The German Anticipation of Kuhn

The real ‘movement’ of the sciences takes place in the revision of these basic concepts, a revision which is more or less radical and lucid with regard to itself. A science’s level of development is determined by the extent to which it is capable of a crisis in its basic concepts. In these immanent crises of the sciences the relation of positive questioning to the matter in question becomes unstable. Today tendencies to place research on new foundations have cropped up on all sides in the various disciplines. – Martin Heidegger, Being and Time (1927)

…in science it happens every few years that something that up to then was held to be error suddenly revolutionises all views or that an unobtrusive, despised idea becomes the ruler over a new realm of ideas; and such occurrences are not mere upheavals but lead up into the heights like Jacob’s ladder. In science the way things happen is vigorous and matter-of-fact and glorious as in a fairy-tale. ‘People simply don’t know this,’ Ulrich felt. ‘They have no glimmer of what can be done with thinking. If one could teach them to think in a new way, they would also live differently.’ – Robert Musil,The Man Without Qualities (1930)

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