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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 University Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226317175.001.0001

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date: 14 December 2017

A Smoker’s Paradigm

A Smoker’s Paradigm

Chapter:
(p.31) Two A Smoker’s Paradigm
Source:
Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions at Fifty
Author(s):
M. Norton Wise
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226317175.003.0003

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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