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Philosophical Problems in the Contemporary World

Edited By Dilek Arlı Çil and Nihal Petek Boyaci

The social and technological developments, social movements, scientific discoveries, economic growth or diseconomies give rise to many problems for human beings. Many disciplines such as economics, political science, architecture, sociology and psychology discuss these problems and offer solutions from different perspectives. Philosophy has its own way of dealing with these problems. As opposed to the common belief, philosophy does not only deal with ideals independently of what is going on in real life. The problems of the contemporary philosophy are also the problems of the contemporary world. For this reason, this book aims to present and discuss certain philosophical problems in the contemporary world and to suggest solutions to them.

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Revisiting Kuhn’s Theory of Science: Perspectivism, Relativism and Multiculturalism

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Mete Han ARITÜRK1

Revisiting Kuhn’s Theory of Science:

Perspectivism, Relativism and Multiculturalism

Introduction

Thomas Samuel Kuhn started his academic life as a physicist but focused on the history of science in his subsequent works. Through his theories formed by synthesizing his scientist and science historian interests with philosophy, he created a revolutionary perspective on the philosophy of science. For him, science advanced not as an uninterrupted accumulation, but rather, through revolutionary transformations that seriously interrupted or even ruptured established scientific knowledge. In other words, the progression of science is characterized by breaks and revolutions, rather than being a whole and in a regular manner; it is affected by conflicts and the impacts of environmental conditions, just as in nature as in society. These arguments have deeply impacted the Western thought on science and society.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions published in 1962, and considered as his most significant work, dealt a mighty blow to the classic, progressive understanding of science, then dominating the understanding of the history of science, which claimed there was a continuous and linear advancement in science. Kuhn’s critique of this dominant understanding of science exceeded the boundaries of science and promoted the development of numerous theories such as “perspectivism” and “multiculturalism” as well as being widely discussed in the full range of the humanistic, cultural, and social scientific disciplines. Delving into the premises of his views, this study focuses on how Kuhn’s theory of science...

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