As an undergraduate, I and my fellow members of the College of Illuminati of Fenwick
discussed this notion a great deal.
A disclaimer: None of us were physicists,
he was a psychologist who did eye-movement studies, and I, well I became
We discussed the change from a Newtonian paradigm to an Einstein
quantum paradigm. Our thinking dwelled upon errors that would show up at the
extremes of calculation and vision in the Newtonian model--anomalies.
so overwhelming that no matter how much practicioners of the Newtonian model had
invested in it, they could no longer whole-heartedly stand by it.
Among their students,
and other young turks, in many places, the new paradigm, or new model of
explanation would break through. But the new model, we called it the
einstein-quantum model, would still have to explain
phenomena previously explained in a way consistent with the new explanation of
anomalies previously inexplicable.
All rather like a late model car, doing what Henry
Ford's Model T's did, but in a way he would never have understood. There are many
similarities, but many differences.
The new model would have to be accepted as the
truth, or at least enough, so that current practicioners, in their calculations and vision,
would be one with it.
This notion of paradigm, and paradigm shift
seems to provide an explanation for an anomaly in the philosophy of science: The
interim nature of any paradigm.
There would seem to be a succession of paradigms,
each closer to the truth, but overlaping with previous ones, but extending into areas
previously inexplicable. And each one must command the loyalty of its practioners, and
demand the investment of their lives, until eventually, inevitably, overwhelmed.