Topic: scientific method

topics > science > Group: philosophy of science

philosophy of mathematics

empirical truth
history of science
metaphysics and epistemology
private language argument for skepticism about meaning
science as experiment
science as mathematics
science as measurement
scientific paradigms and research programs


The scientific method consists of observation, theory, and experiment. This topic concerns the scientific method as a whole.
Subtopic: scientific method as observation, fact, and theory up

Quote: the scientific method consists of observation, reason, and experiment [»feynRP_1963]
Quote: development of physical law: observe effect, measure it, make a table, find the rule [»feynRP_1963]
Quote: Ptolemy produce a table for the refraction of light in 140 A.D., Snell found the law of refraction in 1621

Subtopic: Newton's rules of science up

Quote: Newton's first rule--admit only true and sufficient causes; Nature is pleased with simplicity, and affects not the pomp of superfluous causes [»newtI_1685, OK]
Quote: Newton's second rule--assign the same causes to the same natural effects; e.g., respiration in man and beast, the light of a fire and the sun [»newtI_1685, OK]
Quote: Newton's third rule--qualities confirmed by experiment are universal qualities of all bodies whatsoever [»newtI_1685, OK]
Quote: Newton's fourth rule--propositions inferred from phenomena are accurate, despite contrary hypotheses; only change by other phenomena [»newtI_1685, OK]
Quote: no hypotheses about the cause of gravity because of a lack of phenomena to support them [»newtI_1685, OK]
Quote: the edge of a system must match experience; for the rest, the objective is simplicity of its laws [»quinWV1_1951]
Quote: compare theories on their clarity, predictive power, simplicity, and confirmations [»hempCG_1951]

Subtopic: science as theory, speculation, hypothesis up

Quote: to be scientific, it is necessary to abstract from reality [»galiG_1638]
Quote: the task of the physicist is to find the universal elementary laws from which the cosmos can be built by pure deduction
Quote: the glory of science is to find a way of thinking that makes evident a law relating measurements [»feynRP_1963]
Quote: there is no empirical method without speculative concepts and no speculative thinking that does not stem from empirical material [»galiG_1632]
Quote: study the inner constitution of the earth by experimenting with magnetic bodies
Quote: as a scientist, you must not fool yourself, nor fool others, nor fool the layman [»feynRP_1974]
Quote: Einstein developed the special theory of relativity from the paradox of traveling at the speed of light; not from constructive efforts based on known facts [»einsA_1949]
Quote: a theory can be tested by experience, but there is no way from experience to the setting up of a theory [»einsA_1949]
Quote: complex equations can be found only through the discovery of a logically simply mathematical condition; e.g., general relativity

Subtopic: scientific hypothesis up

Quote: scientists use conjectures as well as well-established facts [»turiAM10_1950]
Quote: most distinguish fact from theory and hypothesis; otherwise will forget that something is an assumption and treat it as fact [»faraM_1844, OK]
Quote: mathematical heuristic is like scientific heuristic but with different conjectures, explanations, and counterexamples [»lakaI_1976]
Quote: in science we must rise above the level of direct observation; need theoretical constructs to formulate high-level laws and hypotheses [»hempCG_1951]
Quote: hypotheses are what we lack the least
Quote: the length of day and night change with the seasons because the sun's course above and below ground slice the sky's regions in unequal arcs, or air is denser underneath the earth, or the sun is created anew each day at different rates [»lucr_55]
Quote: lunar phases are due to reflection from the sun, or from a turning ball, or from newly created moons [»lucr_55]

Subtopic: science as prediction up

Quote: as an empiricist, science is a tool for predicting future experience via past experience
Quote: understanding an effect and its cause leads to other effects without further experiments; e.g., range of a projectile [»galiG_1638]
Quote: for physicists, common sense, esthetics, and simplicity are irrelevant; a theory gives predictions that agree with experiment [»feynRP_1985]
Quote: the basis of science is to predict what will happen in an experiment, to stick out one's neck; experiment is the only way to find out that we are wrong [»feynRP_1965]
Quote: reality undergoes constant change; the purpose of science is to predict and explain these changes [»thomR_1975]
Quote: science is only useful if it tells you about some experiment that has not been done; extend ideas beyond experience [»feynR_1965]
Quote: the laws of nature are conditional statements to predict future events while ignoring almost all of the current state of the world; the laws are imprecise [»wignEP2_1960]
Quote: in mercury, gold sinks and other metals float; in air, gold and copper fall at nearly the same speed; so, in a vacuum, all materials descend with equal speed [»galiG_1638]

Subtopic: science as observation up

Quote: the scientist intervenes actively in choosing the facts worth observing; this is the free activity of the scientist [»poinH_1905, OK]
Quote: concepts, propositions, and logic acquire meaning only through their connection with sense-experience [»einsA_1949]

Subtopic: measurement up

Quote: Galileo measured time by weighing the water drained by a slender tube from a large pail [»galiG_1638]
Quote: under quantum mechanics, all measurement irreversibly changes a process, and the only stability is statistical [»thomR_1975]
Quote: evidence from different experiments is complementary; can not be comprehended within a single picture; measurement and experiment are intertwined [»bohrN_1949]

Subtopic: systematic up

Quote: the theory of gravitation had an immense effect on science; here was a simple rule that governed the motion of the planets [»feynRP_1963]
Quote: systematic, scientific management can fix human inefficiencies with astounding results; it has clearly defined laws, rules, and principles [»taylRW_1911, OK]
Quote: use the earth's uniform magnetic field to demonstrate that a moving wire generates current in proportion to the magnetic force [»faraM_1855, OK]

Related Topics up

Group: philosophy   (60 topics, 2323 quotes)
Group: philosophy of mathematics   (11 topics, 330 quotes)
Group: science   (45 topics, 1960 quotes)

Topic: empirical truth (47 items)
Topic: history of science (52 items)
Topic: metaphysics and epistemology (99 items)
Topic: private language argument for skepticism about meaning (34 items)
Topic: science as experiment (38 items)
Topic: science as mathematics (26 items)
Topic: science as measurement (36 items)
Topic: scientific paradigms and research programs
(30 items)

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