Outline on  Paradigms: Shifting & Competing
  See Also:   
-  Epistemology
  -  Paradigms & Sociological Theory
  Project: Paradigms
  Introduction:  The scientific culture often acts as if there are no anomalies

The values / beliefs of science include the ideas that 
    - There is progress
    - Science is cumulative
       brick by brick:  agreed upon facts

Theories are the infrastructure
But people are working on different buildings (paradigms)

And all the bricks (facts) must be used

Facts that do not fit a theory are called anomalies

All theories have anomalies:  i.e. they cannot explain everything

  The scientific culture often acts as if there are no anomalies  
  Paradigms are sets of theories & assumptions that shape & underlie explanations, especially scientific explanations, including the general images & assumptions of reality which shape those theories  
  A Paradigm is a set of assumptions that shape and underlie explanations of why society is the way it is  
  A Paradigm or perspective can be defined as an overall approach or viewpoint toward a subject which includes the following aspects:  
  a.  a set of questions to be asked about the subject  
  b.  a general theoretical approach explaining the nature of the subject  
  c.  a set of values relating to the subject  
  d.  a set of theories concerning a common theme  
  There are many ways to understand something / reality, including common sense, religion, tradition / authority, emotion, & science and different paradigms generally have a focus utilizing one or two of these ways of understanding  
  Competing Paradigms often shape & represent the competition of ideas within or between societies  
  Astronomy: collapsing universe vs. expanding universe
Paleontology:  great comet vs. predation cold blooded vs warm blooded dinosaurs
Biology:  Darwinians vs. evolutionary shock
Sociology:  Functionalism vs. Conflict Theory     vs. Symbolic Interactionism
  Paradigm Shifts occur when large groups, segments of societies, or societies see the old in a new light & see new things, period  
   World views changed from geo-centric to helio-centric
   polytheism to monotheism
   flat to round world
   earth centric to helio centric
   magic to science
   demons to mental illness
   Creationism to evolution
   Newtonian physics to Einsteinian physics
  Paradigms are also known as Perspectives, Schools, School of Thought, etc.  
  Science does not embrace "One Truth" because human truth is always contested & relative, rather, what is true is constantly changing, but we act as if science is One Truth  
  Because there is no absolute truth, & because people have competing ideas on what  is closest to truth, we have paradigms  
Chart on Paradigms, Theories, Laws, & Disciplines  
Sociology is a multiple paradigm science:  Functionalism, Conflict Theory, Symbolic-Interactionism
  Theories & paradigms provide a conceptual formulation that provides a logical explanation or framework for all the facts, i.e. the objective info gained through observation & experiment

Theories must be validated in the same way that a hypothesis is validated

  Paradigms & laws are not validated in the way that theories & hypotheses are validated  
  Paradigms & laws are validated when the consensus of the scientific community, when the preponderance of theoretical evidence supports them  
  While a single experiment or piece of evidence may serve to validate a theory of hypothesis, it takes evidence, theoretical validation, & the consensus of the scientific community to validate a paradigm or law  
  Basic principles or natural laws are theories that stand out as precisely predictable with no known exceptions:  gravity, laws of thermodynamics, etc. 

There seems to be only tenuous/contentious theories in the social sciences, but also in some physical sciences such as env science

Principles or laws are limited to those of chemistry, physics, etc.

  Thomas Kuhn wrote about paradigm shifts wherein a veritable scientific rev occurs that essentially deposes an old paradigm, such as Newtonian physics, & replaces it w/ a new one, i.e. Einsteinian physics

A paradigm shift is a new set of theories that comes along & explains all facts to a superior degree, displacing the old paradigm

  An example of a paradigm shift is seen in where Einsteinian physics replaced Newtonian Physics because it could explained nuclear fission better & other anomalies better

As of the present there have been no paradigm shifts in the social sciences nor in some newer physical sciences such as ecology, though each has multiple, competing paradigms

  See Also:  Social Laws  

Chart on Paradigms, Theories, Laws, Disciplines
Set of theoretical assumptions that shape & underlie explanations of why society/the world is the way it is
Examples:  The Expanding Universe
Explanation of cause & effects that encompasses relationships btwn 2 or more facts
Examples:  Suicide is caused by isolation/lack of integration
Racism is taught/learned
Crime is caused by frustrated expectations
Poverty is caused by the concentration of wealth
Theory or part of a theory that is well established & therefore has greater acceptance by the scientific community 
There are no laws in the social sciences
Examples:  Nothing can move faster than light
To every action, there is an equal & opposite reaction
Discipline A recognized area of academic exploration;  Examples: sociology, biology, literature

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