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Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions at FiftyReflections on a Science Classic$
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Robert J. "Richards and Lorraine Daston

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226317038

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226317175.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 29 March 2020

A Smoker’s Paradigm

A Smoker’s Paradigm

(p.31) Two A Smoker’s Paradigm
Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions at Fifty
M. Norton Wise
University of Chicago Press

This essay reflects on the focused intensity of Thomas Kuhn’s mode of work, highlighting his concept of a paradigm as a narrow technical thing, the possession of a tiny community: thus precise, esoteric, and professional. From this narrow character derived the power of a Kuhnian paradigm to produce new scientific knowledge through normal science and to reveal the anomalies that might lead to a new paradigm. But at the same time it insulated the community from larger cultural and social commitments, which would have threatened its effectiveness. From this perspective, Kuhn’s well-known scepticism about the social turn in history of science was built deeply into his most basic ideas about the Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

Keywords:   paradigm, community, esoteric, professional, smoking, social turn

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