Kuhn, Thomas


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Kuhn (1922 -1996) was an American Physicist, mathematician, historian and philosopher of science. He obtained his undergraduate, Masters and PhD from Harvard University. He was given professorship at the University of California in the History of Science in 1961. From 1979 he worked at MIT until his retirement in 1991.
One of Kuhn’s most famous work is The Structure of Scientific Revolutions first published in 1962. Since, the book has had three editions and remains a staple in many social science disciplines. In this text Kuhn outlines his theory about paradigm shifts in scientific disciplines. Kuhn theorised that the development of scientific fields was not necessarily continuous and progressive. Rather that there were occasional revolutionary shifts in the development of a field (later called paradigm shifts). Such shifts lent to the development of new paradigms – that is ideas or concepts which were taken for granted as ‘true’ within that field.