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scientific method (generally referred to in the definite, as the scientific method)

  1. (sciences) A method of discovering knowledge about the natural world based in making falsifiable predictions (hypotheses), testing them empirically, and developing theories that match known data from repeatable physical experimentation.
    • 1858 - George Woodyatt Hastings, Andrew Edgar, Charles Wager Ryalls, Edwin Pears - Transactions of the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science
      Mr. Payne's paper aimed at the introduction of a scientific method founded upon rational principles which were altogether unknown to the mass
    • 1974, Thomas S. Szasz, M.D., chapter 6, in The Myth Of Mental Illness[1], ISBN 0-06-091151-4, page 102:
      Let us sharply distinguish here between two epistemological
      positions. The first, extreme physicalism, asserts that only
      physics and its branches can be considered sciences.15 Hence,
      all observations must be formulated in the language of
      physics. The second position, a sort of liberal empiricism,
      recognizes a variety of legitimate methods and languages
      within the family of science.16 Indeed, since different types of
      problems are considered to require different methods of anal-
      ysis, a diversity of scientific methods and expressions is not
      merely tolerated, but is considered necessary. According to
      this position, the value, and hence the scientific legitimacy, of
      any particular method or language depends on its pragmatic
      utility, rather than on how closely it approximates the ideal
      model of theoretical physics.

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