The process of building science , from a positivist approach, begins with the identification of a problem, the need to know the reason for a phenomenon or the causes of a change in behavior.
Through observation with the naked eye or with the aid of instruments, the problem is described. Once the matter to be investigated is defined, the aspects that have nothing to do with it are discarded.
Secondly, the aspects related to the problem and that have been obtained through observation, previous research or small experiments carried out are collected.
The data collected is organized and thus information is obtained that in the form of a statement or mathematical relationship is formulated as a hypothesis. It is usually posed as an assumption or forecast or a tentative explanation of the problem.
Then comes the time for experimentation, the problem is taken to the laboratory and solutions are tried until they find one that fits. The problem is solved repeatedly to reach conclusions.
Fifth, verification is performed, that is, tests are proposed to answer the problem clearly and precisely.
Finally, a theory or natural law is formulated. When a law is created from the process of building science, a constant and invariable norm of things is created.
Science in antiquity
Only until ancient Greece did humanity dare to think that things did not come exclusively from the gods. The Greeks of ancient Ionia questioned the formation of matter .
Thales of Miletus, in the 600th century BC, together with his disciples, surprised in his time by stating that everything was formed by water.
Observing nature, he thought that everything came from a huge ocean and although of course this turned out to be false, he became the first man to question a magical process of appearance of things, man, facts and natural phenomena.
Anaximenes, for his part, took on the task of explaining the conditions of the air and Empedocles was another Ionian more interested in showing that the world was composed of the four elements: water, air, fire and earth.
Ancient Greece thus saw the birth of a new way of approaching the world, with principles and norms, a new path to knowledge that was called Science.
It was then established that the social order and its laws were only a tradition and not a deduction, it was a custom and not necessarily a truth.
Later, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle proposed the first methods of philosophical, mathematical, logical, and technical reasoning.
The two paradigms in the construction of science
All routes to knowledge are found in one of the great paradigms of science. On the one hand, there is the Scientific Method from a positivist approach, where reality is observable and measurable.
It is the paradigm of the hard sciences such as physics or mathematics, for example, and uses quantitative methods to describe the attributes of reality.
The scientific method seeks absolute, generalizable and universal conclusions, such as the molecules that make up the water or the volume that the air occupies.
On the other hand, it is possible to arrive at knowledge under a hermeneutical or interpretive paradigm applied more to soft sciences such as sociology or psychology.
In this case, reality is considered subjective and therefore must be observed in another way.
The hermeneutical approach seeks to know aspects of reality and relates them to each other and to the whole, in a systemic, holistic or structural way. Under this paradigm, qualitative techniques are used to approach reality such as interviews, for example.
In a hermeneutical approach, science uses grounded theory as a method, which involves collecting data, analyzing it and concluding it, then returning to the field, collecting more data and constructing meaning in a cyclical process.
Science and its principles
Science, from a positivist approach, responds to two objectives: one is to provide solutions and answers to problems and the second is to describe phenomena in order to control them.
Regarding the principles, it clearly responds to two: reproducibility and refutability.
The first refers to the possibility of repeating an experiment anywhere and on anyone; the second accepts that any law or theory can be refuted through a new scientific production.
Science, from a positivist perspective, is characterized by being based on reason with no room for speculation; it is exact, empirical and systematic.
It uses a method to reach conclusions, it is analytical and when it reaches conclusions it is communicable and open.
Also in an infinite progression, it is predictive; in this way it is possible to start a new scientific process on the knowledge acquired.
Science: a route to knowledge with a method
Once the paradigm of a world created by the gods was broken, the number of men moved by curiosity and encouraged to find new paths towards knowledge multiplied.
When Galileo Galilei wanted to show that the earth was not the center of the universe, he unknowingly gave life to the scientific method. He observed the phenomena that interested him and took notes in his notebook.
Later he analyzed them, applied formulas to them and tested his own hypotheses. When the verified reality coincides with the hypothesis, he applied his discoveries to a new phenomenon, seeking to deduce behaviors that could thus become laws.
In this journey of observations, experimentations and attempts to demonstrate opinions, Science now recognized as a set of techniques and procedures that using reliable instruments allows to demonstrate hypotheses was taking shape.
Science uses a hypothetical deductive method, that is, it wants to demonstrate a hypothesis by inquiring from general issues to explaining the particular, it returns to the general and thus continues infinitely in a cyclical process.
And while it is possible to think of various scientific methods, one has been established since the Renaissance, with René Descartes , to the present day.
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