Epistemology and methodology main trends and ends. (Эпистемология и Методология) — страница 5
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nevertheless must be some important relationship between knowledge and perception. After all, how could one know that the stick is really straight unless under some conditions it looked straight? And sometimes a person who is in pain exhibits that pain by his behaviour; thus there are conditions that genuinely involve the behaviour of pain. But what are those conditions? It seems evident that the knowledge that a stick is straight or that one is in great pain must come from what is seen in certain circumstances: perception must somehow be a fundamental element in the knowledge human beings have. It is evident that one needs a theory to explain what the relationship is--and a theory of this sort, as the history of the subject all too well indicates, is extraordinarily difficult to develop. The two problems also differ in certain respects. The problem of man's knowledge of the external world raises a unique difficulty that some of the best philosophical minds of the 20th century (among them, Bertrand Russell, H.H. Price, C.D. Broad, and G.E. Moore) spent their careers trying to solve. The perplexity arises with respect to the status of the entity one sees when one sees a bent stick in water. In such a case, there exists an entity--a bent stick in water--that one perceives and that appears to be exactly where the genuinely straight stick is. But clearly it cannot be; for the entity that exists exactly where the straight stick is is the stick itself, an entity that is not bent. Thus, the question arises as to what kind of a thing this bent-stick-in-water is and where it exists. The responses to these questions have been innumerable, and nearly all of them raise further difficulties. Some theorists have denied that what one sees in such a case is an existent entity at all but have found it difficult to explain why one seems to see such an entity. Still others have suggested that the image seen in such a case is in one's mind and not really in space. But then what is it for something to be in one's mind, where in the mind is it, and why, if it is in the mind, does it appear to be "out there," in space where the stick is? And above all, how does one decide these questions? The various questions posed above only suggest the vast network of difficulties, and in order to straighten out its tangles it becomes indispensable to develop theories. Methodology. In accordance with a proposal made above, epistemology, or the logic of scientific discovery, -should be identified with the theory of scientific method. The theory of method, in so far as it goes beyond the purely logical analysis of the relations between scientific statements, is concerned with the choice of methods—with decisions about the way in which scientific statements are to be dealt with. These decisions will of course depend in their turn upon the aim, which we choose from among a number of possible aims. Methodology or a scientific method is a collective term denoting the various processes by the aid of which the sciences are built up. In a wide sense, any mode of investigation by which scientific or other impartial and systematic knowledge is acquired is called a scientific method. What are the rules of scientific method, and why do we need them? Can there be a theory of such rules, a methodology? The way in which one answers these questions will largely depend upon one’s attitude to science. The way in which one answers these questions will largely depend upon one's attitude to science. Those who, like the positivists, see empirical science as a system of statements, which satisfy certain logical criteria, such as meaningfulness or verifiability, will give one-answer. A very different answer will be given by those who tend to see the distinguishing characteristic of empirical statements in their susceptibility to revision—in the fact that they can be criticised,-and superseded by better ones; and who regard it as their task to analyse the characteristic ability of science to advance, and the characteristic manner in which a choice is made, in crucial cases, between conflicting systems of theories. Such methods, as it was mentioned above, are of two principal types— technical and logical. A technical or technological method is a method of manipulating the phenomena under investigation, measuring them with precision, and determining the conditions under which they occur, so as to be able to observe them in a favourable and fruitful manner. A logical method is a method of reasoning about the phenomena investigated, a method of drawing inferences from the conditions under which they occur, so as to interpret them as accurately as possible. The term "scientific method"