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Table of contents
1 The scientific method
2 Departures from method
3 Annotated list of related issues
4 What made the Scientific Method succeed?
5 Why didn't the Scientific Method arise elsewhere?
6 Relationship to Techology
7 See Also

The scientific method

Roger Bacon -- thirteenth century --Francis Bacon's New Organon

interpretations of the scientific method -- science -- philosophy of science-- history of science -- sociology of knowledge -- process --knowledge


-- methods -- causation -- investigation --

measurement -- solar day vs sidereal day. mass vs weight


Use Occam's Razor to prune the list of hypothetical explanations of the observation.-- pro:Karl Popper Falsifiability -- con:Paul Feyerabend -- statistical hypothesis testing


A prediction is a logical inference from the hypothesis -- Bayesian inference is subjective use of statistical reasoning -- Deductive reasoning


Feynman: "We can do anything we want (in theorizing). Then all we have to do is check with the experiment." Design of experiments -- placebo effect --


Test of the inference: prediction and experimentation to establish new facts. Critical examination of the hypothetical explantion: peer review by community of scholars, using Logic etc. The wave theory of light overturned by photoelectric effect. Peer review unused for cold fusion.

Departures from method

Michael Polanyi elegant beautiful Occam's Razor.

Ptolemaic system Nicolaus Copernicus Tycho Brahe Kepler Isaac Newton Galileo model

Annotated list of related issues

Empirical methods

Paradigm change The problem of induction questions the logical basis of scientific statements. Scientific creativity When Method goes wrong Critique of Scientific Method
  • Paul Feyerabend argued that the search for a definitive scientific method was misplaced, and even counterproductive.
  • Imre Lakatos attempted to bridge the gap between Popper and Kuhn.
  • Scientism

Use of statistics

What made the Scientific Method succeed?

  • Political factors
  • Economic factors
  • Other factors
    • Protection of the community of scientists who fostered the discoveries
      • The reformation, seizure of the orders led to secular communities of scholars
      • England was an island nation

Why didn't the Scientific Method arise elsewhere?

  • Greece
  • Indic civilization
  • Islamic civilization
  • China
  • Africa
  • America, North / South

Relationship to Techology

Technology is subordinate to Science; Scientific discovery rests on technology.

See Also

Epistemology physical law -- Science policy -- Scientific Revolution -- Sociology of knowledge -- Science studies -- Conflicting theories