TOK – Grand Paradigm



1. In your view, how might the video relate to any of the ‘Grand Paradigms’ that we looked at today?

I think that this video shows a combination of various components from the modern and post-modern paradigms that are create the paradigm that is individual to Buzz. From the modern paradigm, we can extract the concept that humans purpose is to investigate the universe – Buzz went about his life with an intention (a mission) similar to that of investigating the universe (his life’s mission as a bona fide Space Ranger is to protect the universe from the Evil Emperor Zurg). As he learns that he is just a toy, his paradigms shift as he sees his purpose in the world in a new light. The change in his emotions can be similar to that of the post-modern paradigm as he feels that there is no purpose to life anymore. Ultimately, there are multiple grand paradigms that build up Buzz’s individual paradigm, however the extent of their influence depends on the situation presented to Buzz.


2. Later in the movie, Buzz gets over the dismay that we see in this clip.  (Don’t worry if you have not seen the movie).  Why do you think this might be?

I think that in the short term immediate situation, Buzz felt disheartened after learning that he is just a toy – however he is able to achieve a long term content through others’ appreciation towards him. Even though he is not directly involved with defeating Zurg (yet), his heroic instincts become the key factor that save Woody. As he is then rewarded for this (by becoming one of Andy’s favourite toys), he is able to achieve the same feeling of heroism and appreciation that is comparable to defeating Zurg and protecting the universe only on a smaller scale (not necessarily bad – more personal and arguably a much more memorable and rewarding experience).


3. What’s your reaction to these these paradigms?  How do they appeal to you /repel you?

I think that there are certain concepts in each of the grand paradigms that appeal to me. In regards to the classical paradigm, i am not necessarily religious but i do believe ini the existence of god to a certain extent hence the i would agree with the point that humans were placed here by god. However at the same time, I do not agree with other statements due to my perception of purpose – likely influenced by society in the 21st century. The modern paradigm is what i would say bests represents my individual paradigms when comparing the three grand paradigms. I think that it reflects what humans understand in our modern/curent context (the acceptance of god, development of science, understanding of our place on Earth and also our ways of thinking through reasoning). I think that the post modern paradigm does not necessarily appeal to me however to an extent, it reminds me of certain emotions or psychological states that humans have eg. there is no purpose to life (depression).


Posted in TOK

One thought on “TOK – Grand Paradigm

  1. Thanks for this Rebecca; you’ve made good links between what we studied in class and Buzz; And furthermore you have managed to show that actually we don’t have to choose one paradigm or another but can mix and adapt between them.

    You’ve also shown nicely that buzz managed to retain elements of his old paradigm by finding a new meaning in his life. This is a very typical feature of humans; naturally we don’t want to give up things we love and believe in; so even when we find there are problems, we find ways to retain the central belief.

    I think this topic really lends itself to thinking well about our lives and how we approach the world. I hope it was useful to you; Thank you for your thoughts here.


Leave a Reply