What Is A Paradigm Shift, Anyway? - Deepstash
What Is A Paradigm Shift, Anyway?

What Is A Paradigm Shift, Anyway?

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A paradigm shift

A paradigm shift

To define a paradigm shift, we should first look at a definition for a paradigm.

A paradigm is defined as a pattern that may be copied, or a group of ideas about how something should be done, made or thought about.

A paradigm shift is then defined as a major change that happens when a new and different way replaces the regular way of thinking or doing something.

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History of the paradigm shift

Psychologist Jean Piaget saw children's development as a series of separate stages marked by periods of adjustments. Inspired partly by Piaget, Thomas Kuhn - a physicist, philosopher, and historian of science -proposed two kinds of scientific change:

  • Incremental developments in the course of "normal science."
  • Scientific revolutions that accentuate the more stable phases.

He proposed that scientific revolutions are not a matter of incremental progress; they involve "paradigm shifts."

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Various distinct senses

The term paradigm can be used in many distinct senses. For example:

  • A paradigm could refer to a special kind of achievement that draws an enduring group of adherents away from competing modes of scientific activity, but is open enough to leave all sorts of problems for the new group to solve.
  • Paradigms can be used to offer general epistemological viewpoints, like a broad sweep of reality, when it "determines large areas of experience at the same time."

What Thomas Kuhn meant originally by paradigm has, over time, assumed an expansive set of meanings, sufficiently open-ended to allow other possibilities to be explored.

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