Perhaps the Paradigm isnt a shift?

Demosthenes 05-03-2006 03:15 PM
Found this on the Wiki:

Paradigm as the "Gestalt of a Weltanschauung"

Another perspective to the concept of what a paradigm is, is that a Paradigm is the Gestalt (= the whole is more than the sum of its parts) of the three main branches of philosophy that forms a "Weltanschauung" (German for 'Worldview')

Use of the concept of Paradigm in the understanding of Kuhn and others, are mostly unclear idem per idem to other concepts like a model.

Kuhn defines a paradigm as: “an entire constellation of beliefs, values and techniques, and so on, shared by the members of a given community” [Kuhn, T S; The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 2nd Ed., Univ. of Chicago Press, Chicago & London, 1970, p.175]. This definition by Kuhn appears in the 1969 postscript to his original book, because originally the use of the term paradigm was not clearly defined. Besides this definition Kuhn mentioned another sense of use he had: a Paradigm also “denotes one sort of element in that constellation, the concrete puzzle-solutions which, employed as models or examples, can replace explicit rules as a basis for the solution of the remaining puzzles of normal science” [Ibid]. The term remains imprecise due to the different uses it is given.

Paradigms could be described from a structural perspective. Paradigms operate on different levels; the macro, messo and micro levels of the paradigm's structure. The levels address the fundamental structure of the paradigms, rather than its chronological-historical categorisation or the etymological use, as used by most disciplines. The levels of paradigms are always present and not limited to these categories. They assists in an understanding of the functioning of a paradigm.

In the macro level, a cognisance of the basic assumption to the question: ‘what can be understood’ is required. The question is: "Can it in reality be assumed that the essences of ideal things could be known at all, as in Plato's and Aristotle's use of the theory of ideas? Besides the essentialistic approaches of these two philosophers, is it not possible that "the things themselves reveal themselves as they are", analysed in Heidegger's fundamental ontology? The assumption we make in answering these questions will predispose the perception that determines the way we ask the question about how we come to knowledge.

In the messo level, the question is how the macro level influences and forms the resulting theory of knowledge. “Is only deductive-delimited knowledge of human perception available to man, or is man open to an inductive-comprehensive understanding of the world?”. If man is open to inductive knowledge, where does it originate? The assumption on the macro level is the basis for this assumption. All philosophical efforts since the pre-socratics are essentialistic. An ontological approach seeks to evade the essences of things, requiring the things themselves to reveal them as they are.

In the micro level, the consequent perception of the two preceding levels, answering the questions of what is in the world and how the world is understood, is used in a practical way of doing. Is the praxis built on multiple ‘laws of conduct’ (ethic), or is it a fundamental and constant encounter with the open world as a different way of perception? Such a different perception is an 'affective awareness'. Previous and current understanding of perception is limited to essentialistic categories of limitation. 'Affective awareness' is by nature open and unlimited, inductive and not limited to 'sense perception'.

So a Paradigm is a view of reality that is a 'Gestalt' resulting from:

(1) a metaphysical assumption of what could be known (refer to the pre-Socratics Parmenides and Heraclitus). It forms the basis for:

(2) a conception of epistemological knowledge acquisition. This is the essentialistic line of thinking from Plato, Aristotle and Popper vs. the ontological line of thinking opened up by the 'Unscharf relation' of Heisenberg's quantum theories to Heidegger's 'Fundamental Ontology'. This in turn is the basis for the:

(3) praxis in an ethic for living.

It is obvious that the three branches of philosophy describe the structure of a paradigm. None of the branches of Metaphysics, Epistemology and Ethics can be left out for understanding paradigms. Together they describe a 'Gestalt', akin to a spiral (not a mere circular) movement, forming Hermeneutical understanding.

The result is that Hermeneutics can not be reduced to an interpretation of something; it is a developmental cycle that involves:

(a) "Wahrnemung" as an 'affective awareness', which is more than mere sense perception. The method toward an affective awareness is through 'ontological understanding'. It forms the principles behind a paradigm, conceived as either the Heraclitean 'flux' or the Parmenidean 'one'. This principle is perceived as the relation of the limited to the unlimited. Meta-ethical 'principles', like the golden ethical rule of “Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you”, are formed here.

(b) "Verstehen" as the analysis of 'being' to reach understanding of the 'self'. Here the building of, or coming to, a theory of knowledge is achieved, determined by the assumptions in my metaphysical 'belief' of the nature of reality in (a). These assumptions necessarily tend to a predominantly inductive or mainly deductive theory of knowledge acquisition, which is reflected in my epistemology. Messo-ethical 'norms', like the sanctity of human life and freedom, are formulated at this level.

(c) "Ethos" is the attempt to form the world we live in, by growing an 'attitude' or participation in a mutually structured reality. All those who choose to participate in this reality, do it by 'taking responsibility for personal actions' in a social environment. More concrete micro-ethical 'codes of conduct', like monogamy and what we consider to be 'true and correct behaviour', is systematised into our 'dogma' at this level.

(d) "Praxis" is doing the 'right' thing. It is the behaviour resulting from systematising (a), (b) and (c) into a Gestalt, where the whole is more than the sum of the parts. This behavioural level is again the basis for "Wahrnemung", repeating the cycle on an new level. Most important is to understand that this cycle does not now start from the previous position of departure. There is a 'new awareness' of the praxis due to the previous stages in the cycle. The next cycle of "Wahrnemung" is elevated from the previous level of affective awareness to a deeper understanding. This is the basis for a new understanding of development. Development is far more than a 'mechanistic' process, by definition mechanistic processes all function and are 'essentially' closed systems. Development is by definition dependent on an inductive element. Another important point is that there is no start or end point in the cycle, every stage is on an elevated level from its previous position. Contrasted to that, a circle has a start and an end, which has actually no development; it is only a reaffirmation of what was before in a stagnant fundamentalism.

Thus, a Paradigm can only be understood in the context of a Hermeneutical cycle within the Structure of the Paradigms. It supersedes mere interpretation or just bringing understanding. It implies that Paradigms are developmental by nature, moving in a hermeneutical cycle instead of a process of recurring mechanistic circles. Describing a paradigm as an era, epic, model, weltanschauung, or any other term is hardly more than merely renaming the concept of a paradigm to some other known concept, risking to be a tautological swapping of terms.

Primary source: '"Paradigm Development in Systematic Theology"', Dissertation at the University of South Africa (UNISA) by Lando L Lehmann, Nov 2004. [[1]]

From what I understand, this seems a closer match than a Paradigm Shift. And the creators of this idea was german, adding to the German conspiracy.
ScionofDestiny 05-03-2006 04:33 PM
The word Paradigm has a variety of meanings - and it wouldn't surprise me if the screenwriters intended them all.

The sequence "Paradigm Shift" does appear in the Big O though - in Act 14, Roger the Wanderer, the newspaper he is holding (as it is blowing away) shows the headline title "Paradigm Shift" by Michel Seebach (who is Schwartzwald's alter-ego and vice versa)