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Science, Common Sense and Ways of Knowing. S. Kathleen Kitao Kenji Kitao Keywords: ways of knowing; the methods of tenacity, experience, authority, reason, science; selection; control; avoiding the metaphysical. will discuss

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science common sense and ways of knowing

Science, Common Sense and Ways of Knowing

S. Kathleen Kitao

Kenji Kitao

Keywords: ways of knowing; the methods of tenacity, experience, authority, reason, science; selection; control; avoiding the metaphysical

will discuss
    • different types of knowledge, based on how we know what we believe we know
    • how scientific knowledge is different from and similar to what most people think of as common sense
    • how scientists approach research
ways of knowing
Ways of Knowing
  • the method of tenacity
  • the method of experience
  • the method of authority
  • the method of reason
  • the method of science
The Method of Tenacity
    • we tend to hold firmly to something we believe to be true, just because we have always believed it
      • some religious beliefs
      • superstition
    • experience can lead to beliefs held through the method of tenacity
The Method of Experience
    • what we learn though experience
      • relationships among people
      • how the world works
    • difficult to know if your experiences are typical
The Method of Authority
    • we believe something because someone in authority tells us it is true
    • includes a great deal of what we know
    • printed materials carry particular authority
      • However, we need to keep in mind that just because something is in print, this does not necessarily make it true.
    • Using the method of authority is necessary in many areas, because we cannot always test every fact personally or check original sources.
The Method of Reason
    • based on what seems “reasonable” or on “common sense”
    • The problem is that if two different positions seem reasonable, it is difficult to decide between them.
    • Joe‘s position
      • The more money spent on education, the better education will be, so the way to improve education is to spend more money.
    • Sandra‘s position
      • some ways of spending money will not improved education, such as higher salaries of administrators
      • there are ways of improving education without spending money, such as by involving parents in education
    • We cannot choose between their positions by reason alone.
The Method of Science
    • a way of looking objectively at knowledge, so that anyone who looks at it will see it in the same way
    • The basic, underlying belief of this method of knowing is that we need to test what we believe we know.
      • Research -- scientists make studies to test what they think they know
        • One advantage -- self-correcting
          • One researcher publishes result of research
          • Other researchers read it and do studies to support or contradict it
Relationship between method of science and method of reason
    • Science may be based in reason, but it also depends on testing conclusions
  • Library research
    • find out what other researchers have studied and learned
    • what theorists believe
    • “secondary research,” used to help the research decide what he/she wants to study
Two types of research
    • experimental research
      • the researcher makes some change and studies the effects of the change
    • non-experimental research
      • researcher studies a situation as it is, either at one point in time or over time
Differences Between Common Sense and Science
    • Selecting
      • researchers are careful how they choose the people they study
      • Population and sample
        • A population is all of the people that the researcher is interested in, that is, all the people to whom the researcher wants to generalize the study.
        • A sample is the people that the researcher actually studies.
    • Control involves a situation where other possible causes can be eliminated.
  • Avoiding the Metaphysical
    • Scientists avoid explanations that cannot be tested.