Paradigms of Mechanism and Function

  • Frederick Betz
Part of the Innovation, Technology, and Knowledge Management book series (ITKM)


We have constructed a taxonomy consisting of four paradigms of science: Mechanism, Function, Logic, and System. Now we will examine in detail the paradigms of Mechanism and of Function. In biology, for example, we saw in the case of the discovery of DNA and its modeling that both paradigms of Mechanism (chemistry of DNA) and Function (function of DNA in genetics) were used. The basic research issue of “what is life” required both mechanistic and functional explanations. The paradigm of mechanism perceives the world in terms of space, time, matter, energy, and force. But to fully describe and explain life, science needs additional concepts to those of Mechanism: concepts such as purpose, intention, will, and reason. These are central concepts in the paradigm of Function.


Functional Model Newtonian Mechanic Perceptual Space Scientific Paradigm Galactic Scale 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Engineering and TechnologyPortland State UniversityPortlandUSA

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