As a result of my recent interest in the field of epistemology, I read that there is no such thing as a unique scientific method.
However, during my medical studies I had been told that every scientific inquiry follows the following five steps:
-Make an observation
-Formulate a hypothesis
-Make a prediction based on the hypothesis
-Test the prediction
-Conclude about the hypothesis.
Of course these steps are vague and it seems difficult to understand precisely how they are or should be carried. Anyway I cannot imagine any scientific inquiry which would not use these steps, explicitly or not and in their various possible forms.
But as we usually say that there is no scientific method, such inquiries must exist. Can someone give me an example of such scientific inquiry not using the five step method ? Many thanks in advance.
Rejection of the idea that there is a unique scientific method can for example be found in the SEP, "Scientific method" (https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/scientific-method/):
"One of the settings in which the legend of a single, universal scientific method has been particularly strong is science education [...]. Often, ‘the scientific method’ is presented in textbooks and educational web pages as a fixed four or five step procedure [...]."
In chapter 1 of Lee McIntyre's "The Scientific Attitude", you can also find the following statement: "If there is one thing that most people think is special about science, it is that it follows a distinctive “scientific method.” If there is one thing that the majority of philosophers of science agree on, it is the idea that there is no such thing as “scientific method.”".