Proceedings 8

Shifting Paradigms

Thomas S. Kuhn and the History of Science
Studies of the history of the history of science, with emphasis on the work of T.S. Kuhn.

Studies of the history of the history of science, with emphasis on the work of T.S. Kuhn.

This publication is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Germany (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 DE) Licence.

The publication of Thomas S. Kuhn’s "Structure of Scientific Revolutions" in 1962 stands for a turning point in the history and philosophy of science. The repercussions of this work have rearticulated the theoretical framework of history and philosophy of science and have also generated discussions that contributed to the formation of the communities of historians as well as philosophers of science in many parts of the world. Different approaches to history of science have since emerged and most of them have the "Structure" as their reference point. In October 2012, a conference at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science brought together some of the historians of science whose work has played a decisive role in the ways history of science has evolved as a field of research in the past 50 years, both intellectually and institutionally. This volume gathers reflections by many of these historians on the history of the history of science, based on the presentations and discussions at the conference. The topics covered range from personal recollections of working with Thomas Kuhn to broad overviews of the historical development of the history of science as a discipline in the past half-century. The series Proceedings of the Max Planck Research Library for the History and Development of Knowledge presents the results of scientific meetings on current issues and supports further cooperation on these issues via an electronic platform. The volumes are available both as print-on-demand books and as open-access publications on the Internet. The material is freely accessible online at

Alexander Blum, Kostas Gavroglu, Christian Joas, Jürgen Renn

Where to Start?
John L. Heilbron

Part 1: Personal Recollections

1 The Nature of Scientific Knowledge: An Interview with Thomas S. Kuhn
Skúli Sigurdsson

2 Steve’s Question and Tom’s Last Lecture: A Personal Perspective
Gerald Holton

3 Thomas Kuhn: A Man of Many Parts
William Shea

Part 2: Historicizing Kuhn

4 An Episode from the History of History and Philosophy of Science: The Phenomenal Publishing Success of Kuhn’s Structure
Kostas Gavroglu

5 Kuhn’s Paradigm of Paradigms: Historical and Epistemological Coordinates of The Copernican Revolution
Pietro Daniel Omodeo

6 Contemporary Science and the History and Philosophy of Science
Olival Freire Jr.

7 Kuhn in the Cold War
Ursula Klein

8 Science, Criticism and the Search for Truth: Philosophical Footnotes to Kuhn’s Historiography
Stefano Gattei

9 Two Encounters
Fynn Ole Engler, Jürgen Renn

Part 3: Kuhn’s Legacy

10 Thomas Kuhn
Jed Z. Buchwald

11 Thomas Kuhn and the Dialogue Between Historians and Philosophers of Science
William Shea

12 Constructive Controversy and the Growth of Knowledge
Martin J. S. Rudwick

13 The Structure of Scientific Revolutions and History and Philosophy of Science in Historical Perspective
Theodore Arabatzis

14 On Reading Kuhn’s Black-Body Theory and the Quantum
Discontinuity, 1894–1912

Richard Staley

15 Science, Politics, Economics and Kuhn’s Paradigms
José M. Sánchez-Ron

16 Abgesang on Kuhn’s “Revolutions”
Ursula Klein

Part 4: Reinterpreting Kuhn

17 The Pendulum as a Social Institution: T. S. Kuhn and the
Sociology of Science

David Bloor

18 The Notion of Incommensurability
Harry Collins

19 Kuhn, Meritocracy, and Excellence
Michael Segre

20 From Structures and Tensions in Science to Configurational Histories of the Practices of Knowledge
John Pickstone

Part 5: Beyond Kuhn

21 Kuhnian and Post-Kuhnian Views on How Science Evolves
Mary Jo Nye

22 Experimental Turnaround, 360°: The Essential Kuhn Circle
Carsten Reinhardt

23 History of Science: The French Connection
John Stachel

24 The Professionalization of Research on the History of Science in China and the Influence of Eurocentrism on Chinese Historians of Science
Baichun Zhang

25 On Kuhnian and Hacking-Type Revolutions
Silvan S. Schweber

26 Goethe Was Right: ‘The History of Science Is Science Itself’
M. Norton Wise

27 History of Science and Technology in Portugal: Networking in the European Periphery
Ana Simões

List of Contributors

Show All


Agar, Jon

Agassi, Joseph

Albuquerque, Luís de

Allen, Lini

Andrade e Silva, João Luís



Aspect, Alain


Bachelard, Gaston

Balibar, Étienne

Barnes, Barry

Barnes, Harry Elmer

Bell, John Stewart

Beller, Mara

Ben-David, Joseph

Benedetti, Giovanni Battista

Bergson, Henri

Bernal, John Desmond

Bernard, Claude

Biagioli, Mario

Bird, Alexander

Blackburn, Simon

Bloor, David

Bohm, David

Bohr, Niels

Borkenau, Franz

Born, Max

Brahe, Tycho

Brown, Theodore

Bruno, Giordano

Brush, Stephen G.

Bub, Jeffrey

Bukharin, Nikolai

Bunge, Mario

Burgess, Anthony

Buridan, John

Butterfield, Herbert


Canguilhem, Georges

Cardwell, Donald

Carnap, Rudolf

Carson, Rachel

Cavaillès, Jean

Cebrián, Juan Luis

Chang, Hasok

Chew, Geoffrey

Chomsky, Noam

Chu, Co-ching

Clagett, Marshall

Clark, George

Clauser, John F.

Cohen, Bernard

Cohen, Floris

Collins, Harry

Commoner, Barry

Comte, Auguste

Conant, James B.

Copernicus, Nikolaus

Cortesão, Armando

Cortesão, Jaime

Creager, Angela

Crew, Henry

Crombie, Alistair

Cross, Andrew

Cuvier, Georges


Damerow, Peter

Danto, Arthur

Darwin, Charles

De la Beche, Henry Thomas

De Salvio, Alfonsos

Debus, Allen

Descartes, René

Dirac, Paul

Duhem, Pierre

Durkeim, Emile

D’Amico, Robert


Edkins, Joseph

Einstein, Albert


Favaro, Antonio

Feyerabend, Paul

FitzGerald, George F.

Fleck, Ludwig

Forman, Paul

Foucault, Michel

Fox, Robert

Freudenthal, Gideon

Friedan, Betty

Friedman, Milton


Galambos, Louis

Galilei, Galileo

Galison, Peter

Gaud, William

Ginzburg, Carlo

Goethe, J. W. von

Goldberg, Stanley

Gorbachev, Mikhail

Gravner, Janko

Greenough, George Bellas

Griffeath, David

Grossmann, Henryk

Guerlac, Henry

Guo, Moruo


Hacking, Ian

Hagstrom, Waren

Hall, Rupert

Hanson, Norwood Russell

Harrington, Michael

Harvey, Bill

Heilbron, John

Heisenberg, Werner

Helmholtz, Hermann von

Hempel, Carl

Herschel, John

Hertz, Heinrich

Hessen, Boris

Hooykaas, Reijer

Horgan, John

Hoyningen-Huene, Paul

Hughes, Tom

Hume, David


Jammer, Max

Johnson, Virginia

Jordanus de Nemore

Julien, Stanislas


Kant, Immanuel

Kelvin, William Thomson

Kepler, Johannes

Koertge, Noretta

Koyré, Alexandre

Kubrick, Stanley

Kusch, Martin


Lakatos, Imre

Lange, Otto

Latour, Bruno

Laudan, Larry

Laughlin, Peter

Laughlin, Robert

Lavoisier, Antoine Laurent de

Leary, Timothy

Lecourt, Dominique

Leite, Duarte

Lenin, Vladimir

Lewis, Bernard

Li, Yan

Liang, Qichao

Libbrecht, Kenneth

Lovejoy, Arthur

Luther King, Martin

Luther, Martin

Lyell, Charles

Lévi-Strauss, Claude


Mach, Ernst

Mahoney, Michael

Malus, Etienne Louis

Mannheim, Karl

Mao, Zishui

Marcuse, Herbert

Masters, William

Maxwell, James Clerk

Mbeki, Thabo

McKie, Douglas

McLuhan, Marshall

Medawar, Peter

Merton, Robert K.

Merz, J. T.

Mieli, Aldo

Mintz, Morton

Money, John

Monte, Guidobaldo del

Morgan, Mary

Morrell, Jack

Morris, Charles

Murchison, Roderick Impey


Nader, Ralph

Nagel, Ernest

Nakaya, Ukichiro

Needham, Joseph

Neurath, Otto

Newton, Isaac


Oppenheimer, Franz

Oppenheimer, Robert

Oresme, Nicole


Pais, Abraham

Parsons Martin, William Alexander

Pereira da Silva, Luciano

Philipp, Frank

Piaget, Jean

Pickering, Andrew

Pinch, Trevor

Pines, David

Planck, Max

Poincaré, Jules Henri

Polanyi, Michael

Popper, Karl

Porter, Roy

Priestley, Joseph


Putnam, Hilary

Pyenson, Lewis

Pêcheux, Michel


Qian, Baocong

Quine, W.V.O.


Ravetz, Jerry

Reisch, George

Renn, Jürgen

Rheinberger, Hans-Jörg

Rocke, Alan J.

Rosenberg, Charles

Ruan, Yuan

Rudwick, Martin J. S.

Russell, Bertrand


Saint-Hilaire, Geoffroy

Salomon, Jacques

Salomon, Jean-Jacques

Salusbury, Thomas

Sarton, George

Schaffer, Simon

Schlick, Moritz

Schott, Wilhelm

Shapin, Steven

Shea, William

Shimony, Abner

Stevens, Rosemary

Swedenborg, Emanuel


Tarski, Alfred

Telfer, Mary

Thackray, Arnold

Thompson, E. P.

Thomson, J. J.

Thomson, William

Toulmin, Stephen


Van Vleck, John H.


Wapshott, Nicholas

Webster, Charles

Weinberg, Steven

Westfall, Richard S.

Whewell, William

Whitehead, Alfred North

Wilkins, Maurice

Winch, Peter

Wittgenstein, Ludwig

Wylie, Alexander


Young, Bob

Young, Michael

Young, Thomas


Zilsel, Edgar








Publication Date

Feb. 29, 2016

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Suggested Citation

Blum, Alexander, Gavroglu, Kostas, Joas, Christian and Renn, Jürgen (eds.) (2016). Shifting Paradigms: Thomas S. Kuhn and the History of Science. Berlin: Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften.

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Rivka Feldhay