Thomas Samuel Kuhn

Picture of Thomas Samuel Kuhn

Date of Birth: 07/18/1922

Age: 73

Place of birth: Cincinnati (Ohio).

Citizenship: United States


Born July 18, 1922 in Cincinnati (pcs. Ohio). He studied theoretical physics at Harvard University, where he defended his doctoral thesis in 1949. He taught at Harvard since 1949, since 1957 - at Princeton. From 1968 to 1979 - a professor at Princeton University, and from 1979 until his retirement in 1991 - a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Kuhn died in Cambridge (Mass.) June 17, 1996.

Popularity Kuhn brought the second of the books written by him - Structure of Scientific Revolutions (The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 1962). Her ideas were born in the period of teaching at Harvard, the author researched the origins of theoretical mechanics of the 17th century. Kuhn discovered that Aristotle`s physics was not a preparatory phase for Galileo and Newton`s physics. If the mechanic 17. understands the movement solely in terms of weight and strength, in the Aristotelian tradition, the movement is considered as a qualitative change in the state of a moving object. Analyzing the revolution in science, Kuhn shows that the history of science has not been a linear process of accumulation of knowledge, rather it is the alternation of periods of "normal science" and deny its "revolutionary science." For example, Aristotle`s physics functioned as a model ( "Paradigm"), normal science from classical antiquity to the late Middle Ages; during this period, she asked the conceptual tools and the main direction of scientific research. Physical and mathematical discovery of the 16th and 17th centuries., Associated with the names of Copernicus, Galileo, Descartes and Newton, have created a situation of scientific revolution, in which the old paradigm supporters clashed with supporters of the "new science." The period of normal science came back only in the late 17th century. When Newtonian physics has gained wide acceptance among scientists and established itself as a paradigm of scientific research.

Although critics of the work of Kuhn initially focused on the concept of a paradigm, most discussion has caused another of his thesis - on the incommensurability of scientific theories. Supporters Carnap and logical positivism viewed science as a process of nomination and critical inspection (verification) statements; Popper`s followers believed the key procedure is not verified, and falsification (refutation) scientific hypotheses. But they both proceeded from the notion of science as a process of accumulation of knowledge: the Aristotelian and medieval physics considered as a partial understanding of reality, augmented later new science. Kuhn also insisted that Aristotle and Newton`s teachings are the two incompatible systems knowledge.

Among other significant works Kuhn Essential voltage (The Essential Tension, 1977) and the monograph blackbody theory and quantum discontinuity, 1894-1912 (Black-Body Theory and Quantum Discontinuity, 1894-1912, 1978).