On the Scientific Method

Greg Schofield g_schofield at dingoblue.net.au
Sat Dec 1 02:09:29 MST 2001

--- Message Received ---
From: sherrynstan at igc.org
To: marxism at lists.panix.com
Date: Sat, 01 Dec 2001 00:02:20 -0500
Subject: Re: Re: On the Scientific Method

"I probably have the least scientific acumen of anyone here, and this is written, truly, as a non-polemical comment.  But a "method" can't really correct anything, can it?  Including itself.  Aren't the "corrections" performed by human beings?  I'm having difficulty with the "mechanism" and "method" thing.  The former word seems to have some serious epistemological baggage, and strikes me as incongruous with a process, even a rather strict process like the SM.  I won't even venture into how gendered some of this stuff about "objectivity" is...  Marxism seems to me, in the first and last instance, to be a method, but one with no pretensions at objectivity, and certainly a method that requires direct human intervention for correction.  We take sides.  But so does the scientist, it seems, even if s/he is loathe to admit it.  Forgive my lack of clarity here.  It is late, and I am tired."

I am with you on this question of method on which much has been written, on one hand it is often portrayed as a set of procedures, on the other as a mode of logic. The former I have great difficulty in accepting while the latter touches on a scientific conception of reality which is closer to what actually happens when it happens.

The conception developes, not always in straight lines, but things fit together lending their logic to the logic of other parts and corresponding to the objective reality as we praxically interract.

Simple objectivity, that which most scientists subsribe is an allusion, but objectivity does exist nonetheless and is expressed in the conception that is science (that is objective reality comprehended as such).

Method as procedure does not cut the ice (as endless medical statistics prove), method as an aspect of logical comprehension does - science is dialectical despite the conceptions of the scientists who contribute to it - ironic considering the simplistic empiricism they often think they are performing.

Greg Schofield
Perth Australia

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