Foundations of Chemistry

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 93–101 | Cite as

Kuhn and the Chemical Revolution: a re-assessment



A recent paper by Hoyningen-Huene argues that the Chemical Revolution is an excellent example of the success of Kuhn’s theory. This paper gives a succinct account of some counter-arguments and briefly refers to some further existing counter-arguments. While Kuhn’s theory does have a small number of more or less successful elements, it has been widely recognised that in general Kuhn’s theory is a “preformed and relatively inflexible framework” (1962, p. 24) which does not fit particular historical examples well; this paper clarifies that those examples include the Chemical Revolution.


Chemical Revolution Kuhn Fiftieth anniversary Re-assessment 



Helpful comments from Andrew Pyle, James Ladyman, Alexander Bird, John G. McEvoy and Cedric Paternotte are gratefully acknowledged.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BristolBristolUK

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