Scientific Method - Michigan State University

Scientific Method - Michigan State University

Scientific Method Philosophy of Science Rules that define what is acceptable knowledge Many of them Nonjustificationism one type You can prove something is not true, But you can never be sure that something is

entirely true Philosophies of Science Address four basic questions: 1. 2. 3. 4. When is something true? If we have more than one explanation, how can

we tell which one is better? How can we put what we know into practice? Why do we do it the way that we do it? 1. When is something true? Use inductive reasoning to decide Process of observing facts and then thinking about ways to explain them develop theory

Does theory hold in other situations? 2. If we have more than one explanation, how do we know which is better? Replicate findings in another situation Gain objectivity See

if one explanation has better predictive value Can explain a situation more fully, or explain several situations at once 3. How can we put what we know into practice? Pragmatic action how we put the scientific approach into practice

In science, correct method is the one that is agreed upon and used appropriately Want agreement and consensus 4. Why do we do it the way we do it? Intellectual

It honesty Scientists ability to justify the use of science (scientific method) is the best tool we have so far Advantages of nonjustificationism It is powerful, useful

It is non-dogmatic Involves testing It is not arbitrary It is self-correcting Inconsistent evidence challenges beliefs, which can be modified

Problems & considerations Researcher Incorrect bias attribution of inconsistencies between theory and results Putting the scientific method into action 1. 2.

3. 4. Observe a phenomenon (the facts) Form a theory Further observe or experiment to test theory Revise and refine theory

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