Date of Graduation
This study posits that a paradigm is a shared vision of reality that governs how practitioners define and relate to the many and varied components that make up that reality. Using this definition, the author presents a visual model using concentric spheres of increasing abstraction that rearrange T. S. Kuhn's four components of a disciplinary matrix that he articulated in the 1969 Postscript to The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Based on this model and D'Amico's criteria for a coherent narrative, the study assesses the two primary paradigms, labeled the Object-Oriented paradigm and the Subject-Oriented paradigm, that existed in the fields of physics and literary criticism from 1880 to 1940. Object-Oriented paradigm practitioners examined in the study include Aristotle, Newton, Zola and Huxley, all of whom accepted the ontological distinction between subject, object, and assessment means. Subject-Oriented paradigm practitioners examined include Heisenberg, Bohr, T. S. Eliot, and Virginia Woolf, all of whom rejected the same ontological distinction. Between the years 1910 to 1940, however, and for the first time in both fields, metacritics, scientists and theorists operating in the two paradigms vied for equal prominence in the interpretation and valuation of declarative statements said to present knowledge about the world. For both paradigms, the model presented does fulfill two primary criteria for a coherent narrative linking the two disciplines under one structure: (1) it allows practitioners in both fields to interpret and apply declarative statements in the same way, and (2) it either reflects the circular nature of puzzle-solving or it presents theoretically-based literature that guides practitioners in puzzle-solving.
DeMars, Tracy Joan, "There was something in the water: Parallels in paradigms in English and physics, 1880 to 1940." (1997). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 8739.