Solving problems as a condition for the development of scientific knowledgeThe problem as a dialectical contradiction in the development of science is specifically expressed in the inability of old theories and methods to explain new facts. Such a contradiction can not be identified with a logical contradiction between judgments. Logical contradictions are the result of a "sloppy", undisciplined thinking that ignores the rules of logic.
It is this kind of contradiction of "sloppy thinking" are shown in the famous poem:
Early in the morning - in the evening,
Late at dawn
The aunt rode on horseback,
Losing in the carriage.
And for her in all the speed -
The cat tried to swim
A bowl with pies.
Such contradictions exist precisely in thinking and are not relevant to objective reality, therefore they must be eliminated immediately after detection. However, as applied to the scientific problem, the term contradiction is used to indicate inconsistencies between new facts and the old ways of explaining them through previous hypotheses, laws and theories, to indicate a situation where the real problem has not been comprehended for a long time.
Moreover, in the history of science, there are cases when a scientist sought to solve one problem, but in fact solved another. So, I. Kepler, fond of astrology, sought to solve the problem of harmony of the world order, but in fact discovered the laws of planetary motion around the Sun.
The process of understanding the problem clearly identified Heisenberg: "Everything always begins with a very special, narrowly limited problem that does not find solutions in the traditional framework. The revolution is done by scientists who are trying to really solve this special problem, but at the same time they are trying to introduce as few changes into the former science as possible. It is precisely the desire to change as little as possible and makes it clear that the object is forcing us to introduce the new, that the phenomena themselves, nature itself, and not any human authorities, make us change the structure of thinking. "
Thus, the task itself proves to be contradictory: making as much changes as possible, it is necessary to achieve the greatest possible scientific effect, so the process of solving the problem turns out to be step by step.
- Initially, a relatively weak assumption is made and an attempt is made to test this assumption with the help of those facts that were unable to explain the old hypotheses or theories.
- If this assumption turns out to be incorrect, then the researcher gets a clearer idea of the degree of difficulty of the problem.
- On the basis of such a clearer idea, a stronger assumption is advanced in order to eliminate the discrepancy between the assumption and the facts.
In K. Popper's opinion, such the process of continuous nomination of all new assumptions and guesses and their consequent refutation and elimination is the only sure way strong> problem solving, leading to an increase in scientific knowledge.
The general scheme of the research process K. Popper presents in the following form:
where P1 is the original problem; TT - trial theory; ITS - fixes errors during its evaluation; P2 is a new problem.
To. Popper emphasizes that the "appraisal is always critical, and its goal is to discover and fix bugs. - or learning process ( learning ) - is not a repeating or cumulative process, it is a process of eliminating errors. This is Darwinian selection, not Lamarck's training. "
Since several test assumptions or hypotheses are put forward for the initial solution of the problem, the above scheme becomes more complex.
The above scheme is more likely to characterize the process of finding a solution to a problem by a research team whose members offer several hypotheses for discussion.
The emergence of the problem P 2 in the above scheme will require a new test explanation and its verification, and to eliminate errors, the following problem P strong> 3, and so on. As a result, the research process is presented as a continuous resumption of new and new cycles, but at a higher level. Based on this, Popper makes a fairly fair conclusion that "the growth of knowledge comes from old problems to new problems, through assumptions and denials."
According to K. Popper, the development of knowledge occurs by analogy with the Darwinian theory of the evolution of living organisms. Between the hypotheses there arises a kind of "struggle for existence" in which those who are most fit to solve the posed problem survive.Critically discussing and testing the hypotheses put forward, researchers exclude those that are less effective in solving problems, and choose the best by which the problems investigated are resolved more effectively and adequately. K. Popper states: "At the same time, I rely on the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution, but in a new formulation in which" mutations "are interpreted as a method of more or less accidental trial and error, and" natural selection "as one of the ways to manage them with using troubleshooting.
Thus, according to K. Popper, the evolution of knowledge includes two most important factors:
- a random way to advance guesswork, assumptions and hypotheses;
- an exception to those hypotheses that were found to be erroneous during the check.
However, it is unlikely that the method proposed by Popper is universal. Indeed, if an innumerable set of hypotheses can be put forward to solve the problem of explaining a phenomenon, then, by excluding a finite number of erroneous ones, we can never come close to the truth. After all for this there would not be even an astronomical number of time. Meanwhile, the achievements of science show that it not only reveals the truth about the objective world, but also the pace of scientific progress increases with time. "In this connection, Popper was forced to admit that, even under the assumption (which I share) that our quest for knowledge is so far successful and that we now know something about our universe, this success is surprisingly unlikely and therefore inexplicable. Because references to an infinite series of unlikely randomnesses are not an explanation. (I believe the best thing we can do is to explore the almost incredible evolutionary history of these accidents - from the creation of chemical elements to the creation of living organisms.) The recognition of K. Popper indicates the need for a different approach.
Obviously, K. Popper summed the desire for a too literal analogy with natural selection, in the process of which the mutations are really random and unpredictable. However, with respect to science, the analogy with the artificial selection of breeders, which advance the requirements for the results of hybridization, is more accurate. Similarly, the scientists act in relation to the hypotheses.
If the researcher considers some hypotheses more promising, promising and approaching us to the truth, a number of difficulties can be avoided. In this case, the process of choice of hypotheses becomes more rationally justified, there is no need to test an innumerable set of unpromising hypotheses. This is evidenced by the actual practice of scientific research. In the process of this practice, researchers after a relatively small number of samples "come out" namely to a promising hypothesis.
Many attempts were made to explain this phenomenon. Thus, C. Pearce explained this by the ability of man to strive for truth, a kind of instinct, different from other instincts in that it acts not error-free, but with some error rate.
Other researchers point to the existence of innate knowledge.
Most scientists, however, have the ability to correctly select hypotheses with intellectual intuition, the mechanisms of which, however, remain unclear.
A small proportion of researchers in the field of the methodology of science is trying to draw attention to the search for heuristic and regulatory techniques, as well as to the identification of methods that facilitate such a search.
Thus, there are many points of view about the problem-solving mechanism, and many of them contain "rational grains" reflections on the individual components of such a mechanism. However, an integrated view of such a mechanism is important.
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