lecture 4 notes.docx

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10 Apr 2012
Scientific Method:
- Involves the systematic study of the phenomena of interest by detailed observation using the
senses often aided by technical instruments, accurate measurement and experimentation
- The important feature of scientific method is that it is systematic
Experimentation - explore observations and answer questions
Search for cause and effect relationships in nature
Systematic, objective, analytical, and interpretative reproducible
Method dependent on assumptions about society
Induction - to lead to a conclusion
Deduction - to draw a conclusion from
History of Scientific Methods:
1600 BC - Edwin Smith papyrus
o Components: examination, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis
400 BC Democritus
o Inductive reasoning - draws conclusions from a observations
320 BC Aristotle
o Subdivision of knowledge (physics, poetry, zoology, logic, rhetoric, politics, and biology)
300 BC Euclid's Elements
o Geometry - Book II of the Elements (University of Pennsylvania)
200 BC First Catalogued library
o Royal Library of Alexandria
12th Century
o Controlled experiments, methods of citation, peer review, open inquiry, development of
o Experimental method: observations, experiments and rational arguments in Book of Optics
o The Canon of Medicine and Book of Healing - describes methods critical to inductive logic
and the scientific method, and develops examination and experimentation as a means for
scientific inquiry
21st Century
o Roger Bacon - described a repeating cycle of observation, hypothesis, experimentation, and
o Controlled experiments- by Francis Bacon - Novum Organum (1622) induction
Identifies similarities within a group of particulars in order to arrive at a general principle or
Formation of a concept or idea derived from a general principle or statement
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