Thomas kuhn paradigm shift definition

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thomas kuhn paradigm shift definition

Thomas S. Kuhn Quotes (Author of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions)

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What is PARADIGM SHIFT? What does PARADIGM SHIFT mean? PARADIGM SHIFT meaning & explanation

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A paradigm shift , a concept identified by the American physicist and philosopher Thomas Kuhn , is a fundamental change in the basic concepts and experimental practices of a scientific discipline. Kuhn presented his notion of a paradigm shift in his influential book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions Kuhn contrasts paradigm shifts, which characterize a scientific revolution , to the activity of normal science , which he describes as scientific work done within a prevailing framework, or, paradigm. 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. Kuhn acknowledges having used the term "paradigm" in two different meanings. In the first one, "paradigm" designates what the members of a certain scientific community have in common, that is to say, the whole of techniques, patents and values shared by the members of the community.

A common phrase: but what, does it mean?

Click a node to read about it. In Structure Kuhn challenged the world's current conception of science, which was that it was a steady progression of the accumulation of new ideas. In a brilliant series of reviews of past major scientific advances, Kuhn showed this viewpoint was wrong.

F ifty years ago this month, one of the most influential books of the 20th century was published by the University of Chicago Press. Many if not most lay people have probably never heard of its author, Thomas Kuhn, or of his book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions , but their thinking has almost certainly been influenced by his ideas. The litmus test is whether you've ever heard or used the term "paradigm shift", which is probably the most used — and abused — term in contemporary discussions of organisational change and intellectual progress. A Google search for it returns more than 10 million hits, for example. And it currently turns up inside no fewer than 18, of the books marketed by Amazon. It is also one of the most cited academic books of all time.

A paradigm shift is a major change in the concepts and practices of how something works or is accomplished. A paradigm shift can happen within a wide variety of contexts. They very often happen when new technology is introduced that radically alters the production process of a good or service. For example, the assembly line created a substantial paradigm shift, not only in the auto industry but in all other areas of manufacturing as well. A paradigm shift can require that entire departments be eliminated or created in some cases, and millions or even billions of dollars of new equipment purchased while the old equipment is sold or recycled. Paradigm shifts have become much more frequent in the past hundred years, as the industrial revolution has transformed many social and industrial processes.


  1. Irnormesy says:

    A paradigm shift, a concept identified by the American physicist and philosopher Thomas Kuhn, Thus the question is for Kuhn to investigate by means of the paradigm what makes possible the constitution of what he calls "normal science".

  2. Ermehali says:

    more on this story

  3. Lewis L. says:

    People talk about paradigm shifts in all sorts of areas: medicine, politics, psychology, sports.

  4. Haijing C. says:

    Thomas Samuel Kuhn — is one of the most influential philosophers of science of the twentieth century, perhaps the most influential.

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