Why Thomas Kuhn was no revolutionary

Kuhn and Feyerabend on progress and expertise

Do experts drive progress forward or hold it back? Thomas Kuhn popularised the notion of of scientific revolutions as paradigm-shifting moments in which a new world emerges. But would he have shared his colleague Paul Feyerabend's scathing opinions of experts? It seems unlikely, writes John Preston. 

Maverick philosopher of science Paul Feyerabend is now best known for his 1975 book Against Method, in which he tried to alter our perception of science and the lessons we should learn from it. On the basis of an historical case-study of Galileo, he argued that there is no such thing as scientific method, since great scientists are methodological opportunists who use any strategies they can in order to promote their preferred theories.


He didn’t talk much about scientific experts in that book, but in other work he published during that decade he had quite a lot to say about them, and what he said bears even more investigation nowadays, when we rely on e

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