Kuhn states that a scientist’s switch between one paradigm to the next is similar to a “gestalt switch” where neural programming is required rather than argument and persuasion. Paul Feyerabend also outlined science as a discipline harmed by a dogmatic acceptance of dominant methodological frameworks. Feyerabend argued that Kuhn’s paradigm model had painted too simple of a picture of science and he therefore proposed the idea that there should be no specific method in which to ensure the objectivity of science. He believes both logical and illogical ideas may be allowed to progress in science and therefore science is better served when we accept “Epistemological anarchism” as opposed to Kuhn “law and order science.” For this essay I will compare and contrast Kuhn and Feyerabend’s models as they pertain to the rhetoric of science. Feyerebend gives rhetoric and argument a function in the sphere of science and nowhere is this made clearer than in Kuhn and Feyerabend’s respective disagreements on the issue of Incommensurability which is denoted as the difficulty to determine which theory is more accurate than the other.
Defining “Science” In order to label a certain theory or philosophy as “scientific”, certain criteria must be met to deem it so. To call a subject a science based solely on the fact that it involves observation would be absurd, however there are those who believe in “sciences” that lie entirely on this principle of observation. In order to distinguish the difference between a pseudo-science and science, there must be specific guidelines that determine the difference between the two. The difficulty in determining whether a discipline is a science or non-science is known as the problem of demarcation, and in solving this problem of demarcation lies the framework for labeling a study a science – the criterion of demarcation, as made famous by Karl Popper. This demarcating of science is a definite way to distinguish the difference between true science and pseudo-science.
Scientific reasoning is the process, which provides evidence for scientific theory. Induction is common throughout scientific reasoning since scientists’ use inductive reasoning whenever a limited data is used to form more general conclusions (Okasha, 2002). Induction is used to decide whether claims about the world are justified. Inductive reasoning is prevalent throughout science since it is common to have a sample size that does not include all of the possible test subjects needed for the study. This leaves the possibility that one of the test subjects not included in the sample could prove the conclusion to be incorrect.
On the other hand, the influence of Aristotle’s works and doctrines on the cultural developments of civilization is, in most fields, elusive and indefinable. Especially in the province of science-if we use “science” in the stricter, modern sense-it may be found that Aristotle’s influence is very limited, or effective only in the sense that mistakes, eliciting opposition, criticism, and new solutions to old and new problems, are the starting point of scientific progress. Positive influence and starting points for positive developments are found, for the different sciences, much more frequently in the works of Euclid and Ptolemy; of Hippocrates and Galen; of Archimedes; of al-Arabic, Ibn Sina, and Ibn Rushd; possibly of Boethius; and, back through Boethius, of Nicomachus of
In this respect, religion and its associated values may be seen as the ‘legs’ keeping science ‘upright’ and ethical, hence Einstein’s statement. Science, logic and reason have the ability to empower and benefit mankind immensely, but such power in the hands of someone without empathy would be dangerous and hazardous for society. Due to the dominance of religion in society during the advent of modern science, religious teachings and doctrines have had a significant role to play in shaping early scientific practices and ethics. The Hippocratic Oath is testament to the influence religion had over early medical practices, for example. The Hippocratic Oath, which is among the oldest and most popular medical code still in use today, originally required medical physicians to swear upon Hellenistic pagan deities such as Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine, to maintain certain morals and principles as they practiced medicine (Rice University 2014).
However, not all agree that sociology is a science. The scientific philosophers Popper and Kuhn are sceptical of sociology’s scientific status. Moreover, interpretivist sociologists believe that whether sociology is a science or not is an irrelevant debate. They argue that validity is the key to understanding society and social problems and that positivists waste too much time and effort weighing up the scientific merits of sociological research. Positivists believe that sociology should base its logic and methods on the natural sciences such as chemistry, biology and physics.
Max Weber’s proposal that ‘science and rationality would eclipse religion’ (Hunt, 2002a; 15) was core to the original secularisation theory, which Peter Berger succinctly summarised as the concept that ‘modernity inevitably produced a decline in religion’ (Thuswaldner, 2014). While modernity has given rise to religious pluralism and science has undermined certain religious beliefs, it has not caused a universal rejection of religion predicted by Weber (Hunt, 2002a). Scientific and religious beliefs do coexist - there are living Nobel Prize winning scientists who define themselves as religious. Many theorists note that a loss of religion is not a necessary
Good arguments or good reasons with science are those that are supported by the scientific method. In the realm of science, various theories and hypotheses can be tested and supported through the scientific method. Pseudoscience refers to a theory that belongs to the domain of science; however, it is not scientifically testable. Pseudoscience is collections of ideas or theories that are made by people who claim their theories are “scientific when they are not scientific”. Pseudoscience cannot be said as a science because their theories do not come from observation and lead nowhere to further scientific problems.
Historical trends in psychological enquiry, in addition to fundamental shifts in Psychology’s subject base has led to the use of the scientific method. Ultimately, the aim of the scientific method is to test hypothesis by falsifying them. It is impossible to prove a hypothesis correct but we are able to prove a hypothesis wrong. Karl Popper saw falsifiability as a black and white definition, that if a theory is falsifiable, it is scientific, and if not, then it is unscientific. Empirical data is information that is gained through a direct observation or an experiment rather than a reasoned argument or unfounded belief.
What is it about theories in the natural and human science that make them convincing? A theory is a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain an idea or occurrence. In the fields of natural and human science, there are many theories that have been declared by experts, in order to explain random occurrences and patterns. Any expert can publish a theory on a specific concept, but in order for that theory to be accepted by society first. This is where the convincing element of a thesis and theory should be very persuasive and eminent.