Matthew C. Rees on Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions:
For Kuhn, a paradigm shift is fundamentally not a scientific but a philosophical change, because the incommensurability of paradigms means that there is no external stance from which one can be shown to be superior to another. Kuhn explains, "The men who called Copernicus mad because he proclaimed that the earth moved ... were not either just wrong or quite wrong. Part of what they meant by 'earth' was fixed position. Their earth, at least, could not be moved." To say that the heliocentric model is true and that the geocentric model is false is to ignore the fact that the two models mean quite different things by the term "earth."In "Spengler's Ominous Prophecy" Robert W. Merry quotes from The Decline of the West:
If, in fine, we look at the whole picture—the expansion of the Copernican world into that aspect of stellar space that we possess today; the development of Columbus's discovery into a worldwide command of the earth's surface by the West; the perspective of oil-painting and the theatre; the passion of our Civilization for swift transit, the conquest of the air, the exploration of the Polar regions and the climbing of almost impossible mountain-peaks—we see, emerging everywhere, the prime symbol of the Faustian soul, Limitless Space. And those specially Western creations of the soul-myth called "Will," "Force," and "Deed" must be regarded as derivatives of this prime symbol.This would have been helpful when the 5th Graders were asking how Ptolemy and Aristotle could have been so stupid. "Children, children! Let's not superimpose 'that aspect of stellar space that we possess today' on a whole epoch that meant 'fixed position' when they said 'earth.' Recall how the Fall of Constantinople and Columbus's voyage turned the attention of the West to the Atlantic and the 'whole world.'" I'm being serious; that really would have helped.