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From Paradigms to Research Programs: Toward a Post-Kuhnian Political Science

Terence Ball
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 20, No. 1 (Feb., 1976), pp. 151-177
DOI: 10.2307/2110515
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2110515
Page Count: 27
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From Paradigms to Research Programs: Toward a Post-Kuhnian Political Science
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Abstract

This paper traces the reception of T. S. Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions by political scientists through three stages--the first two of uncritical acceptance, the third of rejection. I argue that a critical reading of Kuhn supports none of these positions in toto. I then go on to catalogue the main strengths and weaknesses of Kuhn's theory of scientific choice and change. This examination leads to a consideration of Imre Lakatos' more satisfactory theory of scientific progress. I then go on to suggest what bearing Lakatos' theory has upon the actual practice of political science.

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