The answers you get depend upon the questions you ask.

โ€” Thomas Kuhn

The most sensational Thomas Kuhn quotes that are guaranted to improve your brain

All significant breakthroughs are break -โ€œwithsโ€ old ways of thinking.

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What chemists took from Dalton was not new experimental laws but a new way of practicing chemistry (he himself called it the 'new system of chemical philosophy'), and this proved so rapidly fruitful that only a few of the older chemists in France and Britain were able to resist it.

48

Philosophers of science have repeatedly demonstrated that more than one theoretical construction can always be placed upon a given collection of data.

41

Normal science, the activity in which most scientists inevitably spend most all their time, is predicated on the assumption that the scientific community knows what the world is like. Normal science often suppresses fundamental novelties because they are necessarily subversive of its basic commitments.

27

In science novelty emerges only with difficulty, manifested by resistance, against a background provided by expectation.

23

Almost always the men who achieve these fundamental inventions of a new paradigm have been either very young or very new to the field whose paradigm they change.

19

Normal science does not aim at novelties of fact or theory and, when successful, finds none.

19

Rather than being an interpreter, the scientist who embraces a new paradigm is like the man wearing inverting lenses.

17

The transition between competing paradigms cannot be made a step at a time, forced by logic and neutral experience. Like the gestalt switch, it must occur all at once (though not necessarily in an instant) or not at all.

17

Its assimilation requires the reconstruction of prior theory and re-evaluation of prior fact, an intrinsically revolutionary process that is seldom completed a single man and never overnight

13

As in political revolutions, so in paradigm choice-there is no standard higher than the assent of the relevant community... this issue of paradigm choice can never be unequivocally settled by logic and experiment alone.

10

The crises of our time, it becomes increasingly clear, are the necessary impetus for the revolution now under way. And once we understand nature's transformative powers, we see that it is our powerful ally, not a force to feared our subdued.

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About Thomas Kuhn

Quotes 41 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Writer
Birthday October 16

Each paradigm will be shown to satisfy more or less the criteria that it dictates for itself and to fall short of a few of those dictated by its opponent.

7

The resolution of revolutions is selection by conflict within the scientific community of the fittest way to practice future science. The net result of a sequence of such revolutionary selections, separated by periods of normal research, is the wonderfully adapted set of instruments we call modern scientific knowledge.

6

The historian of science may be tempted to exclaim that when paradigms change, the world itself changes with them.

3

Later scientific theories are better than earlier ones for solving puzzles in the often quite different environments to which they are applied. That is not a relativist's position, and it displays the sense in which I am a convinced believer in scientific progress.

2

Research under a paradigm must be a particularly effective way of inducing paradigm change.

2

Crisis alone is not enough. There must also be a basis, though it need be neither rational nor ultimately correct, for faith in the particular candidate chosen.

1

Political revolutions aim to change political institutions in ways that those institutions themselves prohibit. Their success therefore necessitates the partial relinquishment of one set of institutions in favor of another, and in the interim, society is not fully governed by institutions at all

1

Literally as well as metaphorically, the man accustomed to inverting lenses has undergone a revolutionary transformation of vision.

0

To turn Karl [Popper]'s view on its head, it is precisely the abandonment of critical discourse that marks the transition of science. Once a field has made the transition, critical discourse recurs only at moments of crisis when the bases of the field are again in jeopardy. Only when they must choose between competing theories do scientists behave like philosophers.

0

Though the world does not change with a change of paradigm, the scientist afterward works in a different world... I am convinced that we must learn to make sense of statements that at least resemble these. What occurs during a scientific revolution is not fully reducible to a re-interpretation of individual and stable data. In the first place, the data are not unequivocally stable.

0

Individuals who break through by inventing a new paradigm are almost always either very young men or very new to the field whose paradigm they change. These are the men who, being little committed by prior practice to the traditional rules of normal science, are particularly likely to see that those rules no longer define a playable game and conceive another set that can replace them.

0

We see the world in terms of our theories.

0

Communication across the revolutionary divide is inevitably partial.

0

Concerned to reconstruct past ideas, historians must approach the generation that held them as the anthropologist approaches an alien culture. They must, that is, be prepared at the start to find that natives speak a different language and map experience into different categories from those they themselves bring from home. And they must take as their object the discovery of those categories and the assimilation of the corresponding language.

0

History, if viewed as a repository for more than anecdote or chronology, could produce a decisive transformation in the image of science by which we are now possessed.

0

It is, I think, particularly in periods of acknowledged crisis that scientists have turned to philosophical analysis as a device for unlocking the riddles of their field. Scientists have not generally needed or wanted to be philosophers.

0

Groups do not have experiences except insofar as all their members do.

And there are no experiences... that all the members of a scientific community must share in the course of a [scientific] revolution. Revolutions should be described not in terms of group experience but in terms of the varied experiences of individual group members. Indeed, that variety itself turns out to play an essential role in the evolution of scientific knowledge.

0

All crises begin with the blurring of a paradigm and the consequent loosening of the rules for normal research. .. Or finally, the case that will most concern us here, a crisis may end with the emergence of a new candidate for paradigm and with the ensuing battle over its acceptance.

0

"Normal science" means research firmly based upon one or more past scientific achievements, achievements that some particular scientific community acknowledges for a time as supplying the foundation for its further practice.

0

Every important idea in science sounds strange at first.

0

The decision to reject one paradigm is always simultaneously the decision to accept another, and the judgment leading to that decision involves the comparison of both paradigms with nature and with each other.

0

Under normal conditions the research scientist is not an innovator but a solver of puzzles, and the puzzles upon which he concentrates are just those which he believes can be both stated and solved within the existing scientific tradition.

0

Probably, the single most prevalent claim advanced by the proponents of a new paradigm is that they can solve the problems that led the old one to a crisis.

0

No part of the aim of normal science is to call forth new sorts of phenomena;

indeed those that will not fit the box are often not seen at all. Nor do scientists normally aim to invent new theories, and they are often intolerant of those invented by others.

0

Far from being magisterial in its objectivity, science was conditioned by history, society, and the prejudices of scientists.

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The man who is striving to solve a problem defined by existing knowledge and technique is not, however, just looking around. He knows what he wants to achieve, and he designs his instruments and directs his thoughts accordingly. Unanticipated novelty, the new discovery, can emerge only to the extent that his anticipations about nature and his instruments prove wrong... There is no other effective way in which discoveries might be generated.

0

What a man sees depends both upon what he looks at and also upon what his previous visual-conceptual experience has taught him to see.

0

As in political revolutions, so in paradigm choice--there is no standard higher than the assent of the relevant community. To discover how scientific revolutions are effected, we shall therefore have to examine not only the impact of nature and of logic, but also the techniques of persuasive argumentation effective within the quite special groups that constitute the community of scientists.

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