Relativity and Revolutions in Science

  • Stanley Goldberg


In the course of this book we have examined the intellectual and social context out of which the theory of relativity emerged, how the theory was initially received in four different scientific cultures and how it has been assimilated since in one of those cultures. The development and assimilation of the theory of relativity have been widely acclaimed as one of two major revolutions in physics in the twentieth century. (The other is the development of quantum physics.) We now examine briefly the notion of scientific revolution and how it might be applied to the theory of relativity.


Scientific Revolution Scientific Culture German Physicist Logical Empiricism American Case 
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  1. *.
    One of the first, if not the first, book length studies that explicitly made reference to scientific revolution was A. R. Hall’s The Scientific Revolution, 1500–1800 (London, 1954; 2nd ed., 1962).Google Scholar
  2. †.
    T. S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago, 1962; 2nd ed. 1970).Google Scholar
  3. *.
    For entree into the literature on Kuhn’s work see, T. S. Kuhn, “Reflection on My Critics,” in I. Lakatos and A. Musgrave (eds.), Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge (Cambridge, England, 1970) and “Second Thoughts on Paradigms,” in F. Suppe (ed.), The Structure of Scientific Theories (Urbana, 1971).Google Scholar

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© Birkhäuser Boston, Inc. 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stanley Goldberg

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