Name: Thomas Kuhn
Time Period: 1922 -- 1996
Brief Description: Thomas Kuhn was a Philosopher, historian of science, and physicist. He taught at Harvard, the University of California at Berkeley, Princeton, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.). Though his name may not be as famous as many other philosophers, his theory of paradigms has become extremely influential in Western civilization. The basis of his thought is 'what we see depends upon what we're looking for'. His 1962 work, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, presented the idea of paradigms. A paradigm is a model of how we believe things should be, and often if we believe something will turn out a certain ay we will see it that way. He also believed that even research scientists were not always completely object because of paradigms, and that there is no way around the bias. What we see and how important it is depends on what we think we are looking at.
Current Relevance: Appearance is a very important trait in our society. We have a paradigm that tells us people should look a certain way, and if they do we consider them beautiful and if they do not match what our paradigm says they should look like, they are often seen as unattractive. The same holds true for intelligence. Society has shaped a paradigm that says what an intelligent person should know, and people's education is based around what we think is important to know. However, it could very well be possible that while we are fulfilling our paradigms, we are missing. Kuhn teaches us that we all act in a way that we think the way things should be and that perhaps there really in no right or wrong, only whether something complies with the way we believe things should be.
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