The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. Kuhn
First published in 1967
Non-fiction – philosophy of science
Isn’t it ironic that a book about paradigm shifts caused a paradigm shift in itself? And isn’t it even more ironic that I’m studying this book from a humanities perspective, a science Kuhn himself might not even call a science?
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is a fascinating book because it works out, detail after tiny detail, how a scientific revolution takes place. One of the most interesting ideas Kuhn posits is that we can’t compare two paradigms with each other (say, Newtonian physics and the theory of relativity), because they both encompass a different paradigm, and with that paradigm a different language and way of seeing the world.
Kuhn’s writing is terribly dry, and his book could have definitely been shorter. His examples can be repetitive; he often makes the same point two, three, four times throughout the course of the book. Structure isn’t exactly light reading, but it contains some very interesting ideas about the nature of science and the nature of the progress of science.