Notes on Truth, Beauty, and Goodness -- Phil A231

William Jamison - Instructor

Following a Rule

Paradigms of doing science.

A paradigm is: (from Encarta

par·a·digm [ pérrə dm ] (plural par·a·digms)
1. typical example: a typical example of something

2. model that forms basis of something: an example that serves as a pattern or model for something, especially one that forms the basis of a methodology or theory

3. grammar set of all forms of word: a set of word forms giving all of the possible inflections of a word

4. science philosophy relationship of ideas to one another: in the philosophy of science, a generally accepted model of how ideas relate to one another, forming a conceptual framework within which scientific research is carried out

[15th century. Via late Latin from Greek paradeigma  “example,” from paradeiknunai , literally “to show beside,” from deiknunai  “to show.”]

par·a·dig·mat·ic [ pèrrə dig máttik ] adjective
par·a·dig·mat·i·cal·ly [ pèrrə dig máttikəlee ] adverb

Here we are mostly interested in definition 4. How would the use of the word paradigm in this sense relate to our current concept of narrative -- or metanarrative? How does it fit with Wittgenstein's concept of language game?

I would suggest that we could relate them in this manner:

The narrative structures the language game. The paradigm structures the narrative. The collection of rules is the paradigm. Of course, this is my interpretation and you might interpret the relationship between Kuhn's ideas as a historian of science, Wittgenstein's ideas concerning language and thinking, and current work on narratology in other ways.

What is the relationship of learning a rule to "knowing" a paradigm?

There are probably many rules associated with a particular paradigm.

Quine and the Web of Belief:

Quine and the Synthetic - Analytic distinction:


bullet The Structure of Scientific Revolutions -- by Kuhn, Thomas S. Kuhn; Paperback
bulletNarratives And The Ethics And Politics Of Environmentalism: The Transformative Power Of Stories:
bullet The Road Since Structure : Philosophical Essays, 1970-1993, With an Autobiographical Interview -- by Thomas S. Kuhn, et al; Hardcover
bulletSee Encarta on Kuhn:
bulletSee this slide presentation on Walter Fisher's narrative paradigms:
bullet Human Communication As Narration: Toward a Philosophy of Reason, Value and Action (Studies in Rhetoric/Communication)
by Walter R. Fisher, Carroll C. Arnold
bulletOn the nature of a language game:
bulletAntonio Domasio "Looking for Spinoza"
Wittgenstein on the Arbitrariness of Grammar
by Michael N. Forster (Author) (Hardcover )

 (link to a chapter on Princeton's site:

Sam Harris "The End of Faith"



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