From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject History of Science  
WikiProject icon This article is part of the History of Science WikiProject, an attempt to improve and organize the history of science content on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, you can edit the article attached to this page, or visit the project page, where you can join the project and/or contribute to the discussion. You can also help with the History of Science Collaboration of the Month.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Sociology (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Sociology, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Sociology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Philosophy (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Philosophy, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of content related to philosophy on Wikipedia. If you would like to support the project, please visit the project page, where you can get more details on how you can help, and where you can join the general discussion about philosophy content on Wikipedia.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.


The last paragraph of the current article criticizes in POV fashion the use and/or abuse of this term. The criticism is silly in the respect that words, obviously, do not have immutable meanings: words are tools to express whatever an individual or community want them to communicate. On the other hand, using a word in a sense that is unknown to an intended audience, indeterminate, meaningless or misrepresentative is not helpful. If wiki is to have any diatribe on use/abuse of a word, then the first word on the list should be metaphysical. IMO, that word has been the greatest source of error, misunderstanding and nonsense in the history of the world. Besides all that, there is at least a third use of the word that is common (perhaps the most common) and meaningful which is used in the sense of Weltanschauung. My article edit that follows reflects what I've stated here. --B 16:48, 22 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Isn't there also a second use in linguistics, a "paradigm sentence", meaning an example to be used by analogy in correctly forming sentences? -- Jmabel 22:59, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Paradigm? To me, that's 20 cents. --User:Juuitchan

Ouch. -- 15:32, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

"The Human Paradigm"[edit]

(Lengthy and not apparently relevant Christian tract that was anonymously pasted here moved to Talk:Paradigm/Tract. -- Jmabel 17:32, Oct 8, 2004 (UTC)


What's a deigma? lysdexia 18:48, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I assume you mean in Greek? I don't think all on its own "deigma" means anything, but I could be mistaken. You might ask one of the people listed at Wikipedia:Translators_available#Greek-to-English. -- Jmabel | Talk 20:33, Oct 25, 2004 (UTC)

Gebser's new consciousness[edit]

I think it would be relevant to insert a paragraph or so about Jean Gebser's theories on change in consciousness. FJ | hello 08:16, May 10, 2005 (UTC)

  • Go for it. -- Jmabel | Talk 17:33, May 10, 2005 (UTC)


Is there any citation for the claimed use of this term in cybernetics? -- Jmabel | Talk 05:12, Jun 8, 2005 (UTC)

Paradigm as "Weltanschauung"[edit]

On the whole I agree with this, although I think the wording is unnecessarily abstruse and, in places, obscure ("and/or/nor"?). Is your dissertation, or some variant on it, headed for peer reviewed publication? If not, this may be a bit perilously close to the kind of original research usually disparaged in Wikipedia, although I think it probably should be within the pale. Do you think you could reword what you wrote here in a style more appropriate to the general reader? If so, it's probably worth incorporating into the article. -- Jmabel | Talk 23:45, Jun 20, 2005 (UTC)
I tried to clarify the text. Please suggest where there are still some unclear parts. -- LandoSr | Talk --LandoSr 14:38, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
Added the download link of the Primary Source -- LandoSr | Talk 10:02, Aug 23, 2005 (CET)
Added the direct link to the ETD Database. The description on the Website is a MS-IIS oriented website which does not support FireFox and Opera -- LandoSr | Talk LandoSr 12:11, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

I would like to echo the concerns about OR here, and also note a lack of balance--there is simply too much exploration of a one relatively minor and specific viewpoint. One dissertation should not dominate an article. 02:18, 31 August 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rodii (talkcontribs)

Withdrawn by author due to doubt by others. --LandoSr (talk) 12:14, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

Dubious reference[edit]

The following "reference" was recently added to the article, without comment, by an anonymous contributor who does not appear to have made any other contributions to the article:

  • Clarke, Thomas and Clegg, Stewart (eds) (2000) "Changing Paradigms" London: HarperCollins ISBN 0006387314

This is a business book. I seriously doubt that it was used as a reference in the article. If no one responds in the next week or so to say what in the article is referenced from this source, I would like to remove it. -- 02:33, August 31, 2005 (UTC)

Need to change subtitle[edit]

The subtitle "Examples" is both vague and misleading vis-a-vis the material in that section. This should be changed to something more appropriate. soverman 03:19 12 OCT 2005 (UTC)

Done, changed it to "Paradigm shifts". -- Jmabel | Talk 05:40, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

Cut from article[edit]

It is also used in Medicine to name an action or "method of treatment" that would seem completely against to any rule or previous tought...and in principle appears even harmful...!! The best example would be when a patient comes to the ER with epistaxis (bleeding Nose) and you ask them to "blow their noses !!"...(this manouver is actually curative because dislodges the clot that keeps the nose bleeding ).J.Lentino MD ,FACS , COL ret US ARMY.

Oddly written, oddly cited, and I doubt it. -- Jmabel | Talk 05:55, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Newtonian Dynamics[edit]

From article: " (Newtonian mechanics is an excellent approximation for speeds that are slow compared to the speed of light)."

Is this a safe statement? Isn't this presuming that the MOND vs Dark Matter debate has resolved to the MOND side?

Excuse my ignorance if I'm missing the point. I haven't made any changes to the article, as I may well be just misreading or misunderstanding the point. --Leigh (24 Feb 2006)

Kuhn's meaning?[edit]

Kuhn's meaning was and is widely abused.- That's a little subjective, I took it out. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 14 July 2006.

Agreed. Though I think it is the generally held opinion, and it would be good to get some citations in here describing how the term is abused. - Jmabel | Talk 00:19, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

The attribution in the main article, "The historian of science Thomas Kuhn gave paradigm its contemporary meaning when he adopted the word to refer to the set of practices that define a scientific discipline at any particular period of time," is flawed. While Kuhn might have popularized this meaning, he himself probably has it from earlier philosophers--perhaps from Ludwig Wittgenstein, who himself has it from Georg Christoff Lictenberg.

The following paragraph occurs on p.176 of Janik and Toulmin's "Wittgenstein's Vienna" (1991).

To anticipate a point about Wittgenstein's later ideas : Lichtenberg's writings were also the source of the term "paradigm," which played so large a part in Wittgenstein's later discussions. Lichtenberg used the notion of paradeigmata to link the formal patterns of grammatical analysis in linguistics with those of theoretical analysis in physics. Just as in grammar we relate the declension of nouns and the conjugation of verbs to certain general, standardized forms, or paradigms, so too we "explain" natural phenomena in physics by relating puzzling events and processes to certain standard and self-explanatory forms or patterns. This notion of paradigms—by which our thought can be either directed fruitfully, or alternatively misled—has a central place in Wittgenstein's later accounts of "logical grammar" and its role in philosophy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Hgladney (talkcontribs) 17:49, 28 December 2009 (UTC)


Does the paragraph that begins "Simple common analogy" really belong here? It's more or less accurate, but it's not at all our usual writing style. - Jmabel | Talk 06:07, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Paradigm vs examplar: final showdown[edit]

Although the article does make the important point that the original and the popular meanings of 'paradigm' differ, I think its unclear what the difference is. Was Kuhn's original use of 'paradigm' approximately identical to his use of 'exemplars'? With later popular usage of 'paradigm' shifting its focus towards the scientific theories in which those exemplars was rooted? In my opinion, the 'Scientific paradigm' section ought to begin with a clear explanation of Kuhn's original meaning and end with a short explanation of its current popular meaning, so the difference cannot be misunderstood. --AndersFeder 17:25, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Revert problems[edit]

Howdy, I'd just like to bring it to the attention of this talk page that User: has been repeatedly adding material that is not encyclopedic, and does not conform to WP:NPOV, or Wikipedia:No original research. I'm pretty sure if this persists, I will run up against the WP:3RR rule, and need some help here. --Haemo

Okay, I've just hit my 3rd revert on this page, and per WP:3RR I'll have to stop. I'm adding a comment4 template to her page, and if it happens again I'm going to be reporting her for vandalism. --Haemo 01:14, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Kuhn's New Terms for 'paradigm'[edit]

The wiki article cites this currently: "Kuhn himself came to prefer the terms exemplar and normal science, which have more exact philosophical meanings."

However, as he states in his article in 1977 entitled "Second Thoughts on Paradigms," he reconstitutes paradigm as "exemplar" and "disciplinary matrix".

"normal science" is actually a way to conduct science, (its opposite being "revolutionary science") and it is not a direct parallel to paradigm, but rather, the nature of science within a given paradigm, which are two very different things.

Tybeet 16:55, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

I have had to challenge the definition of "incommensurable" as it was presented when I read the article, along with the claim that incommensurable paradigms cannot be compared. This latter statement is absurd, of course, since we can, for example, meaningfully compare the Ptolemaic and Copernican models or paradigms. What we cannot always do, however, is fully comprehend one of the competing paradigms within the language and overall perspective afforded by the competing paradigm. I am not sure that I have adequately addressed this issue, but the former way that it was stated was clearly incorrect and in need of revision, since it implied a false claim, i.e., that competing paradigms simply could not be compared, and this is patently false. I ask other serious scholars in the philosophy of science to review the edits that I have made. Landrumkelly (talk) 14:16, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

I don't see any reference to New Gingrich's use of a "New Paradigm." My understanding of Paradigm is "cluster of beliefs" that guide behavior close to the "world view" cited herein. Larry, 2/15/09 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:54, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

what does taht mean???[edit]

"...competing paradigms are not fully intelligible solely within the context of their own conceptual frameworks."

what does competing paradigms mean? the paradigm that are going to be compared? how come a paradigm can not be fully understanded within its own context. If it can't be understanded then it wouldn't call itself paradigm...

"...the real barrier to comparison is not necessarily the absence of common units of measure, but an absence of mutually compatible or mutually intelligible concepts."

I think this is a logical mistake

if two thing does not have mutually compatible/intelligible concepts, it already mean they don't have common units to be measured...

"A new paradigm which replaces an old paradigm is not necessarily better, because the criteria of judgment depend on the paradigm—and on the conceptual framework which defines it and gives it its explanatory value."

How come to define if a new pardigm is better than the old one is depend on itself? It just like I ask people "Am I handsome?" "they said: It depend on are you handsome@@"

Secondly, a paradigm define a conceptual framework or a conceptual framework define a paradigm????


I have concerns about this edit. Kwamikagami and I disagree (see here) over which of several different ways the pronunciation of this word ought to be described in the article. Comments from anyone else? Richwales (talk) 07:42, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

It's /ˈpærədaɪm/ per Webster's and, and probably the OED. kwami (talk) 09:18, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
When I checked the online Merriam-Webster entry (here), it showed a pronunciation with /ɛ/ first, followed by a pronunciation with /æ/. Richwales (talk) 19:02, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
The print version doesn't bother with the former. They aren't distinct pronunciations, and so there's no reason to list both, unless you're prepared to list every minor dialectical variation. Anyway, this discussion should be taken to the IPA for English page, as that's where our conventions are discussed. kwami (talk) 21:07, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

"Perhaps the greatest barrier to a paradigm shift, in some cases, is the reality of paradigm paralysis: the inability or refusal to see beyond the current models of thinking [6]. This is similar to what psychologists term Confirmation bias. Examples include Galileo's theory of a heliocentric universe, the discovery of electrostatic photography, xerography and the quartz clock."

-'reality of paradigm paralysis' is awkwardly worded -how is the quartz clock a paradigm? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:17, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Also used in computer science[edit]

"Programming language paradigm" refer to different styles in programming, like procedural, functional, logic, object oriented. The sense involves both meanings the one in linguistics as patterns in the language and the way to do an analysis is also influenced by the programming language. An object oriented programmer is looking for relations like: is-a, is-part-of, making a change in the way to see the "real world", a functional programmer may make more focus on functions, a procedural programmer has a hierarchical decomposition view. The expressiveness of each programming paradigm is due to the underling ontology.

Is this issue interesting enough to write a section about it? (with a philosophical approach) Is enough a link to paradigm (computer science) is enough? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Elias (talkcontribs) 21:31, 23 July 2010 (UTC)


Thank you for reverting the conflated nonsense. ----Steve Quinn (talk) 21:49, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

Kuhn's paradigms[edit]

Before changing the meaning of a paragraph to its opposite, as you did here [1], [2], [3] --- please discuss your point of view here. The source provided may, or may not be acceptable, but at the moment it is unverifiable per WP:V. Please provide page numbers, and quotations of relevant passages here on the talk page to back up your assertions. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 07:44, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

Paradigm case[edit]

Article does not touch on this related usage of the term. An argument known as the "paradigm case argument", was first presented in 1942 by Norman Malcolm in his article on G.E. Moore. This would belie claims of its usage being exclusive to grammar until the 1960s. Moore gave "this is a hand" as a paradigm case argument for complete certainty -- against universal skepticism about the existence of physical objects. Undetermined yet if Moore used the term himself. It is quite likely Wittgenstein did, but I have not searched for a source yet. --JimWae (talk) 09:29, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

Here's its usage in 1931 in philosophy --JimWae (talk) 09:48, 8 December 2010 (UTC)


What's the difference between a paradigm and a discourse? Le Anh-Huy (talk) 21:13, 12 September 2011 (UTC)


This article has a somewhat garbled, confused, and inappropriate opening. Very poor writing. The linguistic technicalities it goes into would be better suited to a lower "Etymology" section, or similar. Kris (talk) 20:03, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

The article needs to just talk about the scientific use of the term. I tried to make that clear in the first sentence. As the section below says this isn't a dictionary.Bhny (talk) 12:58, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Took your suggestion and moved it to an Etymology section Bhny (talk) 13:08, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a dictionary[edit]

This article appears to be about a word. (talk) 19:21, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

(please ignore my previous post on this - it was the result of an unskilled attempt at Editing!) I am going to remove the reference to "groupthink" in the following para: A more disparaging term groupthink, and the term mindset, have somewhat similar meanings that apply to smaller and larger scale examples of disciplined thought. Michel Foucault used the terms episteme and discourse, mathesis and taxinomia, for aspects of a "paradigm" in Kuhn's original sense. I am doing this because groupthink is a different kind of mechanism (this is explained in the Wikipedia article on that topic). However, a range of mechanisms, all similar to the basic Kuhnian paradigm. has been invoked in various disciplines, and it did seem important to reflect this. Accordingly, I propose to flag them in the contexts of cultural anthropology, psychology, and Marxist thought. Etchacan (talk) 07:18, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

Introducing Research Programmes [sic] and Later Developments[edit]

I propose to ammend the following para under "Scientific paradigms", because (i) I think users need to know how the much-more nuanced modern account of this topic has developed, and (ii), if I do that without a modification here, then I may end up creating some ambiguity between (Lakatian) research programmes and the existing phrase, "acceptable programs".

The current version reads:

Thus, within normal science, the paradigm is the set of exemplary experiments that are likely to be copied or emulated. In this scientific context, the prevailing paradigm often represents a more specific way of viewing reality, or limitations on acceptable programs for future research, than the more general scientific method.

I was going to substitute the following, before going on to draft a section on the way that the concept (and its descendants) developed subsequently (this would come a bit further down):

Within normal science, the paradigm is the set of exemplary experiments that are likely to be copied or emulated. However, Kuhn was at pains to point out that the rationale for the choice of exemplars is a specific way of viewing reality: that view and the status of "exemplar" are mutually reinforcing. For well-integrated members of a particular discipline, its paradigm is so convincing that it normally renders even the possibility of alternatives unconvincing and counter-intuitive. Such a paradigm is opaque, appearing to be a direct view of the bedrock of reality itself, and obscuring the possibility that there might be other, alternative imageries hidden behind it. The conviction that the current paradigm is reality tends to disqualify evidence that might undermine the paradigm itself; this in turn leads to a build-up of unreconciled anomalies. It is the latter that is responsible for the eventual revolutionary overthrow of the incumbent paradigm, and its replacement by a new one. Kuhn used the expression paradigm shift (see below) for this process, and likened it to the perceptual change that occurrs when our interpretation of an ambiguous image "flips-over" from one state to another. The rabbit-duck illusion is an example: it is not possible to see both the rabbit and the duck simultaneously. This is significant in relation to the issue of commensurabilty (see below).

Etchacan (talk) 12:20, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

I ended up doing some minor edits, and putting in one bit more about the relationship between exemplars, etc, and the underlying conceptual structures, and another bit about incommensurability. I think the para referring to "thinking outside the box" etc also ought to go, as "the box" is very much more vague than "paradigm". I hope that does not upset anyone? The material on research programmes etc is still gestating, I'm afraid! Etchacan (talk) 16:19, 18 June 2012 (UTC) Just a clarification: the changes to "Incommensurability" are intended to reflect what appears to be the current consensus on this issue - I do realize that the consensus is not a universal, flawless one, however, and have flagged that fact. Etchacan (talk) 16:54, 18 June 2012 (UTC) OK, the material proposed on later developments (Lakatos, Laudan) is in, and it has grown a bit. 4 references included need to be completed, but it is my bed-time. Etchacan (talk) 22:10, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

OK, have fixed those references, and moved on to try to sort out the conflicts in the article over the existence (or not) of paradigms (etc) in the social sciences. I hope I have captured the consensus on this. Next, I'd like to pursue that question in the specific context of economics, where there have been interesting recent developments (against the ongoing background of 'yes, paradigms exist here/ no, paradigms do not exist here). Etchacan (talk) 11:32, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

Something about Ludwik Fleck?[edit]

The book "Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact" by Fleck, with a forward by Kuhn, acknowledges his enormous influence on him. This article would be a place to write about him and that influence. ~~ — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:38, 22 April 2013 (UTC)