Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Kuhn’

Top Five with a bullet: history of Western science

22 February 2010

By Juliana Adelman

I decided to limit myself to Western science, mostly because I don’t know enough about other scientific or natural traditions to be able to pick a top 5. There is also a serious bias in favour of books written in English which means I have most likely NOT picked the best book about French or German or Dutch science. I’ve kind of mixed best with ‘most important’.


Thomas Kuhn, The structure of scientific revolutions (Chicago, 1962). This book is really philosophy of science, but it has had an enormous impact on how historians of science view scientific knowledge. Kuhn, a physicist, received much criticism from the scientific community because he presented science as a social process and scientific knowledge not as inevitable ‘truth’ but negotiated consensus. Not all the ideas in the book are still embraced by hisorians of science, but it is a good starting point. Read more