The enormous impact of Thomas Kuhn’s work can be measured in the changes it brought about in the vocabulary of the philosophy of science: besides “paradigm shift”, Kuhn raised the word “paradigm” itself from a term used in certain forms of linguistics to its current broader meaning.

The frequent use of the phrase “paradigm shift” has made scientists more aware of and in many cases more receptive to paradigm changes, so that Kuhn’s analysis of the evolution of scientific views has by itself influenced that evolution.

For Kuhn, the choice of paradigm was sustained by, but not ultimately determined by, logical processes. Kuhn believed that it represented the consensus of the community of scientists. Acceptance or rejection of some paradigm is, he argued, a social process as much as a logical process.

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Older versions of this include the “absoluter Geist” (Hegel) or the “episteme” (Foucault).

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