Classifying Science: Phenomena, Data, Theory, Method, by Rick Szostak

By Rick Szostak

Classification is the basic first step in technological know-how. The research of technology, in addition to the perform of technological know-how, will therefore make the most of an in depth category of other sorts of technology.

In this booklet, technology - outlined greatly to incorporate the social sciences and arts - is first unpacked into its constituent parts: the phenomena studied, the information used, the theories hired, the equipment utilized, and the practices of scientists. those 5 parts are then labeled in flip. significantly, the classifications of either thought kinds and techniques let the most important strengths and weaknesses of alternative theories and strategies to be simply discerned and in comparison. Connections throughout classifications are explored: should still convinced theories or phenomena be investigated in simple terms with yes tools? what's the right functionality and kind of medical paradigms? Are yes universal error and biases in clinical perform linked to specific phenomena, information, theories, or equipment? The classifications aspect to a number of methods of enhancing either really expert and interdisciplinary study and instructing, and particularly of bettering communique throughout groups of students. The classifications additionally help a fantastic approach of rfile category that may let searches by way of idea and strategy used in addition to causal hyperlinks investigated.

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Extra resources for Classifying Science: Phenomena, Data, Theory, Method, Practice

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1 comprises (ideally) the complete set of enduring aspects of human existence that are (or should be) of interest to human scientists. This definition of phenomena has important implications for the definition of causal link. In examining the link between two phenomena, scientists ask either how a particular realization within one phenomenon effects the realization within another, or how a change in the one realization induces a change in the other. 6 It is thus not the phenomena themselves that change – they are defined so that they do not change – but rather particular realizations of those phenomena that change.

He worries that scientists thus encouraged an unfortunate belief that societies could be transformed overnight, without regard to their history. However, history does not in fact act causally at a distance, but locally through its effects on culture, institutions and other phenomena. This book will largely follow scientific practice in emphasizing local causation. A final cause was “that for the sake of which” something was done (Velkley, 2000, 314-7); the place of functional causation is addressed in chapter 3.

As for the organization of the table, this too is flexible: if it were found empirically, for example, that “language” was more strongly related to phenomena in a category other than “culture” the table could be adjusted to reflect that. More often than not, though, there was considerable scholarly consensus on how a particular phenomenon should be unpacked. Scholars of personality agree that there are a handful of key personality dimensions, and that these can be unpacked into traits, though they disagree about precise boundaries at both levels.

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