A Significant Step Forward

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(1), 4–6. Reviews the book, The Essential Tension: Selected Studies in Scientific Tradition and Change by Thomas S. Kuhn (1977). This volume of 14 essays will meet or exceed any reasonable standards of excellence. It speaks importantly to a number of issues central to all science and does this well–even elegantly. Several intertwined themes run through various essays; most compelling is the constellation of issues relating to the concept of paradigms. Even with the concepts relabeled and their source denied, the astute reader cannot fail to discern Kuhn's thesis lurking in such alternative formulations as research programs, scientific disciplines, and scientific domains. Although the treatment of paradigmatic issues in this particular volume may be more suited to the historian of science than to the average psychologist, the issues themselves should be part of the conceptual repertoire of any psychologist engaged in graduate training. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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