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Kuhn (1962), The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Kuhn proposed, knowledge within any discipline depends on a communally shared commitment to a paradigm.

A paradigm roughly consists of:

  1. an array of assumptions about what exists (ontology)
  2. how it may be known (epistemology)
  3. how scientific work ‘ought’ to proceed (ethics).
  4. a pattern of activities held to be consistent with these assumptions.

Two conclusions follow from these assertions:

  1. A commitment to a paradigm must precede the generation of knowledge. Thus it is the commitment to an a priori set of assumptions and practices that makes knowledge possible. In effect, different paradigms will create different scientific realities, and there is no means of standing outside a paradigm of some kind to adjudicate among them.

    Truth exists only within a paradigm.

  2. Individual minds are not the source of knowledge, but communities. Individual knowledge, hence, is not a private achievement but owes its origins to community participation.

Source: Gergen & Gergen. (Eds.). (2003). Social construction: A reader. Sage.

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