The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

  • by Thomas S. Kuhn
  • Narrated by Dennis Holland
  • 9 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A good book may have the power to change the way we see the world, but a great book actually becomes part of our daily consciousness, pervading our thinking to the point that we take it for granted, and we forget how provocative and challenging its ideas once were - and still are. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is that kind of book. When it was first published in 1962, it was a landmark event in the history and philosophy of science. Fifty years later, it still has many lessons to teach.
With The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn challenged long-standing linear notions of scientific progress, arguing that transformative ideas don't arise from the day-to-day, gradual process of experimentation and data accumulation but that the revolutions in science, those breakthrough moments that disrupt accepted thinking and offer unanticipated ideas, occur outside of "normal science", as he called it. Though Kuhn was writing when physics ruled the sciences, his ideas on how scientific revolutions bring order to the anomalies that amass over time in research experiments are still instructive in our biotech age.
Note: This new edition of Kuhn's essential work in the history of science includes an insightful introduction by Ian Hacking, which clarifies terms popularized by Kuhn, including paradigm and incommensurability, and applies Kuhn's ideas to the science of today.


What the Critics Say

"A landmark in intellectual history which has attracted attention far beyond its own immediate field." (Science)
"Perhaps the best explanation of [the] process of discovery." (New York Times Book Review)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Better than prior reviews led me to believe

I'm not quite sure what the others are talking about.

The reader was adequate. He certainly wasn't superbly engaging, but neither was he so horrible as to make the book unlistenable.

I was quite able to at least get the idea after a single listening, and so I don't think this is a bad format for less strenuous digestion of "Structure." Indeed, if you listen to it many times it might serve to totally replace the book.

Perhaps it is right to say that academic books usually reward slow readings and re-readings while stopping occasionally to consider what's being said or what has been said. The pause and reverse buttons can facilitate some of this with an audio book, but obviously this type of digestion of a work is more suited to reading than to listening. However, for a first time read-through this audio book will more than serve.
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- Matthew

Important - not only for science

Thomas Kuhn's famous "Structure of Scientific Revolutions", today taken as classical text about the history of Science, is of amazing importance to understanding of the evolution of science.

Kuhn was the first who elucidated the concept of PARADIGM in a relation to science. Paradigm, which we should understand as a pattern of thought - rather than a theory or model, is the pervasive component of almost any human intellectual activity.

Kuhn proves that the evolution in science goes in a revolutionary way, by a process called "paradigm shift" which is usually abrupt and fast. One of the symptoms of the paradigm shift is the process of textbook rewriting - when the change appears to be unavoidable and untenable to the previous paradigm. Kuhn describes Copernican revolution, progress in chemistry, Newtonian physics, quantum mechanics and Einstein's theory or relativity as the key examples illustrating his concept.

Very good book - should not be too difficult to read even to those who did not practice science.

I think, there is also another reason to read it.

When reading it I could not avoid thinking about the another field of activity where we witness revolutions and paradigm shifts: the history of Web. The web grown to today's size, mostly between 1995 to 2000 - in just 6 years it has changed so much - media, knowledge ...

And, when we recall that the HTML was created in 1980, and HTTP in 1989 - we see that initially the old paradigm of communication was still prevailing. Until Netscape came with its killing application - the browser - and made the shift.

And I'm almost sure we are at the footsteps of another paradigm shift - that between today's web of documents and tomorrow's web of data (aka Semantic Web). Kuhn's book teaches us that it is not very easy to predict when will it happen, and that we probably will witness some dramatic changes. It also explains the latency with SW adoption.
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- Mirek

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-12-2016
  • Publisher: Audible Studios