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(2016) Science studies during the Cold War and beyond, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.

Thomas Kuhn's structure

an "exemplary document of the Cold War era"?

Hans-Joachim Dahms

pp. 103-125

The chapter starts with a critical assessment of the arguments made with regard to the Cold War context of the work of Thomas Kuhn, as articulated by Steve Fuller and George Reisch. Against the background of these arguments, the chapter points to the multiplicity of intellectual resources that Kuhn was building upon, highlighting the influence of sociologists of science such as Ludwik Fleck, Robert Merton, and Bernhard Barber. Around 1960, Kuhn had plans to develop sociology of science as a respectable and powerful academic discipline, with the collaboration of some leading representatives of that field. Surprisingly in Structure the sociology of science played only a minor role and was criticized by some authors because of this defect. And in the end Kuhn had to struggle more and more with the attacks of Popper and his followers and the 'strong programme" with its reduction of philosophy of science to a sociological sub-discipline. The chapter is based on recent literature and on the archival research in the papers of Kuhn at MIT and Merton at Columbia.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1057/978-1-137-55943-2_5

Full citation:

Dahms, H. (2016)., Thomas Kuhn's structure: an "exemplary document of the Cold War era"?, in E. Aronova & S. Turchetti (eds.), Science studies during the Cold War and beyond, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 103-125.

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