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Kuhn and Popper

Thomas Kuhn acknowledges that Sir Karl Popper’s work earlier in the twentieth century somewhat anticipated his own view of science (Kuhn, Essential Tension 267). Nevertheless, Kuhn also identifies two meaningful distinctions that his work has vis-à-vis Popper’s (Worrall 66–71). First, Kuhn perceives favorably deep commitments to normal scientific traditions because these traditions (1) encourage substantive study of very specific issues and (2) prepare the way for scientific revolutions (Kuhn, Essential Tension 268; cf. Kuhn, Scientific Revolutions 28, 65). Second, Kuhn prefers to consider paradigmatic revolutions in terms of a process of competition rather than falsification as the newly accepted paradigm may itself also eventually be replaced (Kuhn, Essential Tension 268; Kuhn, Scientific Revolutions 2, 8, 12, 151–52).

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Thomas Kuhn

Thomas Kuhn

Thomas Kuhn

Thomas Kuhn

Thomas Nickles

Thomas Nickles


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Associate Professor


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This site and its content are licensed by J. David Stark under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. The views expressed here are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person(s) or institution(s).
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