The Mind-bender Concepts Series
Just as perception has a legitimate explicit meaning, there is an explicit meaning of the word paradigm, which is its original meaning: "a pattern or model."
Like perception, it also has a vague amorphous meaning: "a set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality," with no hint there might be an objectively correct view of reality.
[NOTE: There is one special meaning of paradigm pertaining to language, "A set or list of all the inflectional forms of a word or of one of its grammatical categories: the paradigm of an irregular verb," for example.]
The implied meaning of paradigm is anything that is believed, accepted or assumed, merely on the basis of custom, tradition, social acceptance, or molded by social influences. There certainly are such wrongly assumed viewpoints, but it is almost never such viewpoints that the word paradigm is used to identify. It is most often used to identify long-understood well-reasoned objective principles that those with a political agenda do not like, and would like to change.
Both perception and paradigm, as used by the mind-benders, are examples of words that identify no specific thing, with that vague form of definition implied when people say, "I kinda' know what that means." It is the kind of language that makes it possible to put over any kind of intellectual swindle.
Whenever you encounter the word, "paradigm," it will usually be used in some phrase like, "changing the current paradigm," or, "we need a new paradigm." The "old" paradigm will seldom be explicitly identified, only suggested in some vague terminology like, "how humans relate to each other." The old paradigm might be "marriage," so the new paradigm would be shacking up. The old paradigm might be "having to earn your own living," so the new paradigm would be, "more charity to allow some to live on he efforts of others." Of course it will never be expressed that way. That's the old paradigm.
—Reginald Firehammer (01/19/11)