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Author Gauch, Hugh G., Jr., 1942-
Title Scientific method in brief / Hugh G. Gauch, Jr.
Publisher New York : Cambridge University Press, 2012.
 Book Stacks  Q175 .G3368 2012  AVAILABLE
Descript xvii, 288 p. : ill. ; 23 cm
Summary "The general principles of the scientific method, which are applicable across all of the sciences, are essential for perspective, productivity, and innovation. These principles include deductive and inductive logic, probability, parsimony, and hypothesis testing, as well as science's presuppositions, limitations, ethics, and bold claims of rationality and truth. The implicit contrast is with specialized techniques confined to a given discipline, such as DNA sequencing in biology. Neither general principles nor specialized techniques can substitute for one another, but rather the winning combination for scientists is mastery of both. The purposes of this book are to enhance perspective on science by drawing insights from the humanities, and to increase productivity by fostering a deep understanding of the general principles of scientific method. The examples and case studies span the physical, biological, and social sciences; include applications in agriculture, engineering, and medicine; and also explore science's interrelationships with disciplines in the humanities such as philosophy and law. This book engages a great diversity of viewpoints on science, both historical and contemporary, and responds by affirming science's rationality. Informed by position papers on science from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, National Academy of Sciences, and National Science Foundation, this book aligns with a distinctively mainstream vision of science. It is an ideal resource for anyone undertaking a systematic study of scientific method for the first time, from undergraduates to professionals in both the sciences and the humanities"-- Provided by publisher.
Bibliog. Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents Contents note continued: Science's worldview forum -- Justification of knowledge claims -- Review of functions -- Summary -- Study questions -- 6.Science's powers and limits -- Rather obvious limitations -- The sciences and worldviews -- Empirical method in the humanities -- Individual experience and worldviews -- Logical roles and diagnoses -- Review of boundaries -- Personal rewards from science -- Summary -- Study questions -- 7.Deductive logic -- Deduction and induction -- Historical perspective on deduction -- Propositional logic -- Predicate logic -- Arithmetic -- Common fallacies -- Summary -- Study questions -- 8.Probability -- Probability concepts -- Four requirements -- Probability axioms -- Bayes's theorem -- Probability distributions -- Permutations and combinations -- Probability fallacies -- Summary -- Study questions -- 9.Inductive logic and statistics -- Historical perspective on induction -- Bayesian inference -- Frequentist inference -- Bayesian decision --
Contents note continued: Induction lost and regained -- Summary -- Study questions -- 10.Parsimony and efficiency -- Historical perspective on parsimony -- Preview of basic principles -- Curve fitting -- Crop yields -- Crime rates -- Explanation of accuracy gain -- Philosophical reflection -- Summary -- Study questions -- 11.Case studies -- Philosophy -- Electronic engineering -- Biochemistry and pharmacology -- Medicine -- Sociology -- Economics -- Law -- Discussion -- Study questions -- 12.Ethics and responsibilities -- Philosophical ethics -- Professional ethics -- Discussion -- Study questions -- 13.Science education -- Typical NOS concepts -- Better comprehension -- Greater adaptability -- Greater interest -- More realism -- Better researchers -- Better teachers -- Academic NOS concepts -- Summary -- Study questions -- 14.Conclusions -- Motion and rationality -- Summary of scientific method -- Exit questions.
ISBN 9781107666726 (pbk.)
1107666724 (pbk.)
Subject Science -- Methodology.

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