June 10th, 2011 at 5:09 pm
“(a) Observations are made.
(b) An hypothesis is evinced to explain the observations.
(c) The hypothesis is useful if it makes predictions.
(d) The predictions are compared to observations of the real world.
(e) If the hypothesis agrees with all observations then it is elevated to the status of a theory.
(f) If any observation disagrees with the hypothesis or theory then the hypothesis or theory is disproved.
(g) A disproved hypothesis or theory must be amended or rejected.”
No good. Because you need the context that only the ranking of three or more hypotheses can bring. In the same way as we need to have at least three proxies for a reconstruction, we ought to have three or more hypotheses for ranking and re-ranking as the data is considered. Or else all the data will be contextualized inappropriately; in view of the hypothesis one has in mind.
You cannot and must not judge an hypothesis in a vacuum. Its the hypotheses that wind up falling by the wayside which are those that point you in the right direction. Think of a dying man fingering his murderer as he silently keels over, and you will remember what I’m saying here.
In this context it must be understood that there is no such thing as the null hypothesis. This is such a daft and anti-philosophical notion its hard to understand how it ever got started. The invention of the null hypothesis is really a failure to properly define the competing hypotheses.
The design of research projects is bedeviled by these philosophically incoherent notions. Should we wish to design a research project with only one hypothesis we can do nought but “validate” that hypothesis. To validate an hypothesis is simply to FAIL TO FALISIFY that hypothesis. There is a technical term for research projects designed along these lines and that technical term is: “a waste of money.”
Any of you who want to try things my way will see your productivity and cost-effectiveness will pick up immediately. You need to do a lot more pacing about and pre-production before the project is launched. You have been handicapped by crap epistemology coming from 20th century philosophers.
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