Hypothetical-deductive way of cognition, Deduction and induction...

Hypothetical-deductive way of cognition

As a result of studying this chapter, the master student must:


• the specifics of deduction and induction as methods of scientific cognition;

• the essence and structure of the hypothetical-deductive method;

• Features of the hypothetical-deductive model of science;

• Specificity of applying the hypothetical-deductive method in the theory of social work;

be able to

• characterize the differences in the context of discovery and the context of the rationale;


a categorical device for investigating a hypothetical-deductive method of cognition;

• The skills of applying the hypothetical-deductive method in the context of substantiating the most important provisions of the theory of social work.

The results of the experiment always have a hypothetical, probabilistic character. The comprehension of this fact in modern science made it necessary to abandon the view that the methods of empirical sciences dominated in the science of modern times were based on induction, i.e. on the establishment of general laws on the basis of an experimental study of individual phenomena and events. Failure to exaggerate the inductive model of the justification of science led scientists to analyze the role of hypotheses.

Deduction and induction as methods of scientific knowledge

The origin of the inductive method is the founder of the materialism of modern times F. Bacon, who, in contrast to the "Organon" Aristotle (F. Bacon believed that the Aristotelian syllogistics set forth in the "Organon" is not applicable to empirical sciences) wrote the "New Organon", in which he outlined the rules of inductive reasoning, which, in his opinion, appear as a universal tool for discovering any new truths about nature.

F. Bacon hoped that he managed to build a logical algorithm for discovery. Indeed, with the help of induction one can open the simplest empirical laws. However, such laws, firstly, do not go beyond the observed properties of the phenomena, and secondly, the induction results are probabilistic (more or less plausible) to some extent.

Two centuries later, J. St. Mill has perfected F. Bacon's methodology by developing methods of elimination (induction by exclusion), which, in his opinion, allow one to discover the laws of the causal connection of phenomena.

However, like F. Bacon, based on the methodology of J. St. Mill could only be installed the simplest causal laws, which at the same time expressed a repetitive relationship between the properties observed phenomena.

At the same time, the identification of the essence of the objects under investigation requires a transition from empirical research to theoretical concepts and generalizations of facts, and this transition requires the advancement of hypotheses . Therefore, there is no purely logical way of transition from empirical facts to theoretical laws, if only because there are no theoretical concepts in empirical knowledge, "emphasizes GI Ruzavin.

Note that the cognitive deductive method , developed by Aristotle in the form of syllogistics, was not completely abandoned in the modern era and developed primarily from R. Descartes, who after F. Bacon proposes to reduce the complex to a simple, and then step by step to learn a diverse complex world.

The simplest example of deduction:

All fish have gills

The whale does not have gills

Therefore, the whale is not a fish

The larger premise of the syllogism in this case is a fairly well-known general position: "All fish have gills."

Keith has no gills - smaller package.

The mean term of the syllogism is the concept of "having gills".

Extreme terms of the syllogism:

is a larger term - "fish",

is a smaller term - "whale".

Since each of the parcels characterizes the ratio of one of the extreme terms to the mean term, and the middle term is present in both premises, it becomes possible to conclude about regarding the extreme terms to each other.

Obviously, the conclusion of a syllogism with respect to a particular situation becomes possible only when are already known general provisions, so when using deduction as a method of obtaining new knowledge, the question arises of the source knowledge of general provisions.

Understanding this problem, Descartes understands that deduction as a movement from general to particular can not go from infinity. In his opinion, the basic general provisions necessary for deductive reasoning are not deducible from nowhere. These statements are congenital and are formulated on the basis of intuition, which in R. Descartes appears as the limit of rationality, as its supreme incarnation.

The intuition, generated by the "natural light of the mind", is immediate, its results are reliable and do not require proof. The characteristic of intuition in the system of deductive reasoning was a weak link in the methodological reasoning of R. Descartes.

However, Bacon's inductive logic also began to be criticized. One of the first against the inductive model of scientific discovery was the English historian of science U. Wewell in the book "Philosophy of Inductive Sciences" (1840). From his point of view, the scientific discovery must always depend on any happy thought, but we can not trace the origin of such an idea. At the same time, good guesses and assumptions do not arise from scratch. These guesses are the result of systematic empirical and theoretical research. Based on such research, hypotheses appear in science. Well-founded and proven hypotheses form the basis of theories explaining the laws of the functioning and development of the object of cognition.

As a result, the question arises of the validity of the induction itself as a method of investigation. Indeed, on what basis can we assert that a general or universal conclusion, based on particular judgments about the results of the experiment, will turn out to be true ?

There is such a rationale for deductive conclusions. Classical logic demonstrates: if the premises of deductive reasoning are true, then the conclusion is true and authentic. A special case of induction - complete induction - turns out to be consistent on the basis of the same justification. However, there is no such basis for induction in its general understanding, including incomplete induction, - the truth of its premises does not ensure the truth of the conclusion.

In this connection, the justification of the consistency of induction is, in fact, reduced to the search for the general principle of justifying induction. Some researchers saw this principle:

- in the uniformity of nature (J. St. Mill);

- the a priori nature of the causal relationship (I. Kant);

- reduction (reduction) of induction to probability (G. Reichenbach).

However, none of these principles ultimately led to the desired goal.

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