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Changes That Occur During a Paradigm Shift

Thomas Kuhn argues that reality cannot be described independently of the conceptual schemes through which we observe it. Paradigm theories explain our conceptual systems.

When a paradigm shift occurs, the theoretical opinions of scientists working in the field changes.

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A Paradigm theory is a general theory that provides a broad theoretical framework or "conceptual scheme." It offers underlying assumptions, key concepts, and methodology to scientists working in a particular field. It gives their research its general direction and goals.

Examples of pa...

The term "paradigm shift" was coined by the American philosopher Thomas Kuhn (1922-1996). He argued that science couldn't advance until most people working within a field agree upon a paradigm. Before the agreement, collaboration and teamwork are restricted.

Once a paradigm theory is estab...

Kuhn's claim related to paradigm shifts is very controversial.

His critics argue that this "non-realist" approach leads to a sort of relativism, and concludes that scientific progress has nothing to do with getting closer to the truth. Kuhn states he still believes in scientific progress s...

A paradigm shift occurs when one paradigm theory is replaced by another:

  • Ptolemy's astronomy giving way to Copernican astronomy.
  • Newtonian physics (time and space are the same everywhere for everyone) replaced by Einsteinian physics. (time and space are relativ...

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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 a...

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Hypothesis

A hypothesis is an initial statement regarding the cause and effect in a specific situation. It can be tested by experimentation and observation or by statistical analysis of probabilities from data. A useful hypothesis allows predictions by using deductive reasoning.

Somet...

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Human history is often framed as a series of episodes, representing sudden bursts of knowledge. The Agricultural Revolution, the Renaissance, and the Industrial Revolution are a few examples where it is generally thought that innovation moved quicker than at other points in history, leading to a ...

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