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Pale's Paradigm and Lamarck's Paradigm

According to Tomas Kuhn, “normal science means research firmly based upon one or more past scientific achievements, achievements that some particular scientific community acknowledges for a time as supplying the foundation for its further practice” (Pajares ). The achievements that Kuhn defines as paradigms help the scientific community develop a scientific method to resolve puzzles. Particular puzzles that paradigms fail to solve and eventually lead to paradigm shifts are called anomalies. Since Kuhn first introduces the relations of these three terms to philosophy of science in “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions,” scientific communities have improved their understandings of science and society. By describing two different paradigms of Paley and Lamarck on organic change in the early nineteenth century, Kuhn’s paradigms can further demonstrate its efficient way to articulate scientific assumptions and understand the scientific change.

In William Paley’s paradigm, the world is perfectly designed by a benevolent God who purposefully created everything and “superadded pleasure to animal sensations” (RP 47 ). Paley strongly believes the existence of a God who is wise and benevolent enough to create everything on earth with happiness and a purpose. For Paley, science is a tool to complement the greatness of religion and prove the importance of Design (RP 46). In order to support his paradigm, Paley illustrates the contrivance and work of God in nature with the methodological assumption of First Cause (the belief in the existence of God) and Final Cause (the belief that a God creates an object with a purpose). Additionally, the metaphysical assumption of a close, active God underlies the paradigm as a premise that influences e...

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...d for centuries. On the other hand, Lamarck challenges this traditional thought and brings about a new theory that contains controversial ideas. With this provocative attitude, he demonstrates his intent to challenge the achievements for centuries and cause scientific change leading to paradigm shifts.

Comparing Paley’s and Lamarck’s paradigms show how Kuhn’s paradigm can be used to compare and explain different paradigms. With the examples of observation, assumptions, and anomalies, two paradigms clearly demonstrate their ability to solve puzzles as well as their potential influence on understanding of society. The Kuhn’s paradigm model helps understand the changes in scientific perspectives and the course of European society. The use of this paradigm model can provide an opportunity to explain current scientific paradigms and assist in developing new paradigms.

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