WAYS OF KNOWING. INTUITION OR TENACITY I just "feel it" AUTHORITY Bible, grandmother, expert LOGIC Deducing the answer SCIENCE Empirical test (focus for our class). …each is useful. Some are best for particular questions. For example, what is the fastest way to Calgary?
WAYS OF KNOWING • INTUITION OR TENACITY I just "feel it" • AUTHORITY Bible, grandmother, expert • LOGIC Deducing the answer • SCIENCE Empirical test (focus for our class)
…each is useful Some are best for particular questions. For example, what is the fastest way to Calgary? • WHICH WAYS OF KNOWING WOULD "WORK?" • WHICH IS “BEST?”
THEORY Statement of how one thing causes another, usually involving TESTABLE hypotheses EXAMPLE OBSERVATION: Trees change colour in the fall. THEORIES: The great hunter causes trees to change colour in the fall. Trees change colour in the fall because of frost. Trees change colour because of they receive less light.
A GOOD THEORY: EXPLAINS current observations PREDICTS future events is USEFUL (practical applications) is SIMPLE[R] than other explanations (parsimonious) is TESTABLE (theory can be falsified)
Theory versus Observation Observation (Variables) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Theory (Concepts)
The “wheel of science” (Bacon) INDUCTION DEDUCTION Theory Generalization Hypothesis Observation
From abstract to empirical Concept B: Attendance Concept A: Punishment Theoretical ABSTRACT Increases attendance by 50% Yelling at students EMPIRICAL Observable
THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD What’s GOOD about this method? • PURPOSIVE • RIGOROUS • TESTABLE • OBJECTIVE • FALSIFYABLE
Falsification (Popper) • Make a Prediction • Establish Ground Rules • Gather Data • Compare Results to Predictions • If consistent, hypothesis was supported (NOT proven) • If not, revise hypothesis and retest
Advances in Science (Kuhn) • “Normal” science • Development and testing of compatible theories • “Paradigm shifts” • Radical re-orientation • Examples: • Astronomy • Marketing
Astronomy: Aristotle The Elements Earth Water Air, Fire Sun Stars
Astronomy: Copernicus Sun Earth • Kuhn’s “paradigm shift”
CONCLUSION Data don’t “speak for themselves” • Must know what to look for • Must know how to interpret the findings • Must understand underlying THEORY
Quote of the Day • Theories are nets cast to catch what we call “the world”: to rationalize, to explain, and to master it. We endeavor to make the mesh ever finer and finer. • Karl R. Popper