Thomas Kuhn - Physicists, Life Achievements and Facts

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Thomas Kuhn's Personal Details

Thomas Kuhn was a philosopher of science who changed the way the world perceived and envisioned science

InformationDetail
BirthdayJuly 18, 1922
Died onJune 17, 1996
NationalityAmerican
FamousHarvard University, Scientists, Physicists
SpousesJehane Kuhn
Known asThomas Samuel Kuhn
Childrens Elizabeth Kuhn, Nathaniel Kuhn, Sarah Kuhn
Universities
  • Harvard University
  • Harvard University
Notable Alumnis
  • Harvard University
Birth PlaceCincinnati
GenderMale
FatherSamuel L. Kuhn
Sun SignCancer
Born inCincinnati
Famous asPhysicist
Died at Age73

// Famous Alumni of Harvard University

Thomas Kuhn's photo

Who is Thomas Kuhn?

One of the most influential ‘philosophers of science’ of the 20th century, Thomas Kuhn is regarded as the man who changed the way the world perceived and envisioned science. His book, ‘The Structure of Scientific Revolutions’ was a landmark publication that generated worldwide discussions and debates among scholarly communities. It is also one of the most cited academic books, often referred to by scientific guilds and student communities. He is credited with coining the term, ‘Paradigm Shift’, which today, has become an integral part of English and scientific terminology. His impact has been felt in all academic fields, including the field of science, education theory and research. His contribution to the philosophy of science has inspired various student bodies and has influenced more than one billion readers and researchers at large. His works have so far, laid the foundation for many aspiring researchers who plan to pursue a study of the philosophy of science in the future. He is credited for the accurate representation of science and for introducing a new method towards approaching this branch of study.

// Famous Physicists

Childhood & Early Life

Thomas Kuhn was born to Minette Scroock Kuhn and Samuel L. Kuhn in Cincinnati, Ohio. He attended the Hessian Hills School in New York, a liberal school that encouraged students to think independently.

He discovered his passion for physics and mathematics at The Taft School in Watertown, from where he graduated, in 1940.

In 1943, he graduated from Harvard University with a B.S in Physics. He also obtained a M.S. and Ph.D. degree from the Harvard University in 1946 and 1949, respectively.

He was a ‘Harvard Junior Fellow’ for three years and this phase played a crucial role in shaping his future. It was here that he decided to switch from physics to history and philosophy of science.

Career

Thomas Kuhn began his career with the Radio Research Laboratory at Harvard and the U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development in Europe, where he worked with the radar team.

After he graduated, he taught ‘History of Science’ at Harvard University, from 1948 to 1956, at the suggestion of the University President, James Conant.

In 1957, he refuted the claims of other prominent scientists and stated that the earth was at the centre of the Solar System, in his book, ‘The Copernican Revolution’.

In 1961, he was appointed as the Professor of ‘the History of Science’ at the University of California, where he was part of both, the philosophy department and the history department.

In 1962, his influential work, ‘The Structure of Scientific Revolutions’ was published, which was first published as part of the ‘Foundations of the Unity of Science’ series. In these works, he stated that competing paradigms are frequently incommensurable.

He proposed the notion of ‘paradigm shifts’ and indicated that scientific fields undergo periodic shifts and do not progress in a linear and continuous pattern.

In 1964, he became the ‘M. Taylor Pyne Professor’ of Philosophy and History of Science at Princeton University.

In 1977, ‘The Essential Tension’, a collection of his essays on philosophy and the history of science, was published.

From 1979 to 1991, he was the ‘Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Philosophy’, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

His second historical monograph on the early history of quantum mechanics, ‘Black-Body Theory and the Quantum Discontinuity’ was published, in 1988.

At the time of his death in 1996, he was working on his second philosophical monograph that dealt with, ‘evolutionary conception of scientific change’ and ‘concept acquisition in developmental psychology’.

Major Works

‘The Copernican Revolution’, published in 1957, analyses the 16th century Scientific Revolution and the Ptolemaic understanding of the solar system. This went on to become a best-seller.

His 1962 book, ‘The Structure of Scientific Revolutions’, is regarded as one of the most influential and frequently cited academic books, in which he introduced the term, ‘ paradigm shift’. The Times Literary Supplement, London, labelled it as one of ‘The Hundred Most Influential Books Since the Second World War’. The book sold one million copies by the mid-1990s and was translated into sixteen languages.

Awards & Achievements

Thomas Kuhn was elected to the esteemed ‘Society of Fellows’ at Harvard University.

In 1954, he was conferred the prestigious title of ‘Guggenheim Fellow’.

In 1982, the History of Science Society awarded him the ‘George Sarton Medal’.

Personal Life & Legacy

Thomas Kuhn married Kathryn Muhs and the couple had three children. He later got married to Jehane Barton Burns.

He was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1994, which ultimately claimed his life.

In his honor ‘Thomas Kuhn Paradigm Shift Award’ is awarded by the American Chemical Society to people who offer original views contradictory to mainstream science.

Trivia

This physicist was accused of plagiarism, for his book, ‘The Structure of Scientific Revolutions’.

This famous physicist and scientific philosopher introduced the term, ‘normal science’ and defined it to be cumulative and also stated that its main goal was precision and focus on details.

// Famous Scientists

Thomas Kuhn awards

YearNameAward

Other

1982 - George Sarton Medal

Thomas Kuhn biography timelines

  • // 18th Jul 1922
    Thomas Kuhn was born to Minette Scroock Kuhn and Samuel L. Kuhn in Cincinnati, Ohio. He attended the Hessian Hills School in New York, a liberal school that encouraged students to think independently.
  • // 1940
    He discovered his passion for physics and mathematics at The Taft School in Watertown, from where he graduated, in 1940.
  • // 1943
    In 1943, he graduated from Harvard University with a B.S in Physics. He also obtained a M.S. and Ph.D. degree from the Harvard University in 1946 and 1949, respectively.
  • // 1948 To 1956
    After he graduated, he taught ‘History of Science’ at Harvard University, from 1948 to 1956, at the suggestion of the University President, James Conant.
  • // 1957
    In 1957, he refuted the claims of other prominent scientists and stated that the earth was at the centre of the Solar System, in his book, ‘The Copernican Revolution’.
  • // 1961
    In 1961, he was appointed as the Professor of ‘the History of Science’ at the University of California, where he was part of both, the philosophy department and the history department.
  • // 1962
    In 1962, his influential work, ‘The Structure of Scientific Revolutions’ was published, which was first published as part of the ‘Foundations of the Unity of Science’ series. In these works, he stated that competing paradigms are frequently incommensurable.
  • // 1964
    In 1964, he became the ‘M. Taylor Pyne Professor’ of Philosophy and History of Science at Princeton University.
  • // 1966
    At the time of his death in 1996, he was working on his second philosophical monograph that dealt with, ‘evolutionary conception of scientific change’ and ‘concept acquisition in developmental psychology’.
  • // 1977
    In 1977, ‘The Essential Tension’, a collection of his essays on philosophy and the history of science, was published.
  • // 1979 To 1991
    From 1979 to 1991, he was the ‘Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Philosophy’, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • // 1988
    His second historical monograph on the early history of quantum mechanics, ‘Black-Body Theory and the Quantum Discontinuity’ was published, in 1988.
  • // 1994
    He was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1994, which ultimately claimed his life.

// Famous American

Thomas Kuhn's FAQ

  • What is Thomas Kuhn birthday?

    Thomas Kuhn was born at 1922-07-18

  • When was Thomas Kuhn died?

    Thomas Kuhn was died at 1996-06-17

  • Where was Thomas Kuhn died?

    Thomas Kuhn was died in Cambridge

  • Which age was Thomas Kuhn died?

    Thomas Kuhn was died at age 73

  • Where is Thomas Kuhn's birth place?

    Thomas Kuhn was born in Cincinnati

  • What is Thomas Kuhn nationalities?

    Thomas Kuhn's nationalities is American

  • Who is Thomas Kuhn spouses?

    Thomas Kuhn's spouses is Jehane Kuhn

  • Who is Thomas Kuhn childrens?

    Thomas Kuhn's childrens is Elizabeth Kuhn, Nathaniel Kuhn, Sarah Kuhn

  • What was Thomas Kuhn universities?

    Thomas Kuhn studied at Harvard University, Harvard University

  • What was Thomas Kuhn notable alumnis?

    Thomas Kuhn's notable alumnis is Harvard University

  • Who is Thomas Kuhn's father?

    Thomas Kuhn's father is Samuel L. Kuhn

  • What is Thomas Kuhn's sun sign?

    Thomas Kuhn is Cancer

  • How famous is Thomas Kuhn?

    Thomas Kuhn is famouse as Physicist