Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s resolution for 2015 was to read a new book every two weeks and discuss it with the Facebook community.
He’s developed a book club that’s heavy on big ideas, and his sixth pick is no different.
Since its initial publication in 1962, it has become “one of the most cited academic books of all time,” establishing Kuhn as “perhaps the most influential” philosophers of science in the 20th century, according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Kuhn’s book may be most remembered for introducing the phrase “paradigm shift,” representing instances in scientific history when a perspective was fundamentally shifted, like when quantum physics replaced Newtonian mechanics.
Zuckerberg explains his latest pick on his personal Facebook page:
It’s a history of science book that explores the question of whether science and technology make consistent forward progress or whether progress comes in bursts related to other social forces.
I tend to think that science is a consistent force for good in the world. I think we’d all be better off if we invested more in science and acted on the results of research. I’m excited to explore this theme further.
If there was ever a philosophy book to read by a physicist, it’s probably “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.”
“The real measure of Kuhn’s importance … lies not in the infectiousness of one of his concepts but in the fact that he single-handedly changed the way we think about mankind’s most organised attempt to understand the world,” John Naughton writes for The Guardian.
“A Year in Books” so far:
- “The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isnt What It Used to Be” by Moisés Naím
- “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined” by Steven Pinker
- “Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets” by Sudhir Venkatesh
- “On Immunity: An Inoculation” by Eula Biss
- “Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration” by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace
- “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” by Thomas S. Kuhn
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