Re: Hey Brother, Can You Spare a Paradigm?

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Posted by Marvin Amstey on March 01, 1999 at 20:30:43:

In Reply to: Re: Hey Brother, Can You Spare a Paradigm? posted by Michael Wendorf on March 01, 1999 at 14:21:44:

: : Dear Michael,

: : Without intending to be contentious about the matter, I differ. "Science" is actually a whole lot of people, many of whom hold the orthodox position (the most widely held paradigm of the time), but some of whom do not. Given my background, Copernicus isn't good example for me to use for argument. On the other hand, I am a biologist and am right now smack in the middle of my course, "Revolutions in Biology", so I am reasonably comfortable with that subject.

: : Let's take the Darwinian revolution that occurred in what ruggies would call the third quarter of the 19th century. Darwin was not the only person in his time to believe that new species arose by evolution from pre-existing ones, or that the driving force for this was natural selection. And, when his revolution was over, there were still substantial numbers of people who thought he was wrong (there still are). That is, there was more than one paradigm before Darwin, and more than one afterwards.

: : Nonetheless, I think almost anyone familiar with the subject (inlcuding those who disagree with Darwin's position) would agree that Darwin was biology's most significant revolutionary and that ORIGIN OF SPECIES generated a clear, long lasting paradigm shift in the discipline. This, I believe, is true in spite of the fact that "science" was not unanimous in its disbelief of evolution by natural selection before Darwin nor was it unanimous in acceptance of it after Darwin. Indeed, a paradigm shift is almost unthinkable without the notion that two paradigms can coexist simultaneously (for a while, at least). The alternative is to imagine the shift happening more or less simultaneously to everyone. That just isn't how things happen.

: : "Science" is not monolithic, and there are many subareas within biology (and, I am sure, other sciences as well) in which there are multiple schools of thought based on differing simultaneous paradigms.

: : There is much more lack of unanimity about details in Rugville than there is about basic principles, which appear to me to reflect some fairly widely accepted underlying paradigm, at least in the community of mainstream collectors.

: : Steve Price

: Dear Steve:
: I do not read anything you have written as being
: contentious and you certainly do not need to apologize
: for differing with my views or those of Thomas Kuhn.
: Your Darwin example is a good one. Certainly not
: everyone accepted the Copernican model, at least not for
: a long time. I think Kuhn would explain this by referring
: back to the successive stages of refinement. The job
: of scientists or others working within the paradigm is
: to try to match the paradigm to the observed phenomena and
: if the new paradigm does not serve well then there will
: be other paradigms that evolve. I still do not see
: enough fundamental agreement in the rug world to create
: a paradigm. As Yon Bard has pointed out, we may agree on
: how to analyize structure. My point is maybe, but have we
: agreed on what structure means. A lot of memory has been
: used to discuss what is a tribal rug, can we create a system
: to evaluate the beauty of a rug etc. I do not think there is
: enough consensus on who made what when and why to say there
: is a paradigm unless we get pretty basic such as do we prefer
: vegetal colors to synthetic. While "mainstream collectors"
: might agree, I am not certain this is a big enough sample of
: the rug world. The Internet facilitates our discussion, but
: does facilitate agreement on the real issues that have been
: so heavily debated just in these Salons over the past several
: months.
: Thanks for sharing your viewpoint. Michael

Hello folks,
Let's take a hard example; structure is "too easy" in terms of agreement. What about color? What color is correct? What color is older? what color does the decorator want? What color does the collector want? Why is the red in Afshar different than the red in Salor , and which is best? And on and on....Now, here is a subject about which we will have little agreement; and I'm talking about seasoned collectors, not all the others out there. I think Michael and Steve are correct in stating that there are too many disagreements to call anything a paradigm. Furthermore, there is such disagreement that the evolution discussed by Kuhn will not happen in our lifetimes; but, maybe like Copernicus and the next evolution to Newton, there may be a change - if we find some agreements - in several hundred years. Regards, Marvin

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