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Lecture 5 Scientific cognition  Просмотрен 215


1. Scientific cognition and methodology

2. Classification of methods of scientific cognition

3. Forms of scientific knowledge


1. Scientific cognition and methodology. The main form of human cognitive activity and its main carrier is science. Science is a form of spiritual activity of people and a sphere of human cognitive activity aimed at acquiring objective knowledge and applying them in practice. As a separate spiritual phenomenon and social institution, science appears in the 17th century, in the era of the formation of the capitalist mode of production. From this time on, science begins to develop almost independently.

Scientific cognition is the kind and level of cognition aimed at developing objective, systematically organized and reason-why knowledge about the world. It stands out from ordinary cognition, that is, spontaneous cognition, associated with the vital activity of people and perceiving reality at the level of the phenomenon. Epistemology is the doctrine of scientific cognition.

In scientific cognition, the true must be not only its final result (the system of scientific knowledge), but also the path leading to it, that is, the method. Each science and scientific discipline has not only its object-matter, but also its own peculiar system of methods, conditioned by their theories and the specifics of the object-matters of their research. The method (from the Greek metodos) is a collection of certain rules, methods, norms of cognition and action. The method orientates the subject in solving a specific problems, in achieving a certain result in a certain field of activity. The method disciplines the search for truth, the correct method allows you to save forces and time, move to the goal in the shortest possible way. Methodology is a doctrine of ways to construct and develop knowledge systems, i.e. theory of the method, as well as this is a specific sequence of techniques for obtaining knowledge. Socio-cultural basis for the origin of methodology is the emergence of an orientation toward useful science, to ensure a sustainable increase in knowledge. The basic variants of the early methodology are the inductive method of Bacon and the deductive method of Descartes.

Levels of scientific methodology (in descending order):

• general philosophical methods existing as abstract principles of thinking. These include dialectical and metaphysical methods.

• general methods of thinking - abstraction, induction-deduction, analysis-synthesis, analogy;

• general scientific methods - observation, experiment, thought experiment, mathematical modeling, axiomatic and hypothetical-deductive methods. They act as an intermediate methodology between philosophy and the fundamental principles of the private sciences. To general scientific terms such as information, model, system, structure, function, element, optimality, probability, nonlinearity, instability, self-organization etc. The general scientific principles and approaches include: systemic, structural-functional, cybernetic, probabilistic;

• Specific scientific methods - techniques and research procedures used in individual sciences. These are the methods of mechanics, physics, chemistry, biology, and social (humanitarian) sciences. In recent decades, methods of interdisciplinary research have become widespread;

• special techniques.



Classification of methods of scientific cognition. Scientific cognition includes two basic levels - empirical and theoretical.

At the empirical level, sensory cognition prevails. The investigated object is reflected mainly from its external connections and manifestations. Any empirical research begins with the collection, systematization and generalization of facts. The concept of "fact" (from the Latin factorum - made, accomplished) expresses some fragment of reality or cognition, knowledge of which must have certainty. The collection of facts, their primary generalization, description ("recording") of observable and experimental data, their systematization are characteristic features of empirical cognition, which is directed directly at the object under study. It is mastered with the help of such methods and means as observation and experiment (these basic methods), comparison, measurement. Thus, empirical cognition presupposes the formation of a scientific fact based on the data of scientific observation. The scientific fact arises as a result of a very complex processing of observations, their reasoning, understanding, interpretation.

The empirical methods include:

1. Observation - a purposeful perception of the phenomena of objective reality,

2. Description - fixing by means of natural or artificial language information about objects,

3. Measurement - comparison of objects by some similar properties or sides.

4. Comparison is a simultaneous correlative study and evaluation of properties or attributes common to two or more objects.

5. Experiment - observation in specially created and controlled conditions, which allows you to restore the course of events with the repetition of conditions. The experiment is not always suitable for studying the objects of the microworld and megaworld. Therefore, in modern science a special role is assigned to modeling. The model replaces the real object, reproducing its features. The construction and study of the model makes it possible to identify and analyze the regularities of the process under study without interference in the surrounding world.


Theoretical cognition reflects phenomena and processes from their internal connections and patterns, comprehended by the rational processing of empirical knowledge. This processing is carried out by a higher-order abstraction with the aid of such mental devices as abstraction, generalization, analysis and synthesis, induction, deduction, analogy.

The theoretical methods include:

1. Formalization - the construction of abstract-mathematical models that reveal the essence of the studied processes of reality.

2. Axiomatization - the construction of theories on the basis of axioms - assertions, the proof of the truth of which is not required.

3. Hypothetical-deductive method - the creation of a system of deductively related hypotheses, from which statements about empirical facts are deduced.

4. Ascent from the abstract to the concrete - the movement of scientific thought from the initial abstraction to the result - a holistic reproduction in the theory of the object under study.


Empirical and theoretical levels of cognition are interrelated, the boundary between them is conditional and mobile, they pass into each other.

General criteria for evaluation of methods.

Scientific methods are evaluated according to the following criteria:

• the scientific nature of the method,

• the effectiveness of the method,

• economy,

• simplicity and reliability,

• admissibility

• security.


3. Forms of scientific knowledge. Scientific knowledge at the theoretical level is in the form of a scientific problem, a hypothesis, a theory, as well as principles, laws, a paradigm.

The main, key points in the construction and development of knowledge include the bundle "scientific problem - hypothesis - theory."

• A scientific problem is a scientific task that has already been formed, but not solved or not known.

• Hypothesis is a form of knowledge or a theoretical model of an object that needs to be tested by practice.

• The theory is a practically confirmed hypothesis, a relatively harmonious knowledge of the process. The theory is the most developed form of scientific knowledge. The key element of the theory is the law, therefore the theory can be regarded as a system of laws expressing the essence of the object under study.

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