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Revitalizing Kuhn’s Philosophies of Science

Laura GEORGESCU*

In 2005, James Marcum published Thomas Kuhn’s Revolution: An Historical Philosophy of Science. That earlier book aimed to show that Kuhn was a ―a major contributor to the historiographic revolution in the mid-twentieth century,‖ a revolution that influenced ―the very understanding of science itself.‖1 In Thomas Kuhn’s Revolutions: A historical and an Evolutionary Philosophy of Science, Marcum expands on the 2005 material and argues that, complementary to the historical revolution, Kuhn also brought about another revolution in philosophy of science, the ―evolutionary turn‖ (p. vii). Although the evolutionary turn is alluded to in the very first edition of the Structure of Scientific Revolutions (hereafter, SSR) it really only forms itself fully in Kuhn‘s later works; as Marcum (and others in recent scholarship) point out, providing an account and defence of evolutionary philosophy of science (hereafter, EPS) is the main aim of Kuhn‘s unpublished manuscript, Words and Worlds, which comprised much of the material Kuhn presented in the Perspective lectures, Thalheimer lectures, and Shearman lectures (p. 24). The inclusion of such material, along with other unpublished Kuhn lectures, is sufficient by itself to make the book a worthwhile read.

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