Setting and developing scientific problems
Based on the analysis of the problem situation, the transition to the next stage of the research process is carried out, namely, the nomination, formulation and precise formulation of the problem. This stage includes the following components:
- First, a clear expression of the purpose of the problem;
- Secondly, considering the conditions under which the problem can be solved;
- Third, an analysis of the constraints that are imposed on the solution of the problem.The problem is the elimination of the discrepancy between new facts and the old ways of explaining them in empirical sciences, as well as raising the level of validity of the original principles and basic concepts in abstract, theoretical sciences.
Terms problems are prerequisites that are necessary and sufficient to solve it.
Limitations problems - those requirements that are imposed on the solution of the problem.
A preliminary general knowledge of the problem begins with posing the problem.
Here we take into account a number of conditions that are intersubjective (recognized and taken into account by the majority of subjects of scientific research):
- the level of theoretical maturity of a particular science;
- research experience and reserves, formed in this science;
- the state of the empirical and experimental base, as well as the prospects for the further development of the relevant branch of science.At the same time, the essential (and sometimes decisive) role in the process of resolving scientific problems is played by the qualities of the subject of cognition: qualification, personal experience, giftedness, the ability to see the points of growth of science, the most effective areas of scientific research, the courage to promote new ideas, analysis and critical evaluation of the results obtained.
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From the history of science, many examples are known when outstanding scientists, due to their talent and deep scientific insight, for decades to come, determined the main directions of the development of science. In particular, the great Isaac Newton, who created the foundations of classical mechanics and the theory of gravity, also put forward a number of new problems that had to be investigated and solved by other scientists. He considered the most fundamental problem of the nature of gravity, recognizing that although gravitation operates according to the stated laws and is sufficient to explain all the motions of celestial bodies and the sea, it nevertheless establishes only a quantitative relationship between the gravitating masses .
We are talking about the law of universal gravitation discovered by Newton:
where F is the gravity force, t 1 and t 2 - gravitating masses, r - distance between gravitating masses, g - gravitational constant.
According to this law the gravitational force is directly proportional to the product of the masses of two bodies and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.
Giving quantitative characteristics of the gravitation between the two masses, the law left open the question of the essence of gravity, its mechanism and the nature of the action of gravitational forces. In the time of I. Newton, these forces were considered spreading instantly, which was reflected in the principle of long-range action, according to which bodies act on each other without material intermediaries, through emptiness, at any distance. Such interaction is carried out with infinitely high speed. An example of a force considered one of the examples of direct action at a distance is the force of universal gravitation in the classical theory of gravitation of I. Newton.
Albert Einstein, who developed the general theory of relativity, explained the mechanism of gravitation with the help of the concept of the gravitational field introduced by him and the principle of equivalence of gravitating and inertial masses. The Newtonian principle of long-range interaction was replaced by the principle of close action: interactions are transmitted with the help of special material intermediaries and with finite speed; for example, in the case of electromagnetic interactions, such intermediaries are photons, in the case of nuclear interactions - gluons, gravitational - hypothetical gravitons. At the same time, the nature of gravity is not fully disclosed to this day. For example, until now, the question of the existence of gravitons as special particles of the gravitational field remains controversial.
A remarkable example of posing new problems in biology is the book by JB Lamarck (1744-1829), The Philosophy of Zoology, in which the first relatively holistic concept of evolution was formulated. And although the ideas of JB Lamarck regarding the concrete evolutionary mechanism were subsequently refuted, the very formulation of the problem became an incentive for the further development of biology, the development of Darwin's theory of evolution and the synthetic theory of evolution .
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Often the scientific community put forward programs for the study of long-term prospective problems. These programs act as an important stimulus for scientific research on current research areas. Through such programs, it is possible to identify growth points scientific knowledge. These growth points essentially depend on the results of empirical observations and experiments. For example, a whole series of experiments and experiments, which led to the turn of the XIX-XX centuries. to the detection of phenomena of natural radioactivity, significantly changed the direction of research work and led to a radical change in the strategy of scientific research in the field of the structure of matter.
Some general stages of work can be identified to identify points of growth in scientific knowledge, regardless of the specific field of scientific research. At the same time, the specifics of the content of such stages are determined by the specific features of specific sciences.
So, the development of scientific problems in abstract sciences (mathematics, mathematical logic, etc.) begins with the clarification of the question of whether a particular problem can be solved in principle. That is why in modern mathematics there is widespread evidence of the unsolvability of certain types of problems, primarily with the help of algorithms. So, a literate person from a school bench knows a simple algorithm for extracting a square root. However, in science it is not found, for example, an algorithm for the derivation of theorems from axioms. Evidence of unsolvability relieves researchers from inefficient (often simply useless) time and intellectual efforts to solve such problems.
In empirical and factual sciences, problem development begins with an analysis of specific conditions under which the problem can be solved. Together with these conditions, the limitations that are imposed on its solution are revealed.
Then the generation stage of new ideas, assumptions and working hypotheses is highlighted, which is not given to an accurate logical analysis. Nevertheless, the results of developing new hypotheses can be studied by rational methods. To evaluate trial solutions problems use, first of all, heuristic tricks:
- a mental experiment;
- mathematical models;
- computer analysis methods;
- plausible reasoning (analogy, induction, statistics, etc.);
- probabilistic estimates of the results obtained.
As a rule, the most plausible hypothesis is chosen. Likelihood is not identical with truth. It means only the probability of the truth of knowledge or a measure of its approach to truth.
You should distinguish problems and tasks. The difference between tasks and problems is that for solving problems often there are general rules, methods or techniques. Such are the algorithms for solving arithmetic, algebraic, and geometric problems. There is a fairly large number of generally accepted standard methods for solving technical problems. However, for the solution of high-grade scientific problems there are no such algorithms, and therefore creative imagination, intuition and other heuristic means of scientific research are used to solve them.
The intermediate position between scientific problems and tasks is occupied by problems related to the choice between alternative possibilities of their solutions. There is a general mathematical theory of choice and decision-making, formed on the basis of the theory of research operations that arose during the Second World War.
With a significant number of alternatives for evaluating the efficiency and probability of an optimal choice, they turn to special mathematical methods and computational tools.
At first glance, decision theory can be applied to the choice of hypotheses to solve scientific problems. However:
1) the number of alternative hypotheses in science is unlimited;
2) the selection criteria often remain unknown.
That is why every concrete researcher does not consider all hypotheses equally promising and promising and considers some hypotheses as more preferable, others - as less preferable. However, this choice depends on the preparation, experience, qualifications of the researcher, and often on his personal scientific courage in the promotion of promising hypotheses and critical discussion of them.
Thus, M. Plank in 1900 showed scientific courage, admitting as the true fact of quantization of the energy of thermal radiation of an absolutely black body. However, he believed that the effect he had discovered was applicable only to this particular case, and only scientific courage allowed A. Einstein not only to apply the discovery of M. Planck to the theory of the photoelectric effect, but also to extend the idea of corpuscularity (discreteness) to all types of radiation, including on the electromagnetic radiation, the quanta of which were called photons.
Moreover, M. Planck was ready to abandon his own discovery in 1911 in Brussels at the 1st Solvay Congress of Physics. "Given the full confirmation," he said, "which Maxwellian electrodynamics received for phenomena in a pure vacuum ... and the enormous simplification of the theory of electrical and magnetic phenomena that was achieved through its introduction, the shock of its foundations becomes very doubtful. Therefore, in the subsequent discussion, we exclude the hypothesis of light quanta, we can all the more so do it, that until now it has not left the stage of primitive development. " It turns out as in NV Gogol: "I gave birth to you, I will kill you!"
However, A. Einstein did not have the courage to interpret the equation of the Universe derived from the general theory of relativity as a confirmation of its expansion. To preserve the idea of stationarity of the Universe (for the sake of the prevailing opinions in cosmology), he artificially introduced into the equation the so-called "cosmological term", a sort of antigravity correction, "compensating" expansion of the universe. Only A. Fridman, on the basis of the same general theory of relativity, managed to show that theoretically there can exist three variants of the state of the universe (depending on its real density), but all variants assumed its expansion, rather than stationarity.
Logical (or logic-mathematical, if the solution involves using a mathematical tool) :
- First, checking the wording of the problem, as well as the solution proposed by the researcher for consistency and informative;
- Secondly, deducing for verification the solution of a problem of all logical consequences of such a decision, first of all such consequences that allow for an empirical test; these consequences are compared with the results of observations and experiments.
How do theoretical and empirical knowledge relate to the formulation and development of problems?
To discover something new, it is necessary to clearly understand in which sphere one should look for evidence in favor of an open new, it is necessary to know where facts can be found that to some extent confirm this new knowledge. This understanding can be based on rational theoretical knowledge of the nature of those areas of scientific search, in which the search for arguments and facts in favor of new knowledge. Thus, the system of rational theoretical knowledge is the basis for prospecting in the process of developing scientific problems.
F. I. Ruzavin characterizes the stages of the deployment of this phase: "As accumulation, systematization and theoretical analysis of facts, it becomes possible to move from simple guesses to more reasonable assumptions and working hypotheses, and from them to directly explanatory hypotheses."
There are different points of view about the mechanism of hypothesis formation.
According to traditional logic hypotheses and laws act as inductive generalizations of empirical facts.
Supporters of the hypothetical-deductive models of scientific cognition, the process of developing hypotheses as if "brackets" and in the process of analysis, hypotheses are considered as already existing. At the same time, they reduce the task of the methodology of science to the derivation of the consequences of these hypotheses. Then these correlations are correlated with observational and experimental data.American logic C. C. Pierce first turned to the use of abductive reasoning for the search for explanatory hypotheses and convincingly showed that empirical facts can serve not only for < strong> testing hypotheses, but also in the process of searching explanatory hypotheses.
Through a theoretical analysis, you can establish a connection between the facts. This relationship can be represented as some regularity. In turn, the formulation of this pattern can play the role of working hypothesis. Consequences from the working hypothesis make it possible to test the hypothesis not only with known, but also with newly discovered facts. As a result, it becomes possible to adjust the working hypothesis until the best explanation of the facts is reached.
Thus, in the situation of nominating and correcting working hypotheses, theoretical analysis, induction and deduction, as well as procedures for empirical research, are in close interrelation.
Does a particular research process always begin with a problem in science? Does such a beginning always involve theoretical assumptions and hypotheses?
Obviously, in a number of research situations new observations are necessary, it is urgently required to search for additional facts to correctly formulate the problem, and also to test its trial solution.
Empiricism Empathy supporters tend to focus on the accumulation, systematization and generalization of empirical information, considering this process as a priority in scientific research. Indeed, such a systematization plays an important role in scientific cognition, especially at the initial stage of the formation of a particular science, but the accumulated information needs a theoretical explanation.
In the situation of formation and constitution of empirical science, the facts require a theoretical explanation and lead to the formulation of the corresponding problems. At this stage, the solution of the problem is in the form of empirical generalizations and laws. Here, the simplest inductive methods of Bacon-Mill's study work rather reliably.
In a situation where science achieves sufficient theoretical maturity , the contradiction between new empirical facts and old theoretical methods of their explanation. It is the permanent resolution and the renewal of such contradictions that reproduces the process of the formation of ever new scientific problems.
Peculiarities of scientific problems in the theory of social work
The specifics of setting and solving problems in the theory of social work is determined by a number of factors.
First, the theory of social work in our country is in a state of formation and constitution. In this situation, most of the specific scientific problems stem from the need to systematize, generalize and explain the social facts that form the subject field of social work.
Secondly, the specific nature of the scientific problems of the theory of social work follows from the characteristics of its object, in which objective and subjective factors interacting in an indissoluble connection determine the process of socialization/resocialization of people caught up in a difficult life situation.
Thirdly, the specificity of the theory of social work itself lies in the fact that, unlike natural science, it explores not only the problem of what its object is, but and the problem of how it should be. Indeed, astronomers study the universe as it is, and what may be, but not what it should be. Pursuit is a social characteristic, this conformity (or inconsistency) to certain social norms: legal, moral, political, religious, etc. For the Universe, such social norms simply do not exist.
On the contrary, the conclusions of the theory of social work are a prerequisite and condition for the social construction of the system of social work itself, as well as the social policy of the state, and this constitution is guided by a certain normative ideal (determined by socio-economic conditions and civilizational and cultural characteristics of a particular society). In this regard, many of its scientific problems are associated with the contradictions stemming from the process of practical implementation of the recommendations and conclusions of social work theorists.
Many of these problems have to be solved directly by current graduate students - future specialists in the theory and practice of social work.
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