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Method is a way to do something, but it is a very difficult concept to apply. It forms the root word of methodology which means the study of how certainty is established with respect to what people know. A logical process to create verifiable types of information.
Methodology refers to the systematic application of rational procedures to elucidate the rules governing the uses of evidence, arguments and hypotheses in the substantiation of real versus imagined events; including people, behavior, places and things. An expected outcome of a methodology is to dispel uncertainty.
The world we live in is filled with uncertainty.
Either form of reasoning, inductive or deductive, can be applied to criteria to establish varying degrees of certainty between absolutely not certain (0% likelihood of something occurring or having occurred) to absolutely certain (100% likelihood of something occurring or having occurred.)
Criteria: examination of the certainty and outcomes of three different kinds of didactic means to verify what is known.
Nicod's Criterion, from Jean Nicod, early 20th century French mathematician, concerns inductive reasoning and comparable entities.
Nicod is concerned with how to classify evidence. For example does one class called "a" match another class called "b". This is pertinent say to a discussion of a population of black bears east of the Rocky Mountains (a) and another population west of the Rockies (b).
The question arises as to what sort of evidence do you need to prove that they are members of the same species? (Ursus americanus)
Commentary: Nicod was convinced of the first three findings as an outcome of his inductive method.
Subsequently his critics have raised questions about the fourth possible finding. The argue against Nicod, who said the outcome of such a finding is that it is "irrelevant." Instead his critics contend that such evidence "may lend support" to the generalization, broader theory or accepted law.
Table of criteria
Criteria are the means we employ to make a judgment, often unexamined assumptions bias our criteria leading to prejudice or misjudgment of the facts.
Evaluate your initial assumptions
Methodology also implies the evaluation of the rules used to verify data (Methods) so that information is conveyed from verifiable sources or that some certain meaning is derived from a set of facts.
For example, the following categories or types of information differ with respect to the quality of their certainty and the role they play in evaluating data.
Proofs are the Methods used in determining the verity (proving the consistency and authenticity of a fact as opposed to a belief) of something.
Proof emerges from this skeptical approach to separating a smaller sense of certainty from the larger context of uncertainty.
Methods are means used to dispel, or limit, uncertainty.
Our confusion arises from the uncertainty we have about the mysteries all cultures possess concerning the world, their identity, the relationship of humans to the larger whole and ultimately the meaning of the universe.
of a method are either to negate, uphold or establish uncertainty with respect to findings of fact based on evidence.
But hypotheses must be tested, or negated in order to determine if their related conjectures can stand up under scrutiny.
If these suppositions can be confirmed by cross examination another step can be taken.
This next step is the application of the hypothesis broadly to as many cases and facts in those cases as can be explained by the working thesis. In this sense you have a theory formulated as a thesis which can be verified or at least denied.
Strictly speaking a theory is a body of hypothetical assumptions, which when tested, still explains accurately the evidence under investigation.
Laws are established when a theory, based on an investigative process of hypotheses, or suppositions has been confirmed by cross examination. Unlike theories, laws are found to hold up under a wide range of circumstances so that they are said to have universal application to any and all evidence.
Ohm's Law of acoustics, (in 1843) for example, all tones are regular or periodic functions analyzed by the ear into simple harmonic tones. Hermann von Helmholtz, in 1863, justified Ohm's law by using mechanical resonators to confirm the conjecture.
Acoustics is the study of pitch, tone, harmonics, vibration, frequency, interference and other characteristics of sound. Sound is the underlying principles at work in all of the sounds (disturbances) we sense (hear) with our ears (auditory organs).
Laws in science thus emerge from a synthetic and analytical process by which inductive reasoning is applied to the tests made on analytically derived data, or evidenced deduced from experimental findings.
Laws or rules have a Level of certainty emerging from a skeptical process that allow them to be deductively applied and relied upon as less uncertain than untested hypotheses, unexamined arguments, or alleged assumptions.