Talk:Paradigm shift

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Topics from 2002-2004[edit]

Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment[edit]

Sciences humaines.svg This article was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment, between 16 January 2019 and 24 April 2019. Further details are available on the course page. Peer reviewers: Tachlis.

Above undated message substituted from assignment by PrimeBOT (talk) 06:06, 17 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Shifts in organizations[edit]

Paradigm shifts can also occur in complex systems and organizations. -21:08, 14 January 2002 F. Lee Horn

What about the application of the Paradigm Shift in the field of International Relations - or more specifically - US domestic views towards isolationism and intervention which influences foreign policy. -Samuel

That would be extrapolating to the nth degree to anthropomorphicize pre-cambrian monocellular organisms, very New Age! You earned 2 silver stars on your scribble book =). 01:39, 15 January 2002

Oh, wow! Like...kewl! Oh,'s "anthropomorphize." :) F. Lee Horn
Ooops, you got me! Must have had a paradigm shift and learned minor spelling mistakes only matter in the Paramecium village Þ

Not one of these examples illustrate's Thomas Kuhn's theory. Most of them I consider BS. And you have completely missed Kuhn's basic point that paradigm shifts can only be useful if they are punctuations of normal science. In fact disciplines which do not manage to spend most of their time nicely settled in to a paradigm are guaranteed to fail as sciences. (They may fail as sciences for other reasons as well but...)

Perhaps we need the page rewritten? Say by the same person who wrote the Thomas Samuel Kuhn page? -BJT 18:32, 30 July 2002

Hmmm. I began this page(although the revisionist Wiki history starts Jan 2002) with a small dictionary-style definition. It has grown! 00:45, 8 June 2003 BF

I've tried to tighten up the writing, but it needs a lot more work. I used The Structure of Scientific Revolutions entry as a reference. Possibly a lot of the stuff here is redundant to that entry. - David Gerard 22:26, Jan 19, 2004 (UTC)

I tried to re-orientate it to be a bit more clear about what Kuhn was trying to get at, and re-organized the "examples" to reflect the nature of the shift, which is the result of the process, not just a list of achievements or discoveries. If anyone seriously objects to my understanding of this though, I'd be willing to talk about it. --Fastfission 22:02, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)

A real improvement. The tightening up of the examples alone makes a big difference. Dandrake 03:22, Jun 17, 2004 (UTC)

--- I am not sure if call-by-push-value can be regarded as a paradigm shift. I didn't know this concept before reading this wikipedia page and yet I am doing research in the area of programming languages. It looks like an interesting unifying work but it is maybe a bit early to compare it with the revolutionary works of Copernic, Newton or Darwin. 08:49, 19 August 2004 V. Cremet

=Topics from 2005-2006=noun

Comment on the examples that are presented in the article[edit]

To my knowledge, the Copernican revolution was started by Galileo and Kepler. To my knowledge, Copernicus used the tools of the Ptolemaic paradigm: cycles and epicycles, and other means, and his model needed more of them than the geocentric ptolemaic model of Copernicus' time. Arguably, Copernicus' cosmology was the worst in the history of cosmology. The credit for being the first to present a heliocentric cosmology with scientific credibility should go to Kepler, the first to departure from the toolbox of the ptolemaic paradigm. It bothers me a bit that Kepler is not recieving full credit.

According to Kuhns "The Copernican Revolution" the prior statement would be considered erroneous. Yes, there were problems with the Copernican system, but to say his cosmology was the worst in history is foolish. Also, acording to Kuhn, Copernicus brought forth the revolution, but credit must be given to Kepler, Galileo, and others for its completion

  • The unification of classical physics by Newton into a coherent mechanical worldview.

This unification was normal science. Newton solved a huge puzzle. Contemporaries like Hooke, Wren and Huygens believed in an inverse square law for gravity, but they couldn't substantiate that mathematically. Arguably, Newton did start a paradigm shift in mathematics, Newton (and, independently, Leibniz) caused change in the thinking about what is mathematically well-founded.

This is a tricky one. The Maxwell equations are invariant under Lorentz transformation. Historically, the Maxwell equations were crucial in providing clues to special relativity, it was Einstein's main guidance. Henri Poincaré had written down all the equations of special relativity too, in his explorations of the mathematics of the Maxwell equations, but he hadn't published, because he didn't judge them helpful in elucidating physics. To this day, the Maxwell equations have not been superseeded.
It is quite astonishing that alhough Maxwell's visualisations to help him in finding the Maxwell equations were in a completely different direction than elektrodynamics was later to take, the equations themselves have stood the test of time.

Ever since the introduction of relativistic physics, physicists must be proficient in two different paradigms. That is, they must be able to conduct normal science in both newtonian physics, and in relativistic physics, depending on the circumstances. Also, physicists have learned that no theory should ever be considered the final word. Physicists are working hard to find the theory that will do to relativity what relativity did to newtonian physics.

That was a paradigm shift, but I wouldn't call it an overthrow. The theoretical physicists trying to find equations for Quantum mechanics had desparately little clues. One of their main tools to narrow down searches was that the Quantum calculation had to predict exactly the same things as classical electrodynamics; the predictions of classical electrodynamics had to be reproduced seamlessly. This is called the principle of complementarity.

To my knowledge, there was no such thing as 'lamarckian thinking' at the time. I'm inclined to say that the theory of darwinistic evolution turned a field of inquiry that was pre-scientific before on the road to being a field to conduct science in.

  • The acceptance of Plate tectonics as the explanation for large-scale geologic changes.

The discovery of plate tectonics was a surprise, like the discovery of for example X-rays had been, but I'm not sure I would categorize it as a paradigm shift. There was no need to shift in thinking to new laws of geophysics. Then again, I don't know how the height of the Himalaya's was accounted for before.

The question of whether paradigm shifts occur is of course one of philosophical and historical dispute, but if they do occur then the developments listed in the article are all considered to be examples of those. The most common criticism of Kuhn's model from philosophers and historians at the time it was first released were that his terms were proposed too discretely—paradigm shifts only seemed to occur in the way he described when you took a large view of the history, not when you got to the details. But this isn't really the forum to discuss all of that, though perhaps a note to the effect of what I just wrote might be useful. --Fastfission 02:58, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I think the examples that Thomas Kuhn gave in his book are excellent examples of paradigm shifts. I agree with you that common characteristics in the history of science should count, rather than the finer details.
On the other hand: I agree with Thomas Kuhn that very often superficial histories of science "embellish" the story, retrofitting it to modern expectations. I feel history should be very accurate. The shift in thinking from luminiferous ether to relativistic space-time was certainly a paradigm shift. Henri Poincaré had encountered al the relativistic equations in his own explorations, but he didn't attribute significance to them. Typically for a paradigm shift, the concept of luminiferous ether was abandoned after the paradigm shift. But the equations of Maxwell have stood the test of time. --Cleon Teunissen 13:12, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Well, Poincaré was never a fan of relativity anyway, probably because of his love for mechanics, but that's really another story. The equations of Maxwell are still used though their intuitive meaning has changed quite a bit, which is what would concern Kuhn more. And nothing has really "stood the test of time" that is only 150 years old, a historian would note. ;-) --Fastfission 16:04, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I put a lot of emphasis on engineering, that is the background of my opinion that the Maxwell equations have stood the test of time. It's like the history of concepts of the shape of the earth. The ancient greek philosophers concluded on the basis of the evidence available at the time that the earth is spherical in shape. Later Newton showed it had to be an ellipsoid, due to the rotation around its axis. I'm not very demanding in that respect: Newton's science is superior, but the deduction that the earth is spherical has not been invalidated, in my judgement. --Cleon Teunissen 10:25, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

"Kuhn said, using a quote from 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."[1] Maxwell died when Planck was 21 years old. Ivor Catt —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:22, 1 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Laymen vs expert terms examples[edit]

I find the "laymen terms" section in principle to be very unencyclopedic. Either it should be dropped, or the "expert terms" section should be rewritten in a way which is more clear. I also find the "laymen terms" section in content to be very poorl—paradigm shifts are not shifts "from folly" or even "misconceptions" to something "better conceived," in the Kuhnian definition. They are not considered to be movements from "false to true" but instead are from "false to false" (or, alternatively, "true to true"). That's why as a concept it is interesting—if it was just a shift of conceptions, from false ones to true ones, it wouldn't be any different than positivist conceptions of theory change. I think the current "lay" formulation is misleading at best—if there is a "lay" formulation, it is just that a "paradigm shift" means to "think outside the box" imposed by previous experience. In any event, I think the section ought to be dropped, and will do so soon unless someone objects. --Fastfission 02:58, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I also think the 'layman section' should be dropped, for the reasons given above. --Cleon Teunissen 12:53, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
It's a week later now, and no objection has been raised to dropping the "layman terms section".
Also, I think the expert terms section does not fully represent Thomas Kuhn. I think the concept of paradigm shift is popperianized in that section. Here is how I understand Thomas Kuhn: judging the anomalies as critical becomes general in the scientific community after a paradigm shift. The judgement that a crisis was on is made in retrospect. A minority (or a single person) in the scientific community is far earlier in judging a crisis is on, and they will set their aim on revolutionary science. If that minority manages to present a paradigm with scientific credibility, then a paradigm shift throughout the entire scientific community can take place. Whether the paradigm shift spreads to the entire community is up to the individual judgement of the members of the community. During the period of paradigm shift both paradigms are defensible with sound arguments. If a paradigm shift takes place, then after years of normal science the weight of evidence confirming the superiority of the new paradigm piles up. Superficial histories of science tend to mock early scientists for not seeing that evidence straight away. --Cleon Teunissen 09:47, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

meta-paradigmatic science[edit]

In many examples of paradigm shift, both the concepts and the toolbox are replaced. After Kepler and Newton, the ptolemaic toolbox was abandoned; it had been rendered obsolete. However, after relativistic physics was introduced, the newtonian toolbox remained the main toolbox of the physics community. The same is valid for electrodynamics. To be an engineer in electrodynamics, you must be an expert in conducting normal science in classical electrodynamics.

There is a more profound paradigm shift involved here, that is not described by Thomas Kuhn. Before the introduction of special relativity, it was considered normal to believe that newtonian dynamics was 'the final word'.
The introduction of relativistic dynamics showed that it is wrong to believe that the visualisations that have helped in finding the equations of the theory are in any way true. The mathematics of a theory is likely to last, the interpretation of the theory is certain to get replaced someday.
The article states that anomalies will throw a science in a state of crisis. That statement is clearly wrong: anomalies have never thrown a science in a state of crisis. (Decades later, superficial histories may state that there was a crisis back then). In current physics, all physicists are eagerly awaiting the successor to general relativity and quantum mechanics, but at the same time they are confidently continuing to do normal science in general relativity and quantum mechanics. In physics it is now part of the expectation pattern that multiple paradigms will be current simultaneously.

I propose that there is a fourth phase: (1) pre-scientific, (2) normal science, (3) revolutionary science, (4) meta-paradigmatic science. In my opinion, relativistic physics and quantum physics have ushered physics into this fourth phase.
The article should only represent the views of Thomas Kuhn, there is no point in elaborating beyond the views of Thomas Kuhn. But I feel it is wrong to state that the transition from newtonian physics to relativistic physics was a typical example of a paradigm shift; newtonian physics has been retained, and not just out of some sort of lazyness, newtonian physics has been retained because it is exceptionally good. --Cleon Teunissen 14:13, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

As long as you understand that the article must reflect Kuhn's view (whether you agree or not).. Newtonian physics as been "maintained" in a certain sense (practical, day to day), but its worldview does not. Kuhn's theory is more about worldviews than it is equations. You can used Newtonian gravitation equations for pretty good approximations of the orbit of Jupiter, but nobody considers gravity to be what Newton did anymore, and don't use Newtonian conceptions when thinking about the limits of their knowledge or how to propose new experiments. That's what Kuhn cares about—how paradigms affect experimental practice (which might be a limitation, one could fairly argue)—not whether or not the equations are still around. At least, that's my understanding of it, from a number of his books. --Fastfission 16:09, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I agree that today's deep probing experiments do not test newtonian conceptions; that is a thing of the past. And I agree that Kuhn is focused on conceptions.
To this day, cutting edge technology is being developed by engineers in fields that require newtonian thinking only (I recently came across the coriolis flow meter; amazing technology External link: the Micro Motion tutorial
I think that it is significant that there will always be employment for newtonian normal science. This means that I see the problem-solving of how to implement fundamental knowledge into working devices as a part of normal science. Its not just that the equations are still around, the thinking is still around, and it is still producing cutting edge technology.
So I feel it is meaningful to make a distinction between paradigm shifts after which the previous concepts are abandoned, and paradigm shifts after which the previous concepts remain productive, and this affects my judgement on what to consider typical examples of a paradigm shift. --Cleon Teunissen 17:29, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Well, I'm not a physicist, but it doesn't to me that Newtonian mechanics generates a "normal science" program anymore in the Kuhnian sense, and has been regulated down to being a "tool" (or an "instrument," if you may). The transition between the Newtonian worldview and the Relativistic worldview is generally considered a typical example, whether or not you find it to have been a good example of a paradigm shift (your objection seems to be about the definition of paradigm shift itself more than whether this is an example of one). An alternative conception of the Kuhnian framework you might find interesting is Peter Galison's concept of "trading zones," which takes instruments and tools into account more than the Kuhnian version does (and isn't as strict about the boundaries of one worldview to another). --Fastfission 18:03, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Wizzy graphs[edit]

The graphs that are presented make reading the text harder (because they are text-as-image, they must be overly large). The second graph is also fairly meaningless, as it conflates computation speed with Moore's Law (which only speaks to transistor density).

How do these graphs help to explain the nature of a paradigm shift?

-Harmil 13:58, 20 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • I tend to agree that they don't. At best they explain Ray Kurtzweil's goofy futurology theories and nothing else. Which is not the topic of this page. I'm inclined to drop them both. --Fastfission 14:17, 20 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I deleted the following on grounds of logical inconsistency and reference to unverifiable sources. Fanshawe 15:09, 11 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • British underground philosopher Michael Swann advocates a form of self-psychiatry which involves adopting radical new paradigms in which one adopts new memes over and over again until you are able to analyse the persistent behaviour patterns and reconcile your own identity, he terms this deconstruction therapy.

Definition of logical positivism[edit]

Logical positivism is defined as "abstracting science into a purely logical or philosophical venture." The Logical positivism does not seem to define itself in this way. There seems to be something of a gap. There needs to be a citation for this definitino, or it should be removed. Sholto Maud 05:02, 22 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Model or explanation[edit]

I'm looking at these pages because I need to know more about "paradigms", so I am not ready to edit here. I have rather, an issue. It is, I see the term 'explanation' used where I think the term 'model' belongs. In a loose sense, an 'explanation' is a 'model' but seems to me, when we get this close to a term, an 'explanation' is for a child and a 'model' is for a philosopher or a worker in a professional field. And I think 'model' is called for here, but I feel far from ready to write my thinking into this Wiki entry. If somebody else can do this, from an expert knowledgeable point of view, I'd sure like to see it because I'm working on an idea of culture differences and changes seen from a paradigm point of view. -- Martha Adams 20:41, 14 April 2006 Mha

How about Euclid[edit]

How bout the change from Euclidian geometry to Non-Euclidean_geometry was that a paradigm shift?--mexaguil 06:26, 21 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Cut from intro:

Don Tapscott was the first to use the term to describe information technology and business in his book of the same title.

I glanced at his WP entry, and it looks like a puff piece or vanity page. Should I have read it more carefully? I didn't see anything about his book, let alone anything relevant to Kuhn's idea. --Uncle Ed 14:38, 29 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's there; the article says "Tapscott was the first to use the term Paradigm shift with respect to business". At least the version in the PS article makes some sense. But it doesn't sound like much of a quote to me, if I understand it correctly. Don T the first to call the IT/business/Internet/etc synergy a paradigm shift? In 1992? Time for some original research. Counter-examples: this. Another vanity piece with all the buzz words - this 1991 company predates Don T's book by a year. Or this article two months before Don's Book came out; or this book. FWIW. AvB ÷ talk 21:03, 29 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think this is pretty much obviously bullshit. --Fastfission 21:26, 29 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Tapscott non notable is inaccurate -- even by Google test, "don tapscott" + "paradigm shift" gets more than 10,000 hits.

The fact that Tapscott being first to use the term is unproven is noted.

Pessimistic induction and the problem of induction[edit]

Is pessimistic induction supported by Kuhn's theory of paradigm shifts, and if so how do scientific realists counter this and the problem of induction? I think that these both support Kuhn's paradigm shift and should be mentioned in the article. 06:02, 27 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Poor examples[edit]

I don't see how Gaia Theory caused a paradigm shift in anything. Does anyone in biology even accept it? This "example" should remain out.

As for the Theory of Evolution, I'd like to see a source claiming that scientists ever accepted "special creation" as an actual hypothesis. Haven't all evolution supporters been saying for years how any idea having to do with God or supernatural forces is not scientific? Please repair this latter example, and then put it back. --Uncle Ed 19:12, 27 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

View that Kuhn was wrong in his examples[edit]

Cut from examples section:

The most common criticism of Kuhn from historians of science, though, is that the notion of a clean paradigm shift only seems to apply when one takes a very abstract view of the history of any given theory transition. When looking at the details, it has been argued, it becomes increasingly difficult to discern a coherent "paradigm" to shift in to or out of, unless one is examining only pedagogical practices (such as textbooks, which is in fact largely how Kuhn developed his theory).

Who says it's difficult to discern the paradigm? A Wikipedian contributor? If so, we must exclude this text per WP:OR.

To fix this, we should elaborate on a couple of examples, saying that a particular Named Source claims that no discernable paradigm shift occured, and explaining why that source says this: e.g., there was no paradigm (like the Ptolemaic idea of circular orbits and the immobility of the earth was "not a paradigm").

After fixing this section, please put it back. --Uncle Ed 13:34, 11 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's a very, very common criticism—it's not OR, but it can certainly be cited and elaborated upon. --Fastfission 13:37, 11 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Topics from 2007-2008[edit]

Examples of paradigm shifts in complex systems and organizations[edit]

I don't see why any of these should be in the article. E.g. the "Cambrian explosion" was an event in the history of life, nothing to do with paradigms. Maybe #1 is OK, but hardly #3 & 4.--Graminophile (talk) 15:47, 25 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I entirely agree. Furthermore, the reality of cambrian explosion is still matter of a hot debate within evolutionist community. And for the last two decades, it steadily lost ground. See the Wikipedia page for more details. In addition, something that is not documented there is that all the computational models (that are not perfects but begin to be largely on par with paleontology when it comes to scientific insights) point to much older divergences. Lenov (talkcontribs) 17:52, 28 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As marketing speak section[edit]

I removed what I felt was poorly written and biased language from the 'Other uses' section and made a section devoted to its use as a buzzword. I hope I did the references correctly, I apologize if I did not. --Forridean 25 Apr 2008 (UTC)

Wrong text[edit]

Part of what has been said in the article is wrong. Namely: "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" It isnt true that new paradigms are always better. This cannot be since according to Kuhn during paradigm changes the world looks totally different and all paradigm's are equal because of these radical changes to the view of the world. That inplies that paradigm's cannot be better than others.

I hope someone who is good at editing can change this. The source is: Referenties: ^ Thomas S Kuhn, The structure of scientific revolutions ( 1st. ed., Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1962) (talk) 11:03, 26 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You are right. I think this paragraph is in completely contradiction with the description on page

It would be interesting to listen to response of the author who added this. (talk) 03:26, 20 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Agreed. Kuhn writes: "These characteristic shifts in the scientific community's conception of its legitimate problems and standards would have less significance to this essay's thesis if one could suppose that they always occurred from some methodologically lower to some higher type. In that case their effects, too, would seem cumulative. No wonder some historians have argued that the history of science records a continuing increase in the maturity and refinement of man's conception of the nature of science. Yet the case for cumulative development of science's problems and standards is even harder to make than the case for cumulation of theories. The attempt to explain gravity, though fruitfully abandoned by most eighteenth-century scientists, was not directed to an intrinsically illegitimate problem; the objections to innate forces were neither inherently unscientific nor metaphysical in some pejorative sense. There are no external standards to permit a judgement of that sort. What occurred was neither a decline nor a raising of standards, but simply a change demanded by the adoption of a new paradigm. Furthermore, that change has since been reversed and could be again." (p. 108, in chapter titled 'The Nature and Necessity of Scientific Revolutions'). Tachlis (talk) 14:11, 14 May 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

List of minority-opinion scientific theories AFD[edit]

List of minority-opinion scientific theories has been proposed for deletion. Feel free to give your opinion. —Pengo 03:10, 10 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Topics from 2009-2010[edit]

Paradigms in social sciences[edit]

Just on a quick glance of the intro paragraph I picked up this error, or misinterpretation: "Thus, paradigms, in the sense that Kuhn used them, do not exist in Humanities or social sciences. Nonetheless, the term has been adopted since the 1960s and applied in non-scientific contexts." Not true. Kuhn's concept of paradigms applies farther than just the hard sciences. Concurrence of the technical community and dominance of the paradigm are not prerequisites of paradigms themselves. In fact Kuhn gives examples in his book of paradigms within the social sciences. This is how he explains the distinction between the 'hard' and 'soft' sciences. Soft sciences have competing paradigms -- what Kuhn describes as being in a constant state of crisis. The technical community of a soft science do not agree on which paradigm is dominant. Kuhn believes that the concurrence of the technical community is in large part what gives science the impression of linear progress, as opposed to philosophy for example. It's true that the word 'paradigm' has taken a more generic meaning in popular speech since Kuhn introduced the word, but the distinction made here is erroneous. I take it that the word now has a more general meaning that refers simply to a sort of worldview or a body of coherent knowledge. It lacks the technical specificity of Kuhn's use of the word. (talk) 17:12, 27 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • 27-July-2009: I agree, so I have removed the text about " not exist in Humanities". As Einstein warned, "Reality is an illusion", so all sciences are based on faith in assumptions, and I feel "paradigm shift" has come to mean any of various significant theories. -Wikid77 (talk) 11:16, 27 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Retrofit talk-page year headers[edit]

27-July-09: I have added subheaders above as "Topics from 2002" (etc.) to emphasize the dates of topics in the talk-page. Older topics might still apply, but using the year headers helps to focus on more current issues as well. Afterward, I dated/named unsigned comments and moved 5 entries (including "Shifts in organizations" & "Model or explanation" & "Wrong text" & "Paradigms in social sciences") into date order for 2002, 2006 & 2009. -Wikid77 (talk) 11:16, 27 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

hey, thanks! (10 years later, hahah) Tanginia (talk) 19:22, 5 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Paradigms and the Humanities[edit]

I've removed the line that in the humanities one can "interpret economic behaviour from a Marxist perspective". Economics is generally held to be in the social sciences, and when originally added, this example supported the assertion that paradigms don't apply in the social sciences. --SteveMcCluskey (talk) 15:18, 31 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Paradigm Shift and FF XIII[edit]

should Paradigm Shift from FF XII be included in the other section? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:20, 15 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hey, sorry I don't know how to edit properly. In the article on Thomas Kuhn it says that he did not coin the phrase "paradigm shift", but here it says he did. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:04, 22 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Extra bless to the section as marketing speak and its editor(s). I can easily imagine that section to also contain its usage as news media buzzword. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 12:41, 12 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Polanyi's book "Personal Knowledge" 1958 pp143, 150, 151 describes the paradigm, predating Kuhn 1962. He should be mentioned here, as he is in the Wikipedia article on Kuhn. Ivor Catt —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:51, 1 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Topics from 2011-[edit]


Should neurogenesis be added as an example? Viriditas (talk) 10:16, 19 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Maybe, but what is the shift in understanding? Not obvious from intro of the neurogenesis article Jonpatterns (talk) 12:52, 14 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The article now says:

Some of the "classical cases" of Kuhnian paradigm shifts in science are: (...)
  • The acceptance of Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection replaced Lamarckism as the mechanism for evolution.

Two things:

(1) the use of quotes around classical cases puzzles me, it was such a long time since I read tSoSR so I have forgotten if Kuhn mentions the given examples, or if they are invented by my fellow editors along the lines of the general idea presented by Kuhn may be using other examples. Please clarify whoever have the book at hand.

(2) The Darwinian example has been discussed above at least twice, and the criticism I think is valid, I will therefore remove Darwin from the example list. If someone with tSoSR in front of him (who might be a woman, as I frequently use he, in this case, him, as a gender neutral pronoun) can verify the occurrence of Darwin in Kuhn's book, I hope that person can resinsert Darwin and give the page number for reference. -- (talk) 15:45, 12 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Stephen Covey[edit]

As a former student of Stephen R. Covey, I suggest that he and his book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, was a major source of the terms' popularization (for better or worse). I assumed that he had invented the term, as he used it very frequently, in speeches and in his writings. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:58, 6 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


A given example of paradigm shift concerned the aether:

The transition between the Maxwellian Electromagnetic worldview and the Einsteinian Relativistic worldview.

The statement hid the Luminiferous Aether with a pipe so the transition was not clear. It has been replaced with:

The transition from the luminiferous aether present in space to electromagnetic radiation in spacetime.

Discussion of this paradigm shift may be presented here.Rgdboer (talk) 20:58, 24 June 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Missing clause in the opening paragraphs?[edit]

Is there a missing clause corresponding to "Once a paradigm shift is complete...". It gives examples of things what a scientist cannot do after a paradigm shift is complete, but does not say what they are examples of. "Once a paradigm shift is complete, a scientist cannot, for example, reject the germ theory of disease to posit the possibility that miasma causes disease or reject modern physics and optics to posit that aether carries light."Keepstherainoff (talk) 15:49, 27 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How about Euclidian geometry and Non-Euclideangeometry[edit]

(follow up from #How about Euclid above 2006))

How about the change from Euclidian geometry to Non-Euclidean_geometry was that a paradigm shift?--mexaguil 06:26, 21 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I added the discovery of hyperbolic geometry to the list, I was not sure which date to mention a couple came to mind:

  • publication of first book (1829) Lobachevski
  • publication of first proof of consistency (1868) Beltrami

or maybe another date. But on the other side, did we really change from Euclidian geometry to Non-Euclidean geometry? (but on the other sides this paradigm shift does underly almost all following paradigm shifts in physics. WillemienH (talk) 09:26, 4 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

According to Revolutions in Mathematics, the revolutions do not occur in the deductive science. For instance, with the resolution of Euclidean parallelism into Playfair's axiom, there is implicit possibilities of deductions from its denial (no parallels or more than one). Then when models were provided by Cayley-Klein metrics, the "new geometries" were included as features of Euclidean geometry. Nevertheless, the fall of Euclid from uniqueness precipitated paradigm shifts in science, where a hypothesis may be contradicted by experiment. — Rgdboer (talk) 22:27, 4 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Paradigm shifts in computer science are not "Kuhnian" paradigm shifts[edit]

Computer science sometimes use the word paradigm shift to describe a new way of constructing a computer language, but according to Kuhn that would not be a paradigm shift. In other words the word paradigm means different things in different contexts.

The article should distinguish between "paradigms according to Kuhn" and other uses of the word Paradigm. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:21, 17 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

yeah I think that'd be helpful! I'm thinking about restructuring this article so that we'd have a Kuhnian perspective, as well as its appropriate in popular culture Tanginia (talk) 19:20, 5 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Unclear examples[edit]

Several cited examples do not present clearly a shift from a paradigm to another : Hyperbolic geometry Chemical origin of life Plate tectonics Planetary formation Standard model Tytire (talk) 15:30, 18 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]