Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions was one of the most controversial books of the 20th century as well as being one of the most referenced academic works in history.
In this episode we look at what Thomas Kuhn said about the Structure of Scientific Revolutions and how every science falls into three phases. The first stage of Kuhn’s theory is the Pre-Paradigm phase. This is where the field has yet to achieve any consensus and is divided into a number of competing schools.
With the second phase in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions Kuhn tells us that the field has achieved a certain level of consensus around one paradigmatic theory as has happened for the field of Optics with the work of Newton or of electricity with the work of Franklin. This paradigm sets the research program for the field which sets about the work of normal science.
In the course of this normal science, anomalies in the data appear and Kuhn tells us that these anomalies, if not resolved, precipitate a crisis in the field and lead the practitioners to doubt their paradigm.
It is this type of crisis that triggers the emergence of the revolutionary science or extraordinary science. In this period a scientist comes up with a solution to this crisis that reorients the field around this new paradigm — setting a new research program and acting as an exemplar for future paradigmatic solutions.
Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions changed how scientific development has been perceived forever. In the next episode on Kuhn’s work we will look at the legacy and criticisms of Kuhn’s work.
- Juniper — Kevin MacLeod
- Drums of the Deep — Kevin MacLeod
- Anguish — Kevin MacLeod
- Mesmerize — Kevin MacLeod
- Allégro — Emmit Fenn
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0:00 The Structure of Scientific Revolutions - Intro
3:04 Paradigm – Normal Science
5:31 Revolutionary / Extraordinary Science
10:03 Summary and Conclusion
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