Thomas Kuhn (1970) arrived at his concept of the paradigm from his interest in the history of science. Because science is so well documented in objective form, it provides the ideal resource for study of the way a group advances the thought of its members. They may believe they have discerned the truth, but in practice they act on recognising falsity in the previous paradigm. Error provides the opportunity to learn. To this point Kuhn disclosed a long known reality. He took it further to disclose the surprise that when the majority of a group recognises an error, the new view suddenly makes obvious to its members what they had not been able to contemplate without it. They advance rapidly into new understandings, but limited now to the new field of vision. They become oblivious to facts, which conflict with it, including those they once believed.
Kuhn called it the paradigm shift, by which the group’s consensual agreement redirects the thought of its members. The revised consensual agreement, not necessarily an accurate recognition of error, exerts the force needed to break the hold of the previous paradigm. It has the power of a religious conversion (op. cit. p.78). The new paradigm seems the truth, which could not conceivably ever have been otherwise. The shift reveals the power of meme tyranny. The ideas contained by the paradigm have the force to bring about revolution or, as in the case of a defeated Nazi Germany, a radical change of thought by all but the most committed.