Questions tagged [scientific-method]

The Scientific Method is meant to answer questions based on observation and experimentation.

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References on philosophical aspects of experimental design

I am an engineer working in molecular neuroscience field, hence getting exposure in both solving practical problems (how to image fish brain) and molecular bio questions (do neurons X connect to ...
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Is faith required to believe any axiomatic assumption the scientific method is built upon?

It's my understanding that the scientific method builds upon certain axiomatic assumptions, such as uniformitarianism and the principle of induction. Is faith required to believe these axiomatic ...
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To what extent does a hypothesis have to be testable to be regarded as scientific?

In the vein of verificationism and related to problems of falsifiability as per Karl Popper, I ask the following: Let's say hypothesis X is proposed in order to account for a certain set of observable ...
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Why are theories of Greek philosophers so ineffectual?

The philosophy of science is to explain many natural phenomena with simple and least number of axioms(=hypothesis). As Albert Einstein writes in his book, The Evolution of Physics at page number 56: ...
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What's the role of logic in logical positivism?

I'm reading up on a bit of the ideas of logical positivism. It seems that the main components were the distinction of synthetic and analytic statements, and the verification principle. Without giving ...
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Should scientist be free to research anything they want? [closed]

Should scientists be free to research whatever they want, assuming it does not harm/hurt anyone or animals.
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A concept which “shows” why are we limited by speed of light?

These are my thoughts about the above: So, lets say at a given time t, I am in a room, and it has a state, which describes all the info about that state. Assume for simplicity that the room and its ...
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Why is it valid to ponder if unexplained phosphine on Venus may have an biological source?

(This is my first question here and I apologize and can edit if it's out of place or formed improperly or has other issues.) The September 20, 2020 news of phosphine found in the clouds on Venus has ...
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Two approaches of thinking in scientific discovery, any research on the efficacy of those?

I have noticed that there are two major ways of thinking when it comes to exploring unknown problems (that is, scientific discovery) - (a) one is to gather as much data as possible by doing ...
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Scientific inquiry not using the 5-step method

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 ...
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Top-down vs bottom-up approaches in science?

I am a student of a natural science but very interested in philosophy. During my studies, I have noted a perceived difference in how various disciplines approach the explanation of data they obtain. I ...
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Why a theory is still used after proven wrong?

When a new theory is introduced and predicts phenomena that the previous theory couldn't should the previous theory be abandoned? For example Einstein's Special Relativity. We still use Newtonian ...
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When dependance exists between two quantities?

Suppose we have two quanitities X and Y and we try to find out if a third quantity Z depends on them. 1st case Changing the X holding Y constant doesn't change Z. 2nd case Changing the Y holding X ...
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Can the scientific method ever disprove Magic and Miracles (Simulated)?

I have seen the idea behind this question before but I don’t think it was well formulated. Here is my attempt to ponder on reality based on Plato's “Myth of the Cave” and show how valid it still is. ...
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Is the “SAID principle” science?

Within sports science the SAID principle asserts that the human body adapts specifically to imposed demands. For example lifting heavy weights make you better at lifting heavy weights, whereas running ...
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Methodological universalities in Physics

Is there any methodological characteristic universal in Physics? Even if some branches of Physics lose their reproducibility, their experimental testing, their deterministic predictivity isn't some ...
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Relation of reproducibility and the lack of contigencies with the scientific method

What is the relation of reproducibility and the lack of contigencies with the scientific method? Quantum mechanics and Statistical physics/mechanics are vurnerable/suspectible to contigencies. We ...
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Epistemology, Scientific Method and Formal Theory, Economics

Why is Economics considered not to apply the scientific method in its pure form, nor develop scientific theories and how so? Trade and Government policies(For political economics/positive political ...
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Can a data-driven scientific method produce new knowledge?

Let us classify the state of knowledge into four simple categories: what do we know (known knowns)? What are the limitations of what we know (known unknowns)? What is our degree of certainty about ...
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Is science based on David Hume's “A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence”?

"A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence. … no testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more ...
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Using the Duck-Typing method in scientific context [closed]

Some programming languages use Duck Typing to determine types of Objects, based on their methods and properties and not their declared type. Simplified, it goes down to the premise "If it walks ...
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Is scepticism about human-caused climate change a pseudoscience?

National Center for Science Education, have described climate change denial as pseudoscience. However,IMHO there are some valid arguments based on empirical data that contradict the "hockey stick" ...
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Wittgenstein on Mechanics

Can someone explain what Wittgenstein was trying to say in Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus ? Specifically propositions 6.341-6.343. What does he mean when he says that a system like Newtonian Mechanics ...
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How to reconcile that physicists and science educators use the word “theory” incompatibly?

When science denialists say "just a theory", they are roundly chastised. Science educators (teachers, reporters, essayists, etc) are united that the word theory has a strong requirement: Berkeley: "a ...
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What is Quine’s Confirmation theory?

I have just read that Quine relies on his confirmation theory to establish if a scientific theory is “valid” or not. But I am not sure to have understood what is Quine’s confirmation theory and why ...
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Is phenomenology a science?

Is phenomenology a science? I know Husserl was fond of saying it is. Specifically, is any of it scientific? By "phenomenology" I mean the study of structures of consciousness as experienced from ...
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Would answering belief challenges be the same as the scientific method?

Let's say I believe this statement: "all swans are white". Someone comes and asks me these Socratic questions: "is it true that all swans are white?", "is there an instance that a swan is not white?", ...
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What is the historical relationship between physics and philosophy?

I often hear people say that physics is/was part of philosophy or that philosophy gave birth to physics but I think this isn't correct. Imagine a big country called anonati. After a civil war, ...
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Explanation vs. prediction in statistics and in the philosophy of science?

In the realm of statistics and machine learning, a lot of discussion has arisen recently around the difference between explaining and predicting: That the two are not the same, and that the difference ...
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What are the accomplishments of critical theory vs. logical positivism

Coming from a natural science viewpoint, I find that logical positivism is much more important for scientific research than is critical theory. I've read the critics/flaws of logical positivism, and ...
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Can a theory that is now wrong be right in the future?

For example, we take as granted that energy is conserved (energy conservation principle). Imagine that someone “builds” a theory where the energy conservation doesn't apply. The scientific community ...
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What are the relationships between Foucault's medical gaze, scientific investigation, and Buddhist detachment?

From this note from a clinical psychologist, the Foucault's gaze is described as: ... with this powerful gaze the physician could penetrate illusion and see through to the underlying reality, that ...
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Name of Principle Giving Precedence to a More General Hypothesis

As far as I know, there is a principle that gives precedence to a theory that is more general than a more specific one, i.e the more general one is more acceptable. What is the name of that principle?
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How can the credibility of dietary recommendations of medical sciences and EBM be upheld in light of a history of radical changes of its claims?

I know the typical argument is that science is a work in progress and is constantly self-improving. However, self-improvement demands some continuity in claims. For example, relativistic physics was ...
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Is it scientific or a logical error to claim something is true because I can't think of another explanation

The situation Let's say, someone is wrong on the internet. She says The forums on that newspaper article is closed. Apparently the newspaper want to suppress public debate. I reply: That's ...
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Can hypotheses have parts that are supported or falsified individually?

Can an hypothesis that is part of the scientific method have multiple parts which can be falsified or supported individually? Let's say the experiments provide evidence that Part A models correctly ...
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What is the principle of underdetermination?

While studying I read about the principle of underdetermination of scientific theories. I made some researches online but I am more confused than before. I read about the Quine-Duhem holistic thesis, ...
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What hisorical time period does Kuhn's “pre-paradigm state” correspond?

In Thomas Kuhn's analysis of scientific development, in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, the "pre-paradigm state" is a condition in which all members of the scientific community practice ...
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What makes epistemology unscientific?

Epistemology is called a branch of philosophy and not science. There are several epistemic theories some of which actually were mainstream sometimes. But it appears that, for example, some of them ...
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Philosophy of Science and the nature of observation: what counts as 'observable'?

In the realist-antirealist debate within philosophy of science, the distinction between the 'observable' and 'unobservable' is made very often though I have seen that this distinction is also ...
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With regard to the methodological incommensurability, does Kuhn talk about astrology?

According to Kuhn's methodological incommensurability, puzzle-solutions from different eras of normal science are evaluated by reference to different paradigm and methods. This implies that what was ...
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Responses to the problem of Underdetermination

Underdetermination and the arationality in the process of theory choice is often brought up by anti-realists on science as a proof of the problems with the scientific process in tracking truth. What ...
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Models of explanations and their conditions

Carl Hempel's idea of explanation (D.N. model) in the sciences is that you should be able to make some deductive argument by which the fact you're trying to explain is the conclusion. I.e. you form an ...
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What is the logical fallacy in assuming scientific method?

When I assume that whatever some authority figure says is the truth, it becomes a logical fallacy called "appeal to authority". But then how do I assume that the scientific method is (most likely) ...
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In order for politics to be “scientific”, what does it require? Are there existing scientific political ideologues (measurement et al)?

In order for politics to be "scientific", what does it require? Are there existing scientific political ideologues (measurement et al)? Particularly, because I still feel that a lot around politics ...
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What is the philosophical status of the enlightenment project?

"“Enlightenment is man’s release from his self-inflicted immaturity. … ‘Have courage to use your own reason!’—that is the motto of enlightenment.” -Kant . "the difference between science and ...
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What is the Null Hypothesis for a negative claim?

If my claim is: There are no purple swans. How should this look like in a null/alternative hypothesis form? Like this? Null: There are purple swans Alternative: There are no purple swans Or like ...
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What is the difference between epistemic targets and epistemic motivations for simulations and experiments?

Now I am reading an article here about philosophy and epistemology of science. And here is a quote: Peschard's more sophisticated picture involving a distinction between epistemic targets and ...
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Are axioms assumptions and should they be minimized?

Are axioms nothing but assumptions and, if yes and in accordance to Occam's Razor, should they be minimized? When postulating scientific theorems which, unlike axioms, are subject to the scrutiny of ...
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On the explanation of facts

As a chemist, I have some philosophical doubts about explanation of facts. Short intro In Bertrand Russell's book 'History of Western Philosophy' he says that leading-to scientific knowledge is the '...