The American Philosopher: Conversations with Quine, Davidson, Putnam, Nozick, Danto, Rorty, Cavell, MacIntyre, and Kuhn

By Rosanna Crocitto; Giovanna Borradori | Go to book overview

9
Paradigms of Scientific Evolution Thomas S. Kuhn

When Thomas S. Kuhn crossed the Atlantic to take the word to the International Colloquium on the Philosophy of Science in Bedford College in London, he never imagined that his intervention would provoke such a storm of controversy. Only three years had passed since 1962, the date of the first edition of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions; and it would be five more years before Kuhn, upset by the misunderstandings and the improper "uses" of his theories, would decide to prepare a postscript in response to his critics.

Published in the same International Encyclopedia of Unified Sciences that served as the editorial outlet of the Vienna Circle and its proselytes, Kuhn's book played the role of the Trojan Horse within the walls of positivism. It was a role that clearly reflected his querelle with the positivist residue present in Karl Popper's theory of falsifiability, inaugurated at the London Colloquium in 1965 and destined to remain, in Europe and in America, the central theme in the philosophy-of-science debate for the next fifteen years.

Born in Ohio in 1922, the young Kuhn adopted the Harvard campus as his new home. Apart from a temporary move to Princeton, Cambridge has remained his home ever since, and he currently teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In the immediate postwar period, he had not yet finished his doctoral thesis in physics when science began to reveal itself in a new historical perspective, undermining the attractions of the purely experimental approach. The Copernican Revolution; PlanetaryAstronomy

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The American Philosopher: Conversations with Quine, Davidson, Putnam, Nozick, Danto, Rorty, Cavell, MacIntyre, and Kuhn
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