OSWEGO – Dr. K. Brad Wray, professor of philosophy and author of an authoritative book on philosopher Thomas Kuhn, is this year’s recipient of the SUNY Oswego President’s Award for Scholarly and Creative Activity.
Wray’s book “Thomas Kuhn’s Evolutionary Social Epistemology” explores the teachings of one of the most influential and controversial figures in modern philosophy. Kuhn introduced the concept of “paradigm shift,” a term that spread from the history of scientific progress to popular use.
Cambridge University Press published Wray’s book in 2011. “There is no more respectable or exclusive place where he could publish this work,” Dr. Craig DeLancey, chair of the Oswego philosophy department, wrote in a letter of nomination for his colleague’s award.
The book details and defends the full spectrum of work by a seminal figure in the philosophy of science and has received favorable reviews in several philosophy journals. “The book culminates nearly a decade of focused and disciplined work on Kuhn, demonstrating unique scholarly stamina,” DeLancey wrote.
Reviewing Wray’s book recently for the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Rupert Read and Jessica Woolley wrote that it offers a “novel” reading of Kuhn’s oft-cited work, “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.” “In so doing, (Wray) provides a useful overview of the interpretive debates surrounding Kuhn’s work, defends Kuhn successfully against critics, and suggests interesting future directions for sociology and philosophy of science,” the reviewers wrote.
Wray’s nomination for the SUNY Oswego award received international support from scholars in his field, including Leibniz University’s Center for Philosophy and Ethics of Science in Germany, the Finnish Centre of Excellence in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences and the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University.
A SUNY Oswego faculty member since 2002, Wray has published 32 articles in such peer-reviewed journals as Scientometrics and American Philosophical Quarterly and has produced numerous invited works and book reviews. He edited the 2002 textbook “Knowledge and Inquiry: Readings in Epistemology.”
Academic editor for PLOS ONE, an open-access, online journal that publishes across scientific disciplines, Wray has made scholarly presentations at the British Society for Philosophy of Science, Pacific, Central and Eastern divisions of the American Philosophical Association, Nancy University in France and Universidad Oviedo in Spain, to name a few. He also has mentored Oswego students on college-funded research projects.
Wray earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy at the University of Toronto and completed his graduate studies at the University of Western Ontario. He was a visiting scholar at Cornell University in fall 2008.