The Story of History

When reading through chapter one three different models were presented: progressive history, paradigm shift history and ecosystem theory. Before digging deeper let’s discuss what these different histories are. Progressive history or better known as Great man history is how one very intellectual and talented person has so much impact with their actions that is ends up changing the thinking and everyday life forever. The second model is the paradigm shift history: this is when a scientist decides to take a different angle at the current paradigm. The scientist does this by researching outside of the paradigm. When this happens, scientists are going to reference to past paradigms and when doing so they could come across support for their current paradigm or there could be proof against it, either way this affects history. Kuhn said, “No other work known to the history of science has simultaneously permitted so large an increase in both the scope and precision of research,” (Johnson 28). This quote personally summarizes the paradigm shift model because this model personally created a larger scope and connection for all science discoveries. The last model is the ecosystem theory and I took this as the discussion of science itself.

I believe that Johnson uses every single model to explain Priestly’s discovery of oxygen. In the book Johnson follows the order of going in progressive history to paradigm history to ecosystem theory. First, Priestly is in the coffeehouses with the Honest Whigs. Next, Priestly is creating this huge web of connections (paradigm shift) and then last the ecosystem theory.

One thought on “The Story of History

  1. I agree with your definitions for the Great Men Theory and Paradigm Shift Theory, but I believe your description of the Ecosystem Theory is too broad. To me, the “discussion of science itself” more so publishing academia and peer-reviewing articles than anything else really. I believe the Ecosystem Theory has to do more with the inter-connectivity of all living organisms, and it sounds like you were getting to that when talking about Priestly creating this huge web of connections. Otherwise, I’m all for it.


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