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Thomas Kuhn: A Philosophical History for Our Times

Thomas Kuhn: A Philosophical History for Our Times Thomas Kuhn: A Philosophical History for Our Times. By Steve Fuller. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000. xvii; 472 pp. Steve Fuller’s impressive and provocative study of the origins, publication circumstances, short-term impact, and longer term significance of Thomas S. Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962; 1970; hereinafter cited as SSR) may come as a surprise, even a shock, to some social scientists, as it has to this reviewer. I first learned about SSR in 1963 from Ronald Coase, who had been a Fellow at the Behavioral Sciences Center at Stanford University while Kuhn was there. I was one of a handful of historians of economics who warmly welcomed Kuhn’s book in the 1960s and early 1970s, as providing an original and illuminating standpoint from which to survey and interpret the entire history of the subject. That history was already becoming swamped by conventional piecemeal studies of great (and sometimes not so great) economists and other thinkers, books, ideas, doctrinal schools, and economic policy episodes. Against this background, Kuhn’s grand design had obvious attractions. There was, of course, a healthy skepticism toward ambitious general theories of history. But Kuhn offered suggestive new hypotheses within a stimulating developmental framework http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png History of Political Economy Duke University Press

Thomas Kuhn: A Philosophical History for Our Times

History of Political Economy , Volume 35 (3) – Sep 1, 2003

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2003 by Duke University Press
ISSN
0018-2702
eISSN
1527-1919
DOI
10.1215/00182702-35-3-566
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Thomas Kuhn: A Philosophical History for Our Times. By Steve Fuller. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000. xvii; 472 pp. Steve Fuller’s impressive and provocative study of the origins, publication circumstances, short-term impact, and longer term significance of Thomas S. Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962; 1970; hereinafter cited as SSR) may come as a surprise, even a shock, to some social scientists, as it has to this reviewer. I first learned about SSR in 1963 from Ronald Coase, who had been a Fellow at the Behavioral Sciences Center at Stanford University while Kuhn was there. I was one of a handful of historians of economics who warmly welcomed Kuhn’s book in the 1960s and early 1970s, as providing an original and illuminating standpoint from which to survey and interpret the entire history of the subject. That history was already becoming swamped by conventional piecemeal studies of great (and sometimes not so great) economists and other thinkers, books, ideas, doctrinal schools, and economic policy episodes. Against this background, Kuhn’s grand design had obvious attractions. There was, of course, a healthy skepticism toward ambitious general theories of history. But Kuhn offered suggestive new hypotheses within a stimulating developmental framework

Journal

History of Political EconomyDuke University Press

Published: Sep 1, 2003

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