Thomas Kuhn and the chemical revolution

Foundations of Chemistry 10 (2):101-115 (2008)
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The paper discusses how well Kuhn’s general theory of scientific revolutions fits the particular case of the chemical revolution. To do so, I first present condensed sketches of both Kuhn’s theory and the chemical revolution. I then discuss the beginning of the chemical revolution and compare it to Kuhn’s specific claims about the roles of anomalies, crisis and extraordinary science in scientific development. I proceed by comparing some features of the chemical revolution as a whole to Kuhn’s general account. The result will be that Kuhn’s general description of scientific revolutions fits the chemical revolution extraordinarily well. However, this result should not be taken as an empirical confirmation of Kuhn’s theory, but rather as an indication that the chemical revolution is a constitutive part of it.



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Paul Hoyningen-Huene
Universität Hannover

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References found in this work

Meaning and the moral sciences.Hilary Putnam - 1978 - Boston: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Metaphor in science.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1979 - In A. Ortony (ed.), Metaphor and Thought. Cambridge University Press. pp. 409-19.

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