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The Structure of Scientific Revolutions 3rd Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Though Thomas Kuhn focused on the Copernican Revolution, for me the Quantum Revolution is a more poignant example of paradigm shift. And the latter, like the former, starts with inexplicable phenomena. When the traditional electromagnetic theory of Maxwell's Equations couldn't explain black body radiation, Boltzmann and then Plank developed a set of equations with quantized energy levels to explain the phenomena. Later, Niels Bohr formulated the quantized levels of atoms to explain their discrete emissions.
As Kuhn says, "When, in the development of a natural science, an individual or group first produces a synthesis able to attract most of the next generation's practitioners, the older schools gradually disappear." In this case, Bohr persuaded his colleagues about the new view and pushed quantum mechanics into the forefront, securing it as the dominant theory in modern physics. But there were oppositions. Even Einstein, who proposed the quantization of light, could not accept the probabilistic nature of matter-energy as described by the Uncertainty Principle. For him, "God does not play dice.Read more ›
Any student working on a Masters or PhD in any science ought to read this book for background.
Kuhn postulates that there is a model, or paradigm, if you will, called "normal science." Virtually the entire scientific (and even non-scientific) community subscribe to this model. The role of a scientist operating within the normal parameters of a given paradigm is to "tweak" the model; that is, make further advances in our collective knowledge, but within the model's framework. But there always seem to be anomalies to a given explanation of the natural world, and the anomalies can mount, and seem to reach a "critical mass," (itself an expression from another paradigm shift), and eventually the entire paradigm is "shifted" to a new one. Certainly one of the most famous examples, cited by Kuhn, is the revolution in our thinking about our place in the universe, which was led by Galileo and Copernicus. Prior to this revolution, the standard model was that the earth was the center of the universe, with the sun, moon, and all the stars circling it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sort of hard to get through it. You really have to be interested to finish this book. Not for casual readers. Steve Jobs was into it; but Hey! Stevie boy I am not.Published 2 months ago by Bad Puddy Tat
When I undertook to read this great classic I expected it to be a book about the history of science, but I ended up reading a philosophy of science treatise. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Normand Hamel
The book was delivered quickly and as promised. The content still has value in today's present context.Published 15 months ago by MICHAEL H.
Excellent work. I am writing my BA on it. I now own every edition.Published 16 months ago by Somethingsomethingdarkside
This is a landmark work in science (or Philosophy of Science). Every global warming alarmist should read this book, and then stare at himself / herself in the mirror. Read morePublished 16 months ago by R&J
Thomas Samuel Kuhn (1922-1996) was an American physicist, historian, and philosopher of science, who taught at Harvard, UC Berkeley, and MIT. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Steven H Propp