The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

by

Thomas S. Kuhn

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Albert Einstein Character Analysis

Einstein, a physicist famous for revolutionizing his field, was born in Germany but immigrated to the U.S. after Hitler came into power in 1933. His theory of relativity, which focused largely on the speed of light, helped unify space and time, thereby calling into question many of the principles of physics that had persisted since Isaac Newton’s time.

Albert Einstein Quotes in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

The The Structure of Scientific Revolutions quotes below are all either spoken by Albert Einstein or refer to Albert Einstein. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the University of Chicago Press edition of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions published in 2012.
Chapter 8 Quotes

When acute, this situation is sometimes recognized by the scientists involved. Copernicus complained that in his day astronomers were so “inconsistent in these [astronomical] investigations . . . that they cannot even explain or observe the constant length of the seasonal year.” “With them,” he continued, “it is as though an artist were to gather the hands, feet, head and other members for his images from diverse models, each part excellently drawn, but not related to a single body, and since they in no way match each other, the result would be monster rather than man.” Einstein, restricted by current usage to less florid language, wrote only, “It was as if the ground had been pulled out from under one, with no firm foundation to be seen anywhere, upon which one could have built.”

Related Characters: Thomas Kuhn (speaker), Nicolaus Copernicus, Albert Einstein
Related Symbols: Jigsaw Puzzles
Page Number: 83
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 9 Quotes

What occurred was neither a decline nor a raising of standards, but simply a change demanded by the adoption of a new paradigm. Furthermore, that change has since been reversed and could be again. In the twentieth century Einstein succeeded in explaining gravitational attractions, and that explanation has returned science to a set of canons and problems that are, in this particular respect, more like those of Newton’s predecessors than of his successors.

Page Number: 108
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 12 Quotes

These examples point to the third and most fundamental aspect of the incommensurability of competing paradigms. In a sense that I am unable to explicate further, the proponents of competing paradigms practice their trades in different worlds. One contains constrained bodies that fall slowly, the other pendulums that repeat their motions again and again. In one, solutions are compounds, in the other mixtures. One is embedded in a flat, the other in a curved, matrix of space.

Page Number: 150
Explanation and Analysis:
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Albert Einstein Character Timeline in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

The timeline below shows where the character Albert Einstein appears in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1. Introduction: A Role for History
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...most well-known revolutions are associated with scientists Nicolaus Copernicus, Isaac Newton, Antoine Lavoisier, and Albert Einstein. However, Kuhn believes that many less famous scientific revolutions are equally important. (full context)
Chapter 8. The Response to Crisis
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Sometimes, scientists themselves recognize this breakdown: Einstein once said a moment of crisis in his field was “as if the ground had... (full context)
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...paradigm as far as they will go. The second step, as practiced by Copernicus and Einstein, is to isolate the anomaly and make it seem clearer and more out of place... (full context)
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...hand-in-hand with new philosophical thought (much of which comes out of the humanities). For example, Einstein’s theory of relativity happened alongside a sea change in moral and social theory; it is... (full context)
Chapter 9. The Nature and Necessity of Scientific Revolutions
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As an example, Kuhn explains that some people believe Newton’s laws can be derived from Einstein’s. However, Kuhn notes that Einstein has a different view of “the fundamental structural elements” of... (full context)
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...to make other valuable discoveries. And though Newton would make sense of gravity, centuries later, Einstein’s work with relativity would return to something more like that of “Newton’s predecessors than his... (full context)
Chapter 12. The Resolution of Revolutions
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...dear. For example, Newton claimed it was unimportant to understand why certain attractive forces existed; Einstein’s relativity tried, above all else, to solve exactly the problem that Newton ignored. (full context)
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...dead for 60 years when a new kind of telescope proved many of his hypotheses. Einstein was luckier: in his own lifetime, his theory was born out by the planet Mercury’s... (full context)