Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Kuhn's Evolutionary Social Epistemology


  • Date Published: March 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107632905

£ 32.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962) has been enduringly influential in philosophy of science, challenging many common presuppositions about the nature of science and the growth of scientific knowledge. However, philosophers have misunderstood Kuhn's view, treating him as a relativist or social constructionist. In this book, Brad Wray argues that Kuhn provides a useful framework for developing an epistemology of science that takes account of the constructive role that social factors play in scientific inquiry. He examines the core concepts of Structure and explains the main characteristics of both Kuhn's evolutionary epistemology and his social epistemology, relating Structure to Kuhn's developed view presented in his later writings. The discussion includes analyses of the Copernican revolution in astronomy and the plate tectonics revolution in geology. The book will be useful for scholars working in science studies, sociologists and historians of science as well as philosophers of science.

    • Proposes a new view of social epistemology, and an updated analysis of Kuhn's philosophy of science
    • Discusses the relation between Kuhn's view and contemporary sociology of science and science studies
    • Explains Kuhn's epistemology of science, arguing that it is an evolutionary social epistemology
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'K. Brad Wray admirably succeeds in explaining in a coherent way Thomas Kuhn's view of scientific development. He shows us how a sympathetic dispute with the sociology of science paves the way for a social epistemology that deserves its name. He also shows us clearly how a theory of scientific development that features revolutions is nevertheless evolutionary. A splendid book!' Professor Dr Paul Hoyningen-Huene, Leibniz Universität Hannover

    'Wray's monograph fills an important gap in the literature on Kuhn by clarifying and defending Kuhn's epistemology of science as it was developed in his later work, and by showing how it relates to recent work in sociology of science and science studies. Wray offers many important insights drawn from his re-examination of Kuhn's social epistemology while at the same time pointing to new areas of research that philosophers need to pursue.' Hanne Andersen, Aarhus University, Denmark

    'Excellent book … a rich and stimulating guide, one that caused me to rethink my own take on Kuhn and the issues that his work has raised for us. Both science studies professionals and more general readers will find much of value here.' Metascience

    '… a constructive and insightful framework for developing an epistemology of science … Well written, clear, and carefully argued, Kuhn's Evolutionary Social Epistemology will be most useful and insightful …' Stefano Gattei, Isis

    '… of interest to philosophers, sociologists, scientists, historians of science, and scholars working in science studies … Wray has the ability to write in a clear and accessible way … could be used as a textbook on Kuhn's epistemology of science … a splendid book … I am convinced it will inspire many scholars and students in years to come.' Barbara G. Benzi, International Studies in the Philosophy of Science

    '… highly recommended … The book provides concrete points of cooperative and collaborative studies of the science of sociological and philosophical perspective …' Markus Seidel, Rezensionen: Zeitschrift für Theoretische Soziologie

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107632905
    • length: 244 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.33kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus. 1 table
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures and table
    Introduction: Kuhn's insight
    Part I. Revolutions, Paradigms, and Incommensurability:
    1. Scientific revolutions as lexical changes
    2. The Copernican revolution revisited
    3. Kuhn and the discovery of paradigms
    4. The epistemic significance of incommensurability
    Part II. Kuhn's Evolutionary Epistemology:
    5. Kuhn's historical perspective
    6. Truth and the end of scientific inquiry
    7. Scientific specialization
    8. Taking stock of the evolutionary dimensions of Kuhn's epistemology
    Part III. Kuhn's Social Epistemology:
    9. Kuhn's constructionism
    10. What makes Kuhn's epistemology a social epistemology?
    11. How does a new theory come to be accepted?
    12. Where the road has taken us: a synthesis

  • Author

    K. Brad Wray, State University of New York, Oswego
    K. Brad Wray is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York, Oswego. He has published extensively on the epistemology of science, Kuhn's philosophy of science and the anti-realism/realism debate. He was the guest editor of a special issue of the journal Episteme, on the theme of collective knowledge and science, and he is also the editor of an epistemology textbook, Knowledge and Inquiry (2002).

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.