Philosophical thoughts for the future

Science, philosophy, and religion all attempt to distill the essence of reality, the essence of being—albeit from very different points of departure. Writing in the International Journal of Foresight and Innovation Policy, ...

Chemistry paves the way for improved electronic materials

Indium nitride is a promising material for use in electronics, but difficult to manufacture. Scientists at Linköping University, Sweden, have developed a new molecule that can be used to create high-quality indium nitride, ...

The rapidly unfolding future of smart fabrics

In an opinion piece published in the journal Matter, members of the Fibers@MIT research group recently laid out a detailed vision for how the rapidly growing field of advanced fibers and fabrics could transform many aspects ...

Sustainable recovery of nutrients from urine

Ammonia is a key component of fertilizer and vital in supporting plant growth and ultimately providing food for populations around the world. It is also a major pollutant that, after it is used in the food chain, enters municipal ...

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Paradigm

The word paradigm ( /ˈpærədaɪm/) has been used in science to describe distinct concepts. It comes from Greek "παράδειγμα" (paradeigma), "pattern, example, sample" from the verb "παραδείκνυμι" (paradeiknumi), "exhibit, represent, expose" and that from "παρά" (para), "beside, beyond" + "δείκνυμι" (deiknumi), "to show, to point out".

The original Greek term παράδειγμα (paradeigma) was used in Greek texts such as Plato's Timaeus (28A) as the model or the pattern that the Demiurge (god) used to create the cosmos. The term had a technical meaning in the field of grammar: the 1900 Merriam-Webster dictionary defines its technical use only in the context of grammar or, in rhetoric, as a term for an illustrative parable or fable. In linguistics, Ferdinand de Saussure used paradigm to refer to a class of elements with similarities.

The word has come to refer very often now to a thought pattern in any scientific discipline or other epistemological context. The Merriam-Webster Online dictionary defines this usage as "a philosophical and theoretical framework of a scientific school or discipline within which theories, laws, and generalizations and the experiments performed in support of them are formulated; broadly: a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind."

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