Guide An Introduction To Logic And Scientific Method

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The postmodernist critiques of science have themselves been the subject of intense controversy. This ongoing debate, known as the science wars , is the result of conflicting values and assumptions between the postmodernist and realist camps.


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Whereas postmodernists assert that scientific knowledge is simply another discourse note that this term has special meaning in this context and not representative of any form of fundamental truth, realists in the scientific community maintain that scientific knowledge does reveal real and fundamental truths about reality. Many books have been written by scientists which take on this problem and challenge the assertions of the postmodernists while defending science as a legitimate method of deriving truth.

In anthropology , following the anthropological fieldworks in an academic scientific laboratory by Latour and Woolgar , Karin Knorr Cetina has conducted a comparative anthropological study of two scientific fields namely high energy physics and molecular biology to conclude that the epistemic practices and reasonings within both scientific communities are different enough to introduce the concept of " epistemic cultures ", in contradiction with the idea that a so-called "scientific method" is unique and a unifying concept.

This may explain why scientists so often express that they were lucky.

An Introduction To Logic & Scientific Method

Research is showing that scientists are taught various heuristics that tend to harness chance and the unexpected. Taleb believes that the more anti-fragile the system, the more it will flourish in the real world. Psychologist Kevin Dunbar says the process of discovery often starts with researchers finding bugs in their experiments. These unexpected results lead researchers to try to fix what they think is an error in their method. Eventually, the researcher decides the error is too persistent and systematic to be a coincidence. The highly controlled, cautious and curious aspects of the scientific method are thus what make it well suited for identifying such persistent systematic errors.

At this point, the researcher will begin to think of theoretical explanations for the error, often seeking the help of colleagues across different domains of expertise. Science is the process of gathering, comparing, and evaluating proposed models against observables. A model can be a simulation, mathematical or chemical formula, or set of proposed steps. Science is like mathematics in that researchers in both disciplines try to distinguish what is known from what is unknown at each stage of discovery.

Models, in both science and mathematics, need to be internally consistent and also ought to be falsifiable capable of disproof.

Unit 2: The Logic of Science

In mathematics, a statement need not yet be proven; at such a stage, that statement would be called a conjecture. But when a statement has attained mathematical proof, that statement gains a kind of immortality which is highly prized by mathematicians, and for which some mathematicians devote their lives.

Mathematical work and scientific work can inspire each other. Nevertheless, the connection between mathematics and reality and so science to the extent it describes reality remains obscure. Eugene Wigner 's paper, The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences , is a very well known account of the issue from a Nobel Prize-winning physicist. Imre Lakatos argued that mathematicians actually use contradiction, criticism and revision as principles for improving their work. This means that we should not think that a theorem is ultimately true, only that no counterexample has yet been found.

Once a counterexample, i. This is a continuous way our knowledge accumulates, through the logic and process of proofs and refutations. If axioms are given for a branch of mathematics, however, Lakatos claimed that proofs from those axioms were tautological , i. Lakatos proposed an account of mathematical knowledge based on Polya's idea of heuristics.

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In Proofs and Refutations , Lakatos gave several basic rules for finding proofs and counterexamples to conjectures. He thought that mathematical ' thought experiments ' are a valid way to discover mathematical conjectures and proofs. When the scientific method employs statistics as part of its arsenal, there are mathematical and practical issues that can have a deleterious effect on the reliability of the output of scientific methods. This is described in a popular scientific paper "Why Most Published Research Findings Are False" by John Ioannidis , which is considered foundational to the field of metascience.

The particular points raised are statistical "The smaller the studies conducted in a scientific field, the less likely the research findings are to be true" and "The greater the flexibility in designs, definitions, outcomes, and analytical modes in a scientific field, the less likely the research findings are to be true. Hence, if the scientific method is used to expand the frontiers of knowledge, research into areas that are outside the mainstream will yield most new discoveries.

This is a property so deeply saturating its inmost nature that it may truly be said that there is but one thing needful for learning the truth, and that is a hearty and active desire to learn what is true. For it is not sufficient that a hypothesis should be a justifiable one.

Any hypothesis which explains the facts is justified critically. But among justifiable hypotheses we have to select that one which is suitable for being tested by experiment. Consequently, to discover is simply to expedite an event that would occur sooner or later, if we had not troubled ourselves to make the discovery. Consequently, the art of discovery is purely a question of economics. The economics of research is, so far as logic is concerned, the leading doctrine with reference to the art of discovery. Consequently, the conduct of abduction, which is chiefly a question of heuretic and is the first question of heuretic, is to be governed by economical considerations.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the publisher, see Scientific Research Publishing. Compare Observational study and Experiment. For other uses, see Scientific method disambiguation. Interplay between observation, experiment and theory in science. For broader coverage of this topic, see Research. History Literature Method Philosophy. Education Funding Pseudoscience Policy Sociology. Main article: History of scientific method. See also: Timeline of the history of scientific method. The DNA example below is a synopsis of this method. Muybridge's photographs of The Horse in Motion , , were used to answer the question of whether all four feet of a galloping horse are ever off the ground at the same time.

This demonstrates a use of photography as an experimental tool in science. Main article: Hypothesis formation.

Introduction to Logic and Scientific Method by Morris R Cohen, Ernest Nagel | Waterstones

Main article: Prediction in science. Main article: Experiment.


  1. An Introduction to Logic and Scientific Method | work by Nagel | nysarththeper.ml.
  2. Introduction to Logic and Scientific Method by Morris R Cohen, Ernest Nagel | Waterstones.
  3. Scientific method.
  4. Main article: Models of scientific inquiry. See also: Pragmatic theory of truth.

    See also: Scientific community and Scholarly communication. Main article: Reproducibility. See also: Philosophy of science and Sociology of science.

    An Introduction to Logic and Scientific Method

    Main article: Role of chance in scientific discoveries. Armchair theorizing Contingency Empirical limits in science Evidence-based practices Fuzzy logic Information theory Logic Historical method Philosophical methodology Scholarly method Methodology Metascience Operationalization Quantitative research Rhetoric of science Social research Strong inference Testability Verificationism.

    Holism in science Junk science List of cognitive biases Normative science Philosophical skepticism Poverty of the stimulus Problem of induction Reference class problem Replication crisis Skeptical hypotheses Underdetermination.

    Baconian method Epistemology Epistemic truth Mertonian norms Normal science Post-normal science Science studies Sociology of scientific knowledge. Translated by Cohen, I.

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    Bernard; Whitman, Anne; Budenz, Julia. Bernard Cohen, pp. The Principia itself is on pp. OED Online 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. UC Riverside.