We explain what a method is, and what are some of the most used. The emergence of the scientific method, and its criticisms.
What is a method?
The method is that process used systematically , guiding our practice based on principles previously prescribed.
The method scientific fico is that used by the community all scientific in order to ensure a high degree of accuracy in their proceedings and investigations , are rules that ensure that a process and / or result is scientific and not a mere belief.
Bacon’s scientific method
Although there were several great minds of the past that made contributions for the development of a scientific method (the ancient Greeks with logic , for example), it is without a doubt Francis Bacon (English philosopher, considered the father of empiricism) the first to enumerate in a clear and concise manner the steps necessary to perform a scientific method.
- As a first step, we have the observation. Man faces nature , what surrounds him, as something alien to him. This is achieved through the senses. After an accurate and detailed observation , we will proceed to perform an inductive process .
- The induction is one process by which extract general characteristics and universal claim, based on the observation of particular events. These facts must be repeated under varied conditions, in a large number of cases, etc.
- Once this is done, we can outline a hypothesis to explain the events that have occurred, and this must be tested through experimentation , to proceed with the conclusions .
Once this is done and if it is not refuted, we will face a true scientific knowledge according to Bacon’s model, or the “positivist classic.” The physical is the greatest exponent of the positivist model , having as main weapon laws discovered by Isaac Newton.
Karl Popper’s critique of the method
However, this model has certain quite important limitations . One of the toughest and overwhelming criticisms was directed by Karl Popper through falsificationism.
We will not extend this time too much on Popper’s ideas, but it will suffice to say that he strongly rejected induction , since it is logically impossible for singular facts to discover universal truths ; However, it is possible in reverse.
From this it follows that the theories are not “testable” definitively, but are “corroborated” for a time until a knowledge appears that collapses this and thus ensure the continuous advance of science .
These models of scientific method must be complexed in the human sciences , since although they are very useful in the natural sciences , it is not possible to continually experiment with individuals. This is explained by the preponderance of the natural sciences for the development of a scientific method.
How scientific knowledge is produced , under what circumstances and how the scientific method is constituted is the task of epistemology. With regard to the method of science, we can highlight the tasks of Imre Lakatos and Thomas Khun.
In turn, there are different methods within the scientific method . The hypothetical-deductive method, the historical method, the sociological method, the analytical, the hermeneutic, the logical-deductive, and many more. This will depend on the branch of science that needs it, although they can (and often) use more of the method that is typical of the branch.
However, there are more methods beyond the scientific method. For example, contraceptive methods are forms of birth control and range from prophylactic to birth control pills.