Gestalt and Science. Kuhn’s Model of Scientific Change in the Light of Gestalt Theory
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In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions Thomas Kuhn propounded a controversial claim that the scientific change is a form of Gestalt switch. As I point out, he did it ap-parently without having a full understanding of what Gestalt theory was, and used the concept of Gestalt rather metaphorically, and not entirely consistently. Interestingly, however, Kuhn’s model of scientific change as sketched in The Copernican Revolution and advanced in his subsequent works, bears some obvious structural resemblance to Gestalt theory. In the paper, I confront Kuhn’s model with Gestalt theory, and attempt to show that the latter is able to clarify the basic assumption of the model. It unifies Kuhn’s views on scientific change, and provides a coherent conceptual frame in which scientific development can be analyzed. In particular, Gestalt theory helps to uncover the directionality of changes which Kuhn failed to acknowledge.
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