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The Role of the Paradigm The purpose of this research is t

The purpose of this research is to examine Thomas Kuhn's theory of the role that paradigms play in scientific development. The plan of the research will be to set forth Kuhn's discussion of the ways in which paradigms contribute to or impede the enterprise of scientific development, and then to discuss how Kuhn's theory relates to the structure of social psychology, particularly in regard to the transition from a theological to an evolutionary account of the origin of species from the time of Darwin to the modern period, and then with reference to the impact of evolutionary theory on research approaches about supposed race- and sex-linked differences in intelligence.

Kuhn's major purpose in SS is to explain conditions under which new scientific discoveries have emerged in Western civilization. The development of his argument can also be understood as a model for the discussion of conditions under which nonscientific (e.g., political or social) processes and systems can be understood. To see how the transition from purely scientific to nonscientific modes of thought and understanding may come about, it is useful to explore the scientific realm initially.

One such condition for new understanding of scientific discovery is that prevailing scientific theory will exhibit an "insufficiency of methodological directives, by themselves, to dictate a unique substantive conclusion to many sorts of scientific questions" (3). In other words, when certain scientific discoveries overtake prevailing scientific theory about what is true about the world, then science faces the challenge of seeking newer explanations of what the discoveries have implied. What is true of the natural sciences, which are subject to physical events that can be experimentally verified, must also be true of social science, which eludes empirical verification. That is, hypotheses and explanations may, simply by way of the creative rational processes, go far afield of what...

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