In February 1994 I sent Thomas Kuhn the following letter with a copy of an article, ‘On Misunderstanding Science’ which subsequently became chapter 11 of my book: Philosophy and Mystification. His generous response to the letter and to the article began a correspondence which lasted until his death in 1996.
Since I first read The Structure of Scientific Revolutions shortly after it appeared I regarded Tom Kuhn as having opened up a whole new perspective on the sciences which made it possible to see how the attempts to produce logical or metaphysical models of scientific reasoning and development were incapable of producing genuine understanding of how the sciences and the scientists actually worked and developed, or even of providing a model for the scientists to use as a guide or against which to be judged. Starting from a concrete and practical background in the sciences, Kuhn was able to turn his back on the long tradition of attempting to make the sciences into a kind of ‘theology of the real’ and to see them as a historical, practical human enterprise. This revolutionary change of perspective produced a great many misunderstandings and misrepresentations of his view which I tried in my piece to address.