No book has revolutionised our view of life on earth more than Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. Yet its enduring popularity is a testament to the immense energy and startling simplicity with which Darwin makes his revelations.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
Introduced by Ian Hacking
Foreword by Marcus du Sautoy
Published with a new foreword and vivid photography, Thomas S. Kuhn’s book is a cultural icon that changed how we think about the scientific revolutions of Newton, Darwin, Einstein and others.
Great books are rare. This is one. Read it and you’ll see.
- Introduction to the 50th anniversary edition by Ian Hacking
First published in 1962, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions transformed the world of science. In his landmark book, Kuhn challenged the long-standing belief that the great ideas of science emerge from a gradual process of experimentation and accumulated knowledge. His radical theory claimed just the opposite, that revolutions appear as explosive ‘paradigm shifts’ in thought: breakthroughs that sweep away old assumptions for ever. He illustrated his powerful argument with great turning points such as the Copernican revolution, Lavoisier’s discovery of oxygen, Einstein’s overthrowing of Newtonian physics and Darwin’s theory of evolution, taking the reader on an epic adventure through the history and workings of science. The Folio edition opens with a new foreword by the Oxford mathematician Marcus du Sautoy. It includes integrated black-and-white images of scientists’ notebooks and historic experiments, as well as colour paintings of scientists at work, pioneering X-ray photographs and representations of the cosmos.
Quarter bound in blocked cloth with printed paper sides
Set in Haarlemmer with Century Gothic as display
12 pages of colour plates, plus 9 integrated black & white scientific illustrations
A REVOLUTIONARY ACCOUNT OF SCIENCE
Scientific revolutions are inaugurated by a growing sense... that an existing paradigm has ceased to function adequately in the exploration of an aspect of nature to which that paradigm itself had previously led the way.
The Folio edition’s newly commissioned foreword offers a lively personal impression of the book. Marcus du Sautoy, both a practising mathematician and an eminent science communicator, discusses how its ideas have informed his own work, and how they have been borne out in the advances of recent decades. The book also retains philosopher of science Ian Hacking’s essay from the 2012 edition, which deals deftly with the challenges to Kuhn’s theories during the book’s first half-century in print.
Both writers agree that after selling more than a million copies and becoming one of the most cited works of all time, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is unlikely to lose its status as a milestone in science writing. It’s a sentiment best expressed in the scientific journal Nature, on the book’s 50th anniversary: ‘We need hardly agree with each of Kuhn’s propositions to enjoy – and benefit from – this classic book.’
‘The Structure of Scientific Revolutions did a gestalt flip on just about every assumption about the who, how, and what of scientific progress... The book still vibrates our culture’s walls like a trumpet call.’
- Chronicle of Higher Education
About Thomas S. Kuhn
About Ian Hacking
About Marcus du Sautoy
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