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(in the philosophy of science) a very general conception of the nature of scientific endeavour within which a given enquiry is undertaken
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


  1. any example or representative instance of a concept or a theoretical approach, e.g. MERTON's (1949) summary exemplifying discussion of the strengths and pitfalls of functional analysis in sociology. In some branches of philosophy a ‘paradigm case’ is seen as providing an ‘ostensive definition’ of a concept.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a system of the various inflectional forms of a word. A paradigm shows the way a word’s appearance is modified according to the grammatical categories inherent in a word. A noun, for example, has inflectional forms for gender, number, and case, and a verb for person, tense, and aspect. A paradigm is a pattern of change in a word, based on grammatical categories. It is an example of a declension or conjugation.

Since a paradigm is characterized by lexical identicalness of a stem, it is frequently represented as a table of endings that are to serve as a model for the inflection of a given part of speech or for the derivation of word forms (formoobrazovanie). A description of a paradigm takes into account the number of members in the set (a paradigm is a closed series of forms), the order in which the members are arranged, the endings of each member of the paradigm, and the possible morphophonemic transformations of the stem and/or endings. Any restricted system of secondary formations with a single base is often called a paradigm; such a paradigm may be morphological, lexical, derivational, or some other type. Linguists usually use the concept of syntactic paradigm to designate a system of forms of a sentence, as in syn uchitsia (“the son is studying”), syn uchilsia (“the son studied”), and so forth.

Paradigms may be either partial (or minor), consisting of groups of forms with a certain organization, or complete (major), comprising a complement of partial paradigms. In Russian, for example, the complete paradigm of adjectives includes three singular paradigms, one plural paradigm, one paradigm of short forms, and the forms for the degrees of comparison.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Pronounced "pah-ruh-dime." A model, example or pattern. See paradigm shift and metaphor.
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References in periodicals archive ?
There are more intricate ways that Johnson uses Marx: The written texts of Marx are implied intertexts which Oxherding Tale's text of Marx and synchronic allegory subvert, concomitantly showing intertextual mediation and the praxis of the paradigmatic process.
What eludes him, however, are demonstrations of large-scale, paradigmatic connections between texts and the power struggles of the absolutist state with subject classes, and convincing evidence of the unqualified power of texts in relation to society, both fashioning and being fashioned.
Ash Wednesday has functioned in the history of the Christian Church as what David Tracy calls a religious classic, she contends, and the gesture of imposing ashes is itself a central and paradigmatic element of it.
Barbie (invented by a Jewish woman) and her friend Midge read as paradigmatic expressions of the assimilationist model.
Van der Paele, who reconciles several modes of worship, observing his canonical office while embracing a popular form of devotion, is paradigmatic for Harbison, who aims to show how Van Eyck and his patrons "drew on different aspects of lay piety," invoking the cult of the Sacred Heart in the Dresden Triptych, eliciting the devotion of pilgrims to cult statues in the Virgin and Child in a Church, and propounding a modern icon in the Virgin and Child by a Fountain.
Video games are a paradigmatic media of Empire (understood as planetary, militarized hypercapitalism as theorized in Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri's Empire) and of some of the forces presently challenging it, hypothesize Dyer-Witheford (information and media studies, U.
Nevertheless, despite Clark and Oiticica's presence in the show, the paradigmatic character of their contribution was not stressed to the point that one was forced to think the biennial through their work.
For Van Mander, landscape provided a distinctive kind of visual pleasure: by suggesting deep space and encouraging the viewer's gaze to move freely, it offered an experience fundamentally unlike that of narrative pictures, the istorie paradigmatic for Italian art theory.
His discussion is based on interviews with intellectuals, journalists, lawyers, cultural figures, politicians, and ordinary people in Singapore (which has pride of place because it is in many ways the paradigmatic example), China, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, India, Italy, the UK, and the US (this last being "where the pact has been played out most visibly").
Epstein argues for a possibilistic mode of thinking in contemporary philosophy as the foundation for paradigmatic shifts, cultural innovations, and the path to open and multiple futures.
The work reinforces the demand for the decolonization of the academy and makes the case for a paradigmatic shift in content, subject matter and curriculum in institutions in Africa and elsewhere - with a view to challenging and rejecting disinformation and intellectual servitude.