, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 1-10
Date: 02 Dec 2011

Assessing the influence of Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions

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Thomas Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions is a resilient book. It was originally published in 1962, republished in a second edition with a Postscript in 1970, and then republished again in a third edition in 1996. My aim is to examine the impact of Kuhn’s Structure on the philosophy of science. I begin with a survey of a few measures of the impact of Structure. I then turn to explaining the nature of the impact of the book, identifying some of the controversies raised by the book. Then, I turn to the topic of explaining the legacy of Structure, identifying some topics raised in Structure and Kuhn’s later work that still do and should concern philosophers of science. Finally, I identify some of the topics in philosophy of science that have not been influenced by Kuhn’s Structure, thus identifying the limits of Kuhn’s influence.

Measuring the impact of Kuhn’s Structure

The impact of Structure on philosophy of science is undeniable and can be measured in a variety of ways as follows

This essay review was especially commissioned on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the publication of Kuhn’s seminal book. It continues the series of re-appraisals of older classics.