Paradigm Shift

(222 words)
  • Editors

Literary/ Cultural Context Note

  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 12: Global Voices, Global Histories: World Literatures and Cultures.

Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962) introduced the concept of the “paradigm shift” into the history of science as a corrective to the post-Enlightenment assumption that knowledge accumulates gradually and more or less rationally and evenly, as appropriate discoveries are made. Having written a history of the Copernican revolution in cosmology, and having reflected on Einstein's discovery of the principle of relativity, Kuhn was well placed to argue that in fact scientists tend to work within a paradigm to which they force new discoveries to conform, until such point that the quantity of anomalies, discrepancies and distortions within the paradigm are such as to force the creation of a new paradigm. T…

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Editors. "Paradigm Shift". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 August 2009
[, accessed 02 July 2015.]