Get it, because pair-of-dimes? paradigms? Ha. Anyway…
It’s interesting to view scientific advancements through a historian’s lens because they can get an “omniscient” view of the scientific process through the past. All of the problems solved through scientific advancements culminate into a compendium that historians can peruse to connect ideas. It allows them to explore advancements non-linearly, as well as backwards in time to analyze aspects differently. This unique way of thinking allows historians to approach advancements with different questions over time.
Before Kuhn, historians approached these advancements as mere cause-and-effect breakthroughs. However, after Kuhn introduced the idea of paradigms and paradigm shifts, it opened up the historian’s lens into not a chain of events, but a bubble of events waiting to be connected and form the lifeline for each historical advancement (Johnson, 44). This “bubble” allowed historians to approach advancements differently yet again by bringing different bubbles of disciplines together to further explore how these advancements managed to appear.
Combining these bubbles brought forth that ecosystem of science where instead of asking “What led to this advancement,” or, “Which breakthrough caused this paradigm shift,” historians can now ask, “What advancements in other disciplines have allowed this specific breakthrough to happen?” The advantage of the ecosystem lens is that it can scale up or down to meet the historian’s needs (Johnson, 45). That way, one doesn’t end up with too big a system for the question they’re tackling.
Personally, I enjoy this expanding idea. It’s like how we turned the food chain into a food web, which is still part of a natural ecosystem of nature. I think it also follows the dimensions we’re able to work with. One dimension is a line, two dimensions is a polygon, and three dimensions adds a whole new volume to what we were previously working with, inciting that paradigm shift.