Do Kuhnian revolutions suit biology?



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Tartu Ülikool


The aim of this thesis is to compare Kuhn's historiographical framework that he implemented on the history of physics with the history of biology to discover if it is meaningful to discuss biology from the perspective of a Kuhnian revolutionary historiography. Along with this broader aim, there is a secondary and more concrete reason to investigate if there is any merit in discussing Theodosius Dobzhansky's Genetics and the Origins of Species (1937) as a revolutionary text in the sense that it is similar to works like Charles Lyell’s Principles of Geology (1830), Isaac Newton’s Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (1867) and Antoine Lavoisier’s Elementary Treatise of Chemistry (1789) which lay the foundations to modern science in their respective fields. This inquiry will also address the status of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species (1859) as a revolutionary text as the significance of his work has been the center of much hype and historically questionable claims. By the end of this paper I wish to answer the question of whether a Kuhnian historiography is interesting to implement to biology. Is it able to shed light to new inquiries and interesting nuances about biology and does it help to clarify the still open question of a Darwinian revolution?



Kuhn, Thomas S., teadusfilosoofia, teadusajalugu, revolutsioonid, bioloogia, paradigmad