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Three problems with Kuhn's concept of "crisis"

Pirozelli, Paulo (2019) Three problems with Kuhn's concept of "crisis". Enunciação, 4 (2). ISSN 2526-110X

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Abstract

The aim of the article is to explore Thomas Kuhn’s notion of “scientific crisis” and indicate some difficulties with it. First, Kuhn defines “crisis” through the notion of “anomaly” but distinguishes these concepts in two different ways: categorically and quantitatively. Both of these alternatives face considerable problems. The categorical definition relies on a distinction between “discoveries” and “inventions” that, as Kuhn himself admits, is artificial. The quantitative definition states that crises are a deeper, more profound type of anomaly. Kuhn, however, does not offer any criteria for objectively defining this “severity” of the crises. The second kind of problem is related to the application of the concept of “crisis.” Apparently, Kuhn attributes crises to individuals as much as to communities. Lastly, there is the problem of the function of crises. In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, they are presented as a precondition to scientific revolutions. In later articles, however, Kuhn seems to see them only as a common antecedent to revolutions.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Pirozelli, Paulopaulopirozelli@gmail.com0000-0002-4714-287X
Keywords: Thomas Kuhn; Crisis; Anomaly; Scientific Revolution; Philosophy of Science
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Epistemology
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Depositing User: Dr. Paulo Pirozelli
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2020 14:09
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2020 14:09
Item ID: 17538
Journal or Publication Title: Enunciação
Official URL: http://www.editorappgfilufrrj.org/enunciacao/index...
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Epistemology
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Date: 2019
Volume: 4
Number: 2
ISSN: 2526-110X
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/17538

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