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Thomas Samuel Kuhn was born on July 18 1922 in Cincinnati Ohio United States He received a Ph D in physics from Harvard University in 1949 and remained there as an assistant professor of general education and history of science In 1956 Kuhn accepted a post at the University of California--Berkeley where in 1961 he became a full professor of history of science In 1964 he was named M Taylor Pyne Professor of Philosophy and History of Science at Princeton University In 1979 he returned to Boston this time to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as professor of philosophy and history of science In 1983 he was named Laurence S Rockefeller Professor of Philosophy at MIT Of the five books and countless articles he published Kuhns most renown work is The Structure of Scientific Revolutions which he wrote while a graduate student in theoretical physics at Harvard Initially published as a monograph in the International Encyclopedia of Unified Science it was published in book form by the University of Chicago Press in 1962 It has sold some one million copies in 16 languages and is required reading in courses dealing with education history psychology research and of course history and philosophy of science Structure has also generated a good deal of controversy and many of Kuhns ideas have been powerfully challenged see Weinberg link below Throughout thirteen succinct but thought-provoking chapters Kuhn argued that science is not a steady cumulative acquisition of knowledge Instead science is a series of peaceful interludes punctuated by intellectually violent revolutions which he described as the tradition-shattering complements to the tradition-bound activity of normal science After such revolutions one conceptual world view is replaced by another Although critics chided him for his imprecise use of the term Kuhn was responsible for popularizing the term paradigm which he described as essentially a collection of beliefs shared by scientists a set of agreements about how problems are to be
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