HOME

TheInfoList




A paradigm shift, a concept identified by the American physicist and philosopher
Thomas Kuhn Thomas Samuel Kuhn (; July 18, 1922 – June 17, 1996) was an American whose 1962 book ' was influential in both academic and popular circles, introducing the term ', which has since become an English-language idiom. Kuhn made several cla ...
, is a fundamental change in the basic
concept Concepts are defined as abstract ideas A mental representation (or cognitive representation), in philosophy of mind Philosophy of mind is a branch of philosophy that studies the ontology and nature of the mind and its relationship with the bo ...

concept
s and
experiment An experiment is a procedure carried out to support or refute a hypothesis, or determine the efficacy or likelihood of something previously untried. Experiments provide insight into Causality, cause-and-effect by demonstrating what outcome oc ...

experiment
al practices of a
scientific discipline The branches of science, also referred to as science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and Taxonomy (general), organizes knowledge in the form of Tes ...
. Even though Kuhn restricted the use of the term to the natural sciences, the concept of a paradigm shift has also been used in numerous non-scientific contexts to describe a profound change in a fundamental model or perception of events. Kuhn presented his notion of a paradigm shift in his influential book ''
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions ''The Structure of Scientific Revolutions'' (1962; second edition 1970; third edition 1996; fourth edition 2012) is a book about the history of science The history of science covers the development of science Science (from the Latin wo ...
'' (1962). Kuhn contrasts paradigm shifts, which characterize a
scientific revolution The Scientific Revolution was a series of events that marked the emergence In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, ...

scientific revolution
, to the activity of
normal science Normal science, identified and elaborated on by Thomas Samuel Kuhn in ''The Structure of Scientific Revolutions ''The Structure of Scientific Revolutions'' (1962; second edition 1970; third edition 1996; fourth edition 2012) is a book about the h ...
, which he describes as scientific work done within a prevailing framework or
paradigm In science Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe."... modern science is a discovery as well as ...
. Paradigm shifts arise when the dominant paradigm under which normal science operates is rendered incompatible with new phenomena, facilitating the adoption of a new theory or paradigm. As one commentator summarizes:


History

The nature of scientific revolutions has been studied by
modern philosophy Modern philosophy is philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy ...
since
Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant (, , ; 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about r ...

Immanuel Kant
used the phrase in the preface to the second edition of his ''
Critique of Pure Reason ''Critique of Pure Reason'' (german: Kritik der reinen Vernunft; 1781; second edition 1787) is a book by the German philosopher Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant (, ; ; 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German Philosophy, philosopher a ...
'' (1787). Kant used the phrase "revolution of the way of thinking" () to refer to
Greek mathematics Greek mathematics refers to mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geomet ...
and Newtonian physics. In the 20th century, new developments in the basic concepts of
mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and their changes (cal ...
,
physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical scie ...
, and
biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mechanisms, Development ...

biology
revitalized interest in the question among scholars.


Original usage

In his 1962 book ''
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions ''The Structure of Scientific Revolutions'' (1962; second edition 1970; third edition 1996; fourth edition 2012) is a book about the history of science The history of science covers the development of science Science (from the Latin wo ...
'', Kuhn explains the development of paradigm shifts in science into four stages: * Normal science – In this stage, which Kuhn sees as most prominent in science, a dominant paradigm is active. This paradigm is characterized by a set of theories and ideas that define what is possible and rational to do, giving scientists a clear set of tools to approach certain problems. Some examples of dominant paradigms that Kuhn gives are: Newtonian physics, caloric theory, and the theory of electromagnetism. Insofar as paradigms are useful, they expand both the scope and the tools with which scientists do research. Kuhn stresses that, rather than being monolithic, the paradigms that define normal science can be particular to different people. A chemist and a physicist might operate with different paradigms of what a helium atom is. Under normal science, scientists encounter anomalies that cannot be explained by the universally accepted paradigm within which scientific progress has thereto been made. * Extraordinary research – When enough significant anomalies have accrued against a current paradigm, the scientific discipline is thrown into a state of crisis. To address the crisis, scientists push the boundaries of normal science in what Kuhn calls “extraordinary research”, which is characterized by its exploratory nature. Without the structures of the dominant paradigm to depend on, scientists engaging in extraordinary research must produce new theories, thought experiments, and experiments to explain the anomalies. Kuhn sees the practice of this stage – “the proliferation of competing articulations, the willingness to try anything, the expression of explicit discontent, the recourse to philosophy and to debate over fundamentals” – as even more important to science than paradigm shifts. * Adoption of a new paradigm – Eventually a new paradigm is formed, which gains its own new followers. For Kuhn, this stage entails both resistance to the new paradigm, and reasons for why individual scientists adopt it. According to
Max Planck Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck, (; ; 23 April 1858 – 4 October 1947) was a Germans, German theoretical physicist whose discovery of quantum mechanics, energy quanta won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918. Planck made many substantial co ...

Max Planck
, "a new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."''Quoted in Thomas Kuhn, ''
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions ''The Structure of Scientific Revolutions'' (1962; second edition 1970; third edition 1996; fourth edition 2012) is a book about the history of science The history of science covers the development of science Science (from the Latin wo ...
'' (1970 ed.): p. 150.
'' Because scientists are committed to the dominant paradigm, and paradigm shifts involve gestalt-like changes, Kuhn stresses that paradigms are difficult to change. However, paradigms can gain influence by explaining or predicting phenomena much better than before (i.e., Bohr's model of the atom) or by being more subjectively pleasing. During this phase, proponents for competing paradigms address what Kuhn considers the core of a paradigm debate: whether a given paradigm will be a good guide for ''future'' problems – things that neither the proposed paradigm nor the dominant paradigm are capable of solving currently. * Aftermath of the scientific revolution – In the long run, the new paradigm becomes institutionalized as the dominant one. Textbooks are written, obscuring the revolutionary process.


Features


Paradigm shifts and progress

A common misinterpretation of paradigms is the belief that the discovery of paradigm shifts and the dynamic nature of science (with its many opportunities for subjective judgments by scientists) are a case for
relativism Relativism is a family of philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical or mental reality Reality ...
: the view that all kinds of belief systems are equal. Kuhn vehemently denies this interpretation and states that when a scientific paradigm is replaced by a new one, albeit through a complex social process, the new one is ''always better'', not just different.


Incommensurability

These claims of relativism are, however, tied to another claim that Kuhn does at least somewhat endorse: that the language and theories of different paradigms cannot be translated into one another or rationally evaluated against one another—that they are ''incommensurable''. This gave rise to much talk of different peoples and cultures having radically different worldviews or conceptual schemes—so different that whether or not one was better, they could not be understood by one another. However, the philosopher Donald Davidson published the highly regarded essay "On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme" (''Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association'', Vol. 47, (1973–1974), pp. 5–20) in 1974 arguing that the notion that any languages or theories could be incommensurable with one another was itself incoherent. If this is correct, Kuhn's claims must be taken in a weaker sense than they often are. Furthermore, the hold of the Kuhnian analysis on
social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist o ...

social science
has long been tenuous, with the wide application of multi-paradigmatic approaches in order to understand complex human behaviour (see for example John Hassard, ''Sociology and Organization Theory: Positivism, Paradigm and Postmodernity''. Cambridge University Press, 1993, ).


Gradualism vs. sudden change

Paradigm shifts tend to be most dramatic in sciences that appear to be stable and mature, as in physics at the end of the 19th century. At that time, physics seemed to be a discipline filling in the last few details of a largely worked-out system. In ''The Structure of Scientific Revolutions'', Kuhn wrote, "Successive transition from one paradigm to another via revolution is the usual developmental pattern of mature science" (p. 12). Kuhn's idea was itself revolutionary in its time as it caused a major change in the way that academics talk about science. Thus, it could be argued that it caused or was itself part of a "paradigm shift" in the history and sociology of science. However, Kuhn would not recognise such a paradigm shift. In the social sciences, people can still use earlier ideas to discuss the history of science. Philosophers and historians of science, including Kuhn himself, ultimately accepted a modified version of Kuhn's model, which synthesizes his original view with the gradualist model that preceded it.


Examples


Natural sciences

Some of the "classical cases" of Kuhnian paradigm shifts in science are: * 1543 – The transition in
cosmology Cosmology (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...
from a Ptolemaic cosmology to a
Copernican
Copernican
one. * 1543 – The acceptance of the work of
Andreas Vesalius Andreas Vesalius (; 31 December 1514 – 15 October 1564) was a 16th-century Flemish people, Flemish anatomist, physician, and author of one of the most influential books on human anatomy, ''De humani corporis fabrica, De Humani Corporis Fabrica ...

Andreas Vesalius
, whose work ''
De humani corporis fabrica upThe ''Fabrica'' is known for its highly detailed illustrations of human dissections, often in allegorical poses.">allegorical.html" ;"title="dissections, often in allegorical">dissections, often in allegorical poses. ''De humani corporis fabr ...

De humani corporis fabrica
'' corrected the numerous errors in the previously-held system of
human anatomy The human body is the structure of a human being Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of ...

human anatomy
created by
Galen Aelius Galenus or Claudius Galenus ( el, Κλαύδιος Γαληνός; September 129 – c. AD 216), often Anglicized Linguistic anglicisation (or anglicization, occasionally anglification, anglifying, or Englishing) is the practice of modi ...
. * 1687 – The transition in
mechanics Mechanics (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximat ...

mechanics
from
Aristotelian mechanics Aristotelian physics is the form of natural science Natural science is a branch of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and Taxonomy (general) ...
to classical mechanics. * 1783 – The acceptance of
Lavoisier Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier ( , ,; 26 August 17438 May 1794), When reduced without charcoal, it gave off an air which supported respiration and combustion in an enhanced way. He concluded that this was just a pure form of common air and th ...

Lavoisier
's theory of chemical reactions and combustion in place of
phlogiston theory The phlogiston theory is a superseded scientific theory that postulated the existence of a fire-like element called phlogiston () contained within combustible bodies and released during combustion Combustion, or burning, is a high-temperatur ...
, known as the
chemical revolution The chemical revolution, also called the ''first chemical revolution'', was the early modern reformulation of chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chemical compound, compounds composed ...
. * The transition in
optics Optics is the branch of physics that studies the behaviour and properties of light, including its interactions with matter and the construction of optical instruments, instruments that use or Photodetector, detect it. Optics usually describes t ...

optics
from
geometrical optics Geometrical optics, or ray optics, is a model of optics Optics is the branch of physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural sci ...
to
physical optics In physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "P ...
with
Augustin-Jean Fresnel Augustin-Jean Fresnel ( or ; ; 10 May 1788 – 14 July 1827) was a French civil engineer A civil engineer is a person who practices civil engineering Civil engineering is a Regulation and licensure in engineering, professional engi ...
's wave theory. * 1826 – The discovery of
hyperbolic geometry In mathematics, hyperbolic geometry (also called Lobachevskian geometry or János Bolyai, Bolyai–Nikolai Lobachevsky, Lobachevskian geometry) is a non-Euclidean geometry. The parallel postulate of Euclidean geometry is replaced with: :For an ...
. * 1859 – The revolution in
evolution Evolution is change in the heritable Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of Phenotypic trait, traits from parents to their offspring; either through asexual reproduction or sexual reproduction, ...

evolution
from goal-directed change to
Charles Darwin Charles Robert Darwin (; ; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that fu ...

Charles Darwin
's
natural selection Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype right , Here the relation between genotype and phenotype is illustrated, using a Punnett square, for the character of peta ...
. * 1880 – The
germ theory of disease The germ theory of disease is the currently accepted scientific theory A scientific theory is an explanation of an aspect of the natural world and universe that has been repeatedly tested and verified in accordance with the scientific method ...
began overtaking Galen's
miasma theory upright=1.1, An 1831 color lithograph by Robert Seymour (illustrator), Robert Seymour depicts cholera as a robed, skeletal creature emanating a deadly black cloud. The miasma theory (also called the miasmatic theory) is an Superseded scientific ...
. * 1905 – The development of
quantum mechanics Quantum mechanics is a fundamental theory A theory is a reason, rational type of abstraction, abstract thinking about a phenomenon, or the results of such thinking. The process of contemplative and rational thinking is often associated with ...
, which replaced classical mechanics at microscopic scales. * 1887 to 1905 – The transition from the
luminiferous aether Luminiferous aether or ether ("luminiferous", meaning "light-bearing") was the postulated medium Medium may refer to: Science and technology Aviation *Medium bomber, a class of war plane *Tecma Medium, a French hang glider design Communic ...
present in
space Space is the boundless three-dimensional Three-dimensional space (also: 3-space or, rarely, tri-dimensional space) is a geometric setting in which three values (called parameter A parameter (from the Ancient Greek language, Ancient Gre ...

space
to
electromagnetic radiation In physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. ...

electromagnetic radiation
in
spacetime In physics, spacetime is any mathematical model which fuses the three-dimensional space, three dimensions of space and the one dimension of time into a single four-dimensional manifold. Minkowski diagram, Spacetime diagrams can be used to visuali ...
. * 1919 – The transition between the worldview of
Newtonian gravity Newton's law of universal gravitation is usually stated as that every particle In the Outline of physical science, physical sciences, a particle (or corpuscule in older texts) is a small wikt:local, localized physical body, object to which can ...
and
general relativity General relativity, also known as the general theory of relativity, is the geometric Geometry (from the grc, γεωμετρία; '' geo-'' "earth", '' -metron'' "measurement") is, with arithmetic, one of the oldest branches of mathema ...
. * 1964 – The
discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation The discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation constitutes a major development in modern physical cosmology Physical cosmology is a branch of cosmology concerned with the study of cosmological models. A cosmological model, or simpl ...
leads to the
big bang theory The Big Bang theory A theory is a reason, rational type of abstraction, abstract thinking about a phenomenon, or the results of such thinking. The process of contemplative and rational thinking is often associated with such processes as obs ...
being accepted over the
steady state theory In cosmology Cosmology (from Ancient Greek, Greek κόσμος, ''kosmos'' "world" and -λογία, ''-logia'' "study of") is a branch of astronomy concerned with the studies of the origin and evolution of the universe, from the Big Bang to ...
in
cosmology Cosmology (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...
. * 1965 – The acceptance of
plate tectonics Plate tectonics (from the la, label=Late Latin Late Latin ( la, Latinitas serior) is the scholarly name for the written Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. L ...
as the explanation for large-scale geologic changes. * 1974 – The November Revolution, with the discovery of the
J/psi meson The (J/psi) meson or psion is a subatomic particle, a flavour (particle physics), flavor-neutral meson consisting of a charm quark and a charm antiparticle, antiquark. Mesons formed by a bound state of a charm quark and a charm anti-quark are gen ...
, and the acceptance of the existence of
quarks A quark () is a type of elementary particle In particle physics, an elementary particle or fundamental particle is a subatomic particle that is not composed of other particles. Particles currently thought to be elementary include the fundamen ...

quarks
and the
Standard Model The Standard Model of particle physics Particle physics (also known as high energy physics) is a branch of physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsi ...

Standard Model
of particle physics. * 1960 to 1985 – The acceptance of the ubiquity of
nonlinear In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). I ...
dynamical systems In mathematics, a dynamical system is a system in which a Function (mathematics), function describes the time dependence of a Point (geometry), point in a Manifold, geometrical space. Examples include the mathematical models that describe the ...
as promoted by
chaos theory Chaos theory is an interdisciplinary Interdisciplinarity or interdisciplinary studies involves the combination of two or more academic disciplines into one activity (e.g., a research project). It draws knowledge from several other fields ...
, instead of a
laplacian In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no g ...

laplacian
world-view of
deterministic Determinism is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical or mental reality Reality is the ...
predictability.


Social sciences

In Kuhn's view, the existence of a single reigning paradigm is characteristic of the natural sciences, while philosophy and much of social science were characterized by a "tradition of claims, counterclaims, and debates over fundamentals." Others have applied Kuhn's concept of paradigm shift to the social sciences. * The movement known as the
cognitive revolution The cognitive revolution was an intellectual movement that began in the 1950s as an interdisciplinary study of the mind and its processes. It later became known collectively as cognitive science Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary ...
moved away from
behaviourist Behaviorism is a systematic approach to understanding the behavior of humans and other animals. It assumes that behavior is either a reflex evoked by the pairing of certain antecedent (behavioral psychology), antecedent stimuli in the environmen ...
approaches to
psychological Psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe."... modern science is ...

psychological
study and the acceptance of
cognition Cognition () refers to "the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses". It encompasses many aspects of intellectual function Intellectual functioning refers to the "general men ...
as central to studying human behaviour. * The
Keynesian revolution The Keynesian Revolution was a fundamental reworking of economic theory concerning the factors determining employment levels in the overall economy. The revolution was set against the then orthodox economic framework, namely neoclassical economi ...
is typically viewed as a major shift in
macroeconomics Macroeconomics (from the Greek prefix ''makro-'' meaning "large" + ''economics'') is a branch of economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred ...
. According to
John Kenneth Galbraith John Kenneth Galbraith (October 15, 1908 – April 29, 2006), also known as Ken Galbraith, was a Canadian-American economist, diplomat, public official, and intellectual An intellectual is a person who engages in critical thinking Cr ...

John Kenneth Galbraith
,
Say's Law In classical economics, Say's law, or the law of markets, is the claim that the production of a product creates demand for another product by providing something of value which can be exchanged for that other product. So, production is the source o ...
dominated economic thought prior to Keynes for over a century, and the shift to Keynesianism was difficult. Economists who contradicted the law, which implied that underemployment and underinvestment (coupled with oversaving) were virtually impossible, risked losing their careers. In his magnum opus, Keynes cited one of his predecessors, John A. Hobson, who was repeatedly denied positions at universities for his heretical theory. * Later, the movement for
monetarism Monetarism is a school of thought in monetary economics that emphasizes the role of governments in controlling the amount of money in circulation. Monetarist theory asserts that variations in the money supply In macroeconomics, the money ...
over Keynesianism marked a second divisive shift. Monetarists held that fiscal policy was not effective for stabilizing
inflation In economics, inflation refers to a general progressive increase in prices of goods and services in an economy. When the general price level rises, each unit of currency buys fewer goods and services; consequently, inflation corresponds to a r ...

inflation
, that it was solely a monetary phenomenon, in contrast to the Keynesian view of the time was that both fiscal and monetary policy were important. Keynesians later adopted much of the monetarists' view of the
quantity theory of money#REDIRECT Quantity theory of money In monetary economics, the quantity theory of money (QTM) states that the general price level of goods and services is directly proportional to the amount of money in circulation, or money supply In macroeco ...
and shifting
Phillips curve The Phillips curve is a single-equation economic model, named after William Phillips (economist), William Phillips, hypothesizing an inverse relationship between rates of unemployment and corresponding rates of rises in wages that result within ...

Phillips curve
, theories they initially rejected. * First proposed by
Ferdinand de Saussure Ferdinand de Saussure (; ; 26 November 1857 – 22 February 1913) was a Swiss Swiss may refer to: * the adjectival form of Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Fed ...

Ferdinand de Saussure
in 1879, the
laryngeal theory The laryngeal theory is a widely accepted hypothesis A hypothesis (plural hypotheses) is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon. For a hypothesis to be a scientific hypothesis, the scientific method requires that one can testable, test it ...
in
Indo-European linguistics Indo-European studies is a field of linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional are ...
postulated the existence of "laryngeal" consonants in the
Proto-Indo-European language Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the theorized common ancestor of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( ...
(PIE), a theory that was confirmed by the discovery of the
Hittite language Hittite (natively / "the language of Kültepe, Neša", or ''nešumnili'' / "the language of the people of Neša"), also known as Nesite (''Nešite'' / Neshite, Nessite), was an Indo-European languages, Indo-European language that was spoken ...
in the early 20th century. The theory has since been accepted by the vast majority of linguists, paving the way for the
internal reconstruction Internal reconstruction is a method of reconstructing an earlier state in a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an ap ...
of the syntax and grammatical rules of PIE and is considered one of the most significant developments in linguistics since the initial discovery of the
Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing ...
. * The adoption of
radiocarbon dating Radiocarbon dating (also referred to as carbon dating or carbon-14 dating) is a method for determining the age of an object containing organic material Organic matter, organic material, or natural organic matter refers to the large source of ...
by archaeologists has been proposed as a paradigm shift because of how it greatly increased the time depth the archaeologists could reliably date objects from. Similarly the use of
LIDAR Lidar (, also LIDAR, or LiDAR; sometimes LADAR) is a method for determining ranges (variable distance) by targeting an object with a laser A laser is a device that emits light Light or visible light is electromagnetic radiati ...
for remote geospatial imaging of cultural landscapes, and the shift from processual to post-processual archaeology have both been claimed as paradigm shifts by archaeologists.


Applied sciences

More recently, paradigm shifts are also recognisable in applied sciences: * In medicine, the transition from "clinical judgment" to
evidence-based medicine Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is "the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients." The aim of EBM is to integrate the experience of the clinician, the values of th ...
* In software engineering, the transition from the Rational Paradigm to the Empirical Paradigm * In
Artificial Intelligence Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence Intelligence has been defined in many ways: the capacity for abstraction Abstraction in its main sense is a conceptual process where general rules and concept Concepts are defined as abstra ...

Artificial Intelligence
, the transition from a knowledge-based to a data-driven paradigm has been discussed from 2010


Other uses

The term "paradigm shift" has found uses in other contexts, representing the notion of a major change in a certain thought pattern—a radical change in personal beliefs, complex systems or organizations, replacing the former way of thinking or organizing with a radically different way of thinking or organizing: * M. L. Handa, a professor of sociology in education at O.I.S.E.
University of Toronto The University of Toronto (U of T or UToronto) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, or organ ...

University of Toronto
, Canada, developed the concept of a paradigm within the context of social sciences. He defines what he means by "paradigm" and introduces the idea of a "social paradigm". In addition, he identifies the basic component of any social paradigm. Like Kuhn, he addresses the issue of changing paradigms, the process popularly known as "paradigm shift". In this respect, he focuses on the social circumstances that precipitate such a shift. Relatedly, he addresses how that shift affects social institutions, including the institution of education. * The concept has been developed for technology and economics in the identification of new techno-economic paradigms as changes in technological systems that have a major influence on the behaviour of the entire economy (
Carlota Perez Carlota Perez ( es, Carlota Pérez; born September 20, 1939 in Caracas Caracas (, ), officially Santiago de León de Caracas, abbreviated as CCS, is the capital and largest city of Venezuela, and the center of the Metropolitan Region of Caraca ...
; earlier work only on technological paradigms by
Giovanni Dosi Giovanni Dosi is Professor of Economics and Director of the Institute of Economics at the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna in Pisa. He is the Co-Director of the task forces “Industrial Policy” and “Intellectua ...
). This concept is linked to
Joseph Schumpeter Joseph Alois Schumpeter (; February 8, 1883 – January 8, 1950) was an Austrian political economist. He was born in Moravia Moravia ( , also , ; cs, Morava ; german: link=no, Mähren ; pl, Morawy ; szl, Morawijo; la, Moravia) is a h ...
's idea of
creative destruction Creative destruction (German: ''schöpferische Zerstörung''), sometimes known as Schumpeter's gale, is a concept in economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production ( ...
. Examples include the move to mass production and the introduction of microelectronics. * Two photographs of the Earth from space, "
Earthrise ''Earthrise'' is a photograph of Earth and some of the Moon's surface that was taken from lunar orbit by astronaut William Anders on December 24, 1968, during the Apollo 8 mission. Nature photographer Galen Rowell described it as "the most infl ...

Earthrise
" (1968) and "
The Blue Marble ''The Blue Marble'' is an image of Earth taken on December 7, 1972, from a distance of about from the planet's surface. It was taken by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft on its way to the Moon, and is one of the most reproduced images in hi ...

The Blue Marble
" (1972), are thought to have helped to usher in the
environmentalist An environmentalist is a person who is concerned with and/or advocates for the protection of the environment. An environmentalist can be considered a supporter of the goals of the environmental movement The environmental movement (sometimes ...
movement, which gained great prominence in the years immediately following distribution of those images. *
Hans Küng Hans Küng (; 19 March 1928 – 6 April 2021) was a Swiss Catholic priest, theologian, and author. From 1995 he was president of the Foundation for a Global Ethic (Stiftung Weltethos). Küng was ordained a priest in 1954, joined the faculty of ...
applies Thomas Kuhn's theory of paradigm change to the entire history of Christian thought and theology. He identifies six historical "macromodels": 1) the apocalyptic paradigm of primitive Christianity, 2) the Hellenistic paradigm of the patristic period, 3) the medieval Roman Catholic paradigm, 4) the Protestant (Reformation) paradigm, 5) the modern Enlightenment paradigm, and 6) the emerging ecumenical paradigm. He also discusses five analogies between natural science and theology in relation to paradigm shifts. Küng addresses paradigm change in his books, ''Paradigm Change in Theology'' and ''Theology for the Third Millennium: An Ecumenical View''. *In the later part of the 1990s, 'paradigm shift' emerged as a
buzzword A ''buzzword'' is a word or phrase, new or already existing, that becomes very popular for a period of time. Buzzwords often derive from technical terms yet often have much of the original technical meaning removed through fashionable use, being si ...
, popularized as marketing speak and appearing more frequently in print and publication. In his book ''Mind The Gaffe'', author
Larry Trask Robert Lawrence Trask (10 November 1944 – 27 March 2004) was an American–British professor of linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the m ...
advises readers to refrain from using it, and to use caution when reading anything that contains the phrase. It is referred to in several articles and booksCnet.com's Top 10 Buzzwords
/ref>"The Complete Idiot's Guide to a Smart Vocabulary" pp. 142–43, author: Paul McFedries publisher: Alpha; 1st edition (May 7, 2001)
as abused and overused to the point of becoming meaningless. * The concept of technological paradigms has been advanced, particularly by
Giovanni Dosi Giovanni Dosi is Professor of Economics and Director of the Institute of Economics at the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna in Pisa. He is the Co-Director of the task forces “Industrial Policy” and “Intellectua ...
.


Criticism

In a 2015 retrospective on Kuhn, the philosopher Martin Cohen (philosopher), Martin Cohen describes the notion of the paradigm shift as a kind of intellectual virus – spreading from hard science to social science and on to the arts and even everyday political rhetoric today. Cohen claims that Kuhn had only a very hazy idea of what it might mean and, in line with the American philosopher of science Paul Feyerabend, accuses Kuhn of retreating from the more radical implications of his theory, which are that scientific facts are never really more than opinions whose popularity is transitory and far from conclusive. Cohen says scientific knowledge is less certain than it is usually portrayed, and that science and knowledge generally is not the 'very sensible and reassuringly solid sort of affair' that Kuhn describes, in which progress involves periodic paradigm shifts in which much of the old certainties are abandoned in order to open up new approaches to understanding that scientists would never have considered valid before. He argues that information cascades can distort rational, scientific debate. He has focused on health issues, including the example of highly mediatised 'pandemic' alarms, and why they have turned out eventually to be little more than scares.


See also

* * * * * * * * * * * * (author of ''Paradigm Shift'') * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


References


Citations


Sources

*


External links

*
MIT 6.933J – The Structure of Engineering Revolutions
From MIT OpenCourseWare, course materials (graduate level) for a course on the history of technology through a Thomas Kuhn, Kuhnian lens. * {{DEFAULTSORT:Paradigm Shift Change Concepts in epistemology Concepts in metaphilosophy Concepts in metaphysics Concepts in the philosophy of mind Concepts in the philosophy of science Critical thinking Epistemology of science Historiography of science Innovation Metaphysics of mind Metaphysics of science Philosophical theories Reasoning Scientific revolution Theories of history Thomas Kuhn