fragments of an attempted writing.
I've been thinking about the post Has Intellectual History Had a Kuhnian Revolution? over at the U.S. Intellectual History blog.  The author writes:

Usually one encounters a famous book's reputation long before actually reading the book. But reading Kuhn as a first-semester freshman in the early 1980s, I had absolutely no preconceptions.  I had no idea of the book's significance within its field. And the explosion of paradigm talk in the wider culture had yet to occur. So my sense of wonder at reading The Structure of Scientific Revolutions was relatively unmediated (though, of course, the fact that it was being assigned and discussed in a class was itself a form of mediation).  

My first intellectual mentor led me through Structure when I was a freshman in the early 90s.  By then the "explosion of paradigm talk" was well underway, but I hadn't been exposed to any of it so I took in Kuhn with the same wonder the author describes.  That same mentor once told me that, no matter where I went in terms of religious affiliation, the religious folk of my youth would always be my spiritual kin.  He was right about that, and I think in a sense that logic applies to Kuhn for me.  I can't help but think in Kuhnian terms.  With regard to the debate over whether or not Kuhn should be applied to the social sciences, I think it somewhat moot.  It has been, and the result of that is now a given.  

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