I found a quote by Thomas Kuhn and the source reports:

Kuhn [1981]

but I cannot find that year in his bibliography .

By googling "Kuhn [1981]" I found the following:

What are Scientific Revolutions? In Kruger, Daston and Heidelberger (Eds.) (1981)

Is it the only essay/book written by Kuhn in 1981?

  • What's the quote?
    – CriglCragl
    Commented Jul 14, 2018 at 15:26
  • "ciò che caratterizza le rivoluzioni è [...] un cambiamento in molte delle categorie essenzaili per le descrizioni scientifiche e per le generaizzazioni. Tale cambiamento [...] costituisce una correzione non soltanto dei criteri relativi all'individuazione delle categorie, ma anche del modo in cui gli oggetti e le situazioni vengono redistribuiti fra le categorie preesistenti." Kuhn (1981), p.25
    – franz1
    Commented Jul 14, 2018 at 16:07

1 Answer 1


Yes, the reference is the right one.

See : Thomas Kuhn, The Road since Structure: Philosophical Essays, 1970-1993, Chicago UP (2000), Ch.1 : What Are Scientific Revolutions ? [see : Editor's Introduction, page 6 : "Essay I, "What are Scientific Revolutions?" (ca.1981), consists primarily ..."]

Page 30 :

What characterizes revolutions is, thus, change in several of the taxonomic categories prerequisite to scientific descriptions and generalizations. That change, furthermore, is an adjustment not only of criteria relevant to categorization, but also of the way in which given objects and situations are distributed among preexisting categories.

And yes, according to the full bibiography of Kuhn's works at the end of the book : Publications of Thomas S. Kuhn, page 325-on, there is only one 1981 entry :

What Are Scientific Revolutions ? Occasional Paper #18, Center for Cognitive Science, MIT. Reprinted in The Probabilistic Revolution, vol. I, Ideas in History, edited by Lorenz Kriiger, Lorraine J. Daston and Michael Heidelberger, (1990), MIT Press, pp.7-22; reprinted in this volume as Essay I.

  • Mauro, I'll leave the Questioner with your answer. Thanks for intervention. Best - GT
    – Geoffrey Thomas
    Commented Jul 16, 2018 at 7:16
  • 1
    @mauro thank you for the answer. BTW I read that the quote is on page 25, not on p.30 (see "Dogma contro critica", cured by S.Gattei, p.335, footnote 133), may it be referred to the italian translation instead (if any)? I couldn't find a bibliography containing the translated works, so I don't know which of them have been translated...
    – franz1
    Commented Jul 17, 2018 at 9:03
  • 1
    @robertalrp - the English source of your quote is that above (see link: page 30). The page number can change according to the edition. I've no access to Gattei's edited book, but it seems that it contains the Italian transaltion of the 1981 English paper. I've no idea of a complete biblio of Italian translations of Kuhn's works. Commented Jul 17, 2018 at 9:11

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