Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939584 | Print ISBN: 9780761930877 | Online ISBN: 9781412939584| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Kristina A. Hesbol
The term paradigm , as used in science and the social sciences, can be traced to a historian of science, Thomas Kuhn, who in 1962 wrote The Structure of Scientific Revolutions . Kuhn employed the idea of paradigm change to explain major epochs throughout the progression of science. He reasoned that the history of science could best be interpreted as a succession of scientific revolutions. An interpretation of paradigm shifts or revolutions replaced for Kuhn the commonly held conception of a linear progression toward one explanation or universal truth. The impact of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions has affected many disciplines of study and as a result has been applied and examined in many fields. Although the impact has been substantial, the notions of scientific progress espoused by Kuhn have been challenged, and his ideas have not been accepted universally; notable here is philosopher of science Karl Popper and Kuhn ...