Where does the word paradigm come from?

WORDS-WORTH When a new business idea is said to be a 'paradigm shift', it's probably an exaggeration.

by John Morrish

Every so often a firm will introduce a new product or service. A press release duly declares it to be a 'paradigm shift'. This is hyperbole. The word 'paradigm', from the ancient Greek for 'pattern' or 'example', has been known in English since the 15th century. In modern use, however, it comes from Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), where it means an established set of scientific beliefs overturned by new discoveries, for instance that the earth orbits the sun. Business innovations are welcome, but it is always good to keep a sense of proportion.

Sign in to continue

Sign in

Trouble signing in?

Reset password: Click here

Email: mtsupport@haymarket.com

Call: 020 8267 8121

Register

FREE

  • Up to 3 free articles every 90 days
  • Free email bulletins

Register Now

Take a free trial

Get 30 days unrestricted access to:

  • All the latest news, trends, and developments.
  • Exclusive interviews with CEOs and thought-leaders
  • MT Classroom - giving you an academic grounding without expensive courses
  • Management Matters and other in-depth content.
  • Daily bulletins straight to your inbox

Take a free trial today