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Elucidation of a Therapeutic Paradigm Shift Based on Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions: The Story of Canine External Ear Canal Surgery

Lysimachos G. Papazoglou


In 1962, Thomas Kuhn published his “Structure of Scientific Revolutions,” which became a cornerstone of the philosophy of science. Kuhn used theoretical physics to examine the evolution of scientific theories. According to Kuhn, scientific revolutions are delivered through paradigm shifts or breakdowns that happen when old ideas are unable to solve scientific problems. Kuhn’s theory commences with prescience where scientists concentrate on characterizing the problematic areas. Over time, new and significant queries arise that the existing paradigm fails to address, leading to an instability, anomaly or crisis. The accumulation of a significant number of instabilities pushes the scientific community towards reaching a new consensus (paradigm) in an attempt to solve the instabilities and move towards a stable era of science. Yet, replacement of the old paradigm is not complete since the old paradigm is also functioning along with the new one. The purpose of the present work is to elucidate how advances in canine external ear canal surgery are consistent with the mechanism of the paradigm shift and scientific revolution suggested by Kuhn. It is proposed that an approach based on Kuhn’s model can be adopted to underpin and understand the root causes for advances in other surgical fields.  

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