Chomsky, Popper, et al (fwd)

Sun Apr 2 13:31:42 PDT 2000

In a message dated 4/2/00 5:14:47 AM Eastern Daylight Time, mpollak at writes:

<< I don't believe linguistics has ever in its history had a paradigm in this

sense. Especially when you take into account that the natural science

paradigms that Kuhn discusses to are all transnational paradigms -- they

were simultaneously accepted in this drumming out sense in America,

Europe, Russia, China and India. Political science and sociology and

cultural studies have never had paradigms like that, so in the strong

sense, they've never had paradigms. In Kuhn's terms, they seem to be

eternally stuck at the pre-paradigm stage of competing schools.


These things are matters of degree. After all, there are big revolutions (premodern Aristotlean science to the "scientific revolution") and little ones, like the transition from classical mechanics to relativity. There are fields whose paradigms are or or less dominant. I don't know about linguistics, but economics is very consensual for a social science. Various subdisciplines in polisci are highly consensual, for example International relations, more so than sociology or anthropology. --jks

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