philosophy and History of Science, University of Athens, Greece


'Preston’s book admirably illuminates the most philosophically compelling and enduring elements of Kuhn’s thought without diluting their complexity or sidestepping their perplexing consequences.'
Matthew Lund, Department of Philosophy and Religion, Rowan University, USA

About the Author

John Preston is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Reading. Previous publications include Feyerabend: Philosophy, Science and Society (Polity, 1997) and Thought and Language (ed.) (CUP, 1997).
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Product Details

  • Series: Reader's Guides
  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic; 1 edition (August 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826493769
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826493767
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,462,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Ole J. Forsberg on May 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While this book is rather difficult to get through at times, the understanding one gets through the reading is invaluable. Popper lays out a philosophy of science that has echoes and ramifications to today's world. While we do have a deeper understanding of what we mean by 'science', Popper was the one who set us on that track.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book really helped explain what Kuhn;s book (essay) was all about. Broke down most of the scientific terms Kuhn used. Written in laymen terms.
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Format: Paperback
"The uncritical attitude is what I regard as the unscientific attitude. It is, however, what Kuhn regards as normal science," Karl Popper.

John Preston carefully presents Kuhn's historical development and sources and reviews his thought in some detail. The notion of paradigms has become part of common discourse, but there are dangers in a naive acceptance of the concept and unfortunately Kuhn's rewriting of Popper's thought so that it barely relates to Popper's written work, in particular The Postscript, has become a standard myth.

Perhaps it is worth going back to first principles. We should recall that falsifiability is based on the the "modus tollens" deductive argument.

If the theory is true such and such will follow.
Such and such do not follow.
Therefore, the theory is not true.

Falsifiability is thus a logical property of a proposition that is vulnerable to refutation by a true existential statement. The propositions of concern to Karl Popper were universal laws in the form: all swans are white. This is falsified by the statement (if true): here is a black swan.

Falsification is, in contrast, the practical demonstration that a proposition has been falsified. Unlike the decisive logic of the modus tollens, the real-world process of falsification can never be decisive due to the Duhem problem, the uncertainty of observations and even sheer avoidence of testing by production of "ad hoc" hypotheses and so forth.

Induction is a form of conjecture in which one generalizes from the premises to a conclusion. Is there any formal logic in this process when it is akin to guessing a pattern and extrapolating?
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