Lecture on Paradigm Shifts

On Tuesday I gave a lecture for jurisprudence students at NALSAR Law University, Hyderabad. I introduced the Kuhnian theory of paradigm shifts through two examples from the history of physics: the Copernican revolution and the emergence of quantum physics. After the lecture a discussion followed on how the lessons learned from the history of science can be used to understand the progress in social sciences, humanities and legal theory. The discussion also addressed advocacy implications of the Kuhnian framework: how proponents of a new human rights paradigm can help the new model win. The example was the new paradigm of legal capacity with the right to support in decision making in the new UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

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