International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

“Paradigm” as a Central Concept in Thomas Kuhn’s Thought
Turkan Firinci Orman

After having published The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn's contribution has not only been a break with several key positivist doctrines but also triggered the growth of a new academic discipline – the sociology of science. His idea that the development of science has periods of stable growth punctuated by the scientific revolutions is based on the cycle of normal science, crisis, and revolution. For him, such regularity in the development of various sciences is a paradigm which he thought to be a general feature of science. Thus, this study aims to analyze Kuhn’s concept of paradigm as an intellectual framework which makes research possible. It is debated that the term could globally be understood as a disciplinary matrix in a sociological context whereas the term particularly refers to the concrete puzzle solutions which could be seen as exemplars of good science. It is showed that the process of paradigm change, for Kuhn, leads to a scientific revolution. Finally, Kuhn’s argument on incommensurability of competing paradigms and the problem of objectivity are also discussed in order to show the problematic aspects of the concept.

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