Methods and methods of research - Fundamentals of philosophy

Methods and methods of research

Methodology - is a teaching about the methods of cognition and transformation of reality.

The method is a system of regulative principles that transforms , practical or cognitive , theoretical activities.

The method is concretized in the methodology. Method - These are specific techniques , tools for receiving and processing the actual material. It is derived from and based on methodological principles.

The choice and application of methods and various methods of research work are predetermined and follow from the nature of the phenomenon being studied, and from the tasks that the researcher sets himself. In science, the method often determines the fate of the study. With different approaches from the same factual material, opposite conclusions can be drawn. Describing the role of the correct method in scientific cognition, F. Bacon compared it with a lamp that illuminates a traveler in the dark. He figuratively said that even the lame, walking along the road, is ahead of him who runs without road. You can not expect success in studying any issue, going the wrong way - not only the result of research, but the path leading to it should be true.

The method itself does not itself predetermine completely success in the study of reality. It is important not only a good method, but also the skill of its application. In the process of scientific knowledge, various methods are used. In accordance with the degree of their generality, they are applied either in a narrower or wider area. Each science, having its own subject of study, applies special methods resulting from this or that understanding of its essence

object. Thus, the methods of investigating social phenomena are determined by the specificity of the social form of the movement of matter, its laws, the essence.

The solution of various specific problems assumes as a necessary condition some general philosophical methods, the distinguishing feature of which is universality. These methods work everywhere, indicating a common path to truth. These methods include the laws and categories of dialectics considered above, observation and experiment, comparison, analysis and synthesis, induction and deduction, etc. If special methods are used as private methods of disclosing the regularities of the objects under study, then philosophical methods are methods of investigating the same objects from the point of view of revealing in them the universal laws of motion, development, of course, in a special way, depending on the specific nature of the object. Philosophical methods do not uniquely determine the line of creative search for truth. And in this matter the final and decisive word ultimately belongs to practice, life. Each method makes it possible to know only some individual aspects of the object. Hence the need for mutual additionality individual methods, which is due, inter alia, to the fact that each of them has certain limits to its cognitive abilities.

Comparison is the establishment of the difference and similarity of objects. Comparison is not an explanation, but it helps to clarify. In science, the comparison appears as a comparative or comparative-historical method. Originally originated in philology, literary criticism, it was then successfully applied in other fields of knowledge. Comparative-historical method makes it possible to identify the genetic relationship of certain animals, languages, peoples, religious beliefs, artistic methods, patterns of development of social formations, etc.

The process of cognition is accomplished in such a way that we first observe the general picture of the studied subject, and in particular remain in the shadows. With this view of things, one can not know their inner structure and essence. To study particulars, we must consider the components of the studied subject. Analysis is the mental decomposition of an object into its constituent parts or sides. Being an essential device for thinking, analysis is only

one of the moments of the process of cognition. It is impossible to know the essence of an object, only by decomposing it into elements from which it consists. The chemist, according to Hegel, places a piece of meat in his retort, subjects it to a variety of operations and then says: "I found it to consist of oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, etc.". But these substances are not meat anymore.

In each area of ​​knowledge there is as it were a limit of the division of the object, beyond which we pass into the world of other properties and regularities. When the analysis of a particular has been sufficiently studied, the next stage of cognition comes - synthesis - the mental unification of elements divided by analysis. The analysis fixes basically the specific that distinguishes the parts from each other . Synthesis, however, reveals something essentially general that connects the parts into a single whole.

Analysis and synthesis are in unity - in each of our movements, our thinking is as analytical as it is synthetic. Analysis, which provides for the implementation of synthesis, has as its central task the allocation of significant.

Analysis and synthesis are the basic methods of thinking, which have their objective basis in both practice and the logic of things - the processes of connection and separation, creation and destruction form the basis of all processes of the world.

The human thought, like a searchlight beam, at any given moment snatches and illuminates only some part of reality, and everything else for us seems to be drowning in the mist. At each moment of time, we realize only one thing. But it also has many properties, connections. And we can cognize this one only in succession, concentrating on certain properties and connections and distracting from others.

Abstraction is the mental allocation of an object in abstraction from its connections with other objects, of any property of an object in the abstraction from its other properties, of any relation of objects in the abstraction from the objects themselves.

Abstraction is a necessary condition for the emergence and development of any spider and human thinking in general. It has its limit - it is impossible, as they say, to abstract with impunity the flame of a fire from that which burns. The point of abstraction, like the razor blade, is,

but B. Russell's apt expression, everything is honed and honed, until nothing remains of it. The question of what is abstracted in the work of thought in objective reality and from which the thinking is abstracted, in each concrete case is decided in direct dependence primarily on the nature of the object under study and those tasks that are put before the investigation.

As a result of the process of abstraction, there are various concepts about objects ("plant", "animal", "man", etc.), thoughts about individual properties of objects and relations between them, considered as special " abstract items ("white", "volume", "length", "heat capacity", etc.).

An important example of scientific knowledge of the world is idealization as a specific kind of abstraction. Abstract objects do not exist and are not realizable in reality, but for them there are prototypes in the real world. Idealization is the process of concept formation, the real prototypes of which can only be indicated with some degree of approximation . Examples of concepts resulting from idealization can be point (an object that has neither length, nor height, nor width); straight line & quot ;, circle & quot ;, point electric charge & quot ;, absolutely black body and others

Introduction to the process of researching idealized objects will make it possible to construct abstract schemes of real processes necessary for a deeper penetration into the patterns of their flow.

The task of any cognition is generalizations - the process of a mental transition from single to general , from less common to more general . In the process of generalization, a transition is made from single concepts to general ones, from less general concepts to more general ones, from single judgments to general ones, from judgments of less generality to judgments of greater generality, from less general theory to more general, but to which a less general theory is its particular case. We could not cope with the abundance of impressions that flooded us hourly, every minute, every second, if we did not continuously unite them, did not generalize them, and did not fix them with the means of language. Scientific generalization is not just the selection and synthesis of similar features, but the penetration into the essence of a thing - the discretion of the one in the manifold, the general in the individual, the regular in the random.

Examples of generalization can be the following: a mental transition from the concept of "triangle" to the concept polygon & quot ;, from the concept mechanical form of the motion of matter to the concept of "the form of the motion of matter", from the concept of "spruce" to the concept of "coniferous plant".

In the nature of the very understanding of the facts lies the analogy connecting the threads of the unknown with the known. The new can be understood, understood only through the images and concepts of the old, known. The first aircraft were created by analogy with how birds, kites and gliders behave in flight.

Analogy - This is a plausible probable conclusion about the similarity of two objects in some attribute on the basis of their established similarity in other characteristics. In this case, the conclusion will be all the more believable, the more similar features in the compared objects and the more important these features. Despite the fact that analogies allow only probable conclusions to be made, they play a huge role in cognition, and not only in it, since they are the basis of the imagination and lead to the formation of hypotheses, i. scientific guesses and assumptions, which in the course of additional research and proof can turn into scientific theories. The analogy with what is already known helps to understand what is unknown. An analogy with what is relatively simple, helps to know what is more complex. The analogy is most often used as a method in the so-called similarity theory, which is widely used in modeling.

One of the characteristic features of modern scientific knowledge is the increasing role of the modeling method. Simulation is the practical or theoretical operation of an object , in which the subject is replaced by some natural or artificial counterpart For example, by examining the properties of an airplane model, we thereby learn the properties of the airplane itself.

A model is a means and a way of expressing the features and relationships of an object taken as the original. A model is an imitation of one or a number of properties of an object using some other objects and phenomena. The model can be any object that reproduces the required features of the original. If the model and the original are of the same physical nature, then we are dealing with a physical

modeling. Physical modeling is used as a method of experimental research on models of properties of building structures, buildings, aircraft, ships, as a way of identifying shortcomings in the operation of the corresponding systems and finding ways to eliminate them. When a phenomenon is described by the same system of equations as the modeled object, then such a simulation is called mathematical. If some sides of the modeled object are represented as a formal system with the help of signs, which is then studied in order to transfer the received information to the modeled object itself, then we are dealing with a logically signed simulation.

Modeling plays a huge heuristic role, being a prerequisite for a new theory. Modeling is widely used because it makes it possible to study the processes characteristic of the original, in the absence of the original. This is often necessary because of the inconvenience of researching the object itself and for many other reasons (high cost, inaccessibility, immeasurability, etc.).

Essential in cognitive activity is a method such as formalization - a generalization of the forms of different processes , abstracting these forms from their content. Every formalization is inevitably a kind of coarsening of the real object.

It is not correct to think that formalization is a method of only mathematics, mathematical logic and cybernetics. It permeates all forms of practical and theoretical human activity, differing only in levels. Our ordinary language expresses the weakest level of formalization. The extreme pole of formalization is mathematics and mathematical logic, which studies the form of reasoning, being distracted from content.

The process of formalizing reasoning is that, firstly, there is a distraction from the qualitative characteristics of objects; secondly, a logical form of judgments is revealed, in which statements about these objects are fixed; thirdly, the very reasoning from the plane of consideration of the connection of objects is translated into the plane of action with judgments on the basis of formal relations between them. The use of special symbols allows you to eliminate the ambiguity of words in ordinary language. In formalized reasoning, each character

is strictly unambiguous; symbols allow you to write briefly and economically expressions that in ordinary languages ​​are cumbersome and therefore difficult to understand. The use of symbols facilitates the derivation of logical corollaries from parcel data, verification of the validity of hypotheses, justification of the spider's judgments, and so on. Methods of formalization are absolutely necessary in the development of such scientific and technical problems and directions as computer translation, the problems of information theory, the creation of various kinds of automatic devices for the control of production processes, etc.

Formalization is not an end in itself. It is needed in the final analysis to express certain content, to clarify and disclose it. Formalization is only one (not universal) of the methods of cognition.

As research methods are distinguished, induction is the process of inferring a general position from a series of partial (less general) statements , of single facts; deduction , conversely , - reasoning process , going from general to particular or less general . Usually two basic types of induction are distinguished: complete and incomplete. Complete induction is the derivation of some general judgment about all objects of a certain set (class) based on the consideration of each element of this set. It is clear that the scope of such induction is limited to objects, the number which of course is practically and foreseeable.

In practice, the most commonly used forms of induction, which suggest a conclusion about all the objects of the class on the basis of knowledge of only a part of the objects of this class. Such conclusions are called conclusions of incomplete induction. They are closer to reality, than deeper, significant connections are revealed. Incomplete induction, based on experimental research and including theoretical thinking (in particular, deduction), is capable of giving a reliable (or almost approaching reliable) conclusion. It is called scientific induction.

According to de Broglie, induction, as it seeks to push the already existing boundaries of thought, is the true source of actual scientific progress. Great discoveries, jumps of scientific thought are ultimately created by induction - a risky but important creative method.

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