When a paradigm becomes a paradogma

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    Every science, every scientific discipline, operates under one or more paradigms; a world view that underlies the theories and methodologies of the discipline. Sometimes a discipline’s paradigms complement or supplement each other while at other times they may contradict or even exclude each other. While paradigms are strong and have longevity, they are also fluid, relative and changeable and can even ‘die’. An anathema of the sciences, scientific disciplines and the process of carrying out science (or as Derek Hodson1 calls it: ‘doing science’) is the dogma. In contrast to a paradigm, a dogma is a set of principles or a doctrine prescribed by an authority as incontrovertibly true. Dogmata are possibly most often found in religion, forming the core principles that must be upheld by all believers of a religion. As such, dogmata are also strong and have longevity, but are static, immutable and almost unchangeable except by divine decree. This editorial discusses a recent case which I and some colleagues encountered where a highly reputable scientific journal’s editorial decision was not based on the article’s quality (e.g., weak theory, bad methodology, improper statistics, . . .) or misuse of a scientific paradigm (e.g., a methodology that does not fit the paradigm used), but rather on a dogma (i.e., the author questioned something that one of the executive editors found to be incontrovertibly true). In other words, a rejection based on a paradigm that has reached the status of a dogma; a paradogma.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)297-299
    Number of pages3
    JournalJournal of Computer Assisted Learning
    Issue number4
    Early online date4 Jun 2014
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2014


    • Paradigm
    • Paradogma


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