Saving Kuhn from the Sociologists of Science

  • Robert Nola


For many in the science education community Kuhn is often closely identified with a sociological approach, as opposed to a philosophical approach, to matters raised in his book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. This paper is an attempt to liberate Kuhn from too close an association with the sociology of scientific knowledge. While Kuhn was interested in some sociological issues concerning science, e.g., how to individuate communities of scientists, many of his other interests were not sociological. In fact in later writings he was quite hostile to the claims of the Strong Programme. This difference in his post-Structure writings is explored, along with his model of weighted values as an account of theory choice. This model has little in common with the model of theory choice advocated by Strong Programmers and much more in common with traditional philosophical concerns about theory choice.


Scientific Knowledge Theory Choice Scientific Revolution Local Holism Cultural Milieu 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Nola
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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