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What is it about theories in human sciences and natural sciences that make them convincing?

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Introduction

´╗┐Question: What is it about theories in human sciences and natural sciences that make them convincing? Peter Medawar, winner of the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1960, believed that ?Scientific theories ... begin, if you like, as stories, and the purpose of the critical or rectifying episode in scientific reasoning is precisely to find out whether these stories are stories about real life? (1). It can be inferred that theories start as stories but with continuous research and development can be proven true or not. Which leads us to another question, ?What is a theory?? My interpretation of a theory is that it starts out as a concept or hypothesis, and through analysis and testing if proved true becomes a theory. Natural science is the study of the natural world and scientists search for regularities to describe and explain theories. Human science is the study of patterns in human society and individual human actions, which leads to theories. In the areas of knowledge like Natural Sciences, the primary proof of theories is based on logical reasoning and inductive logic. According to dictionary.com, logical reasoning is ?the process of forming conclusions, judgments, or inferences from facts or premises?(2) and inductive logic is the ?reasoning from detailed facts to general principles?(3). On the other hand, in Human sciences, the primary technique of formulating a theory is based on not only examination of one?s own thought processes, feelings and sensations but also on the observations of the investigator on the subjects. ...read more.

Middle

For example Lee Strobel an atheist turned Christian who has penned 4 award winning Christian books has been recorded saying ?Darwin?s idea about the development of life led to his theory that modern science now generally defines as an undirected process completely devoid of any purpose or plan. Now how could God direct an undirected process? How could God have purpose in a plan behind a system that has no plan and no purpose? It just does not make sense.?(6). Which direction does one tend to when both sides of a theory have equally powerful paradigms, one based on emotional reasoning and the other based on logical reasoning ? Personally the concept of evolution being proven true or false has a large emphasis on each person?s own belief. It might be considered true and as an accepted theory to a person with a scientific background but false to someone who strongly believes in god and so might have a bias viewpoint influenced largely by emotion. Since I was a child having parents who believed in god their religious beliefs and practices were instilled in me. I was told that god created everything and everyone and nothing about evolution or natural selection. In that sense, faith and emotion was the primary way of knowing. Now as I mature and am more aware of the vast variety of concepts and theories, I am starting to believe more in the theory of evolution due to the fact of logical appeal. ...read more.

Conclusion

According to Milgram why the predicted theory didn?t show to be true was because many of the participant?s continued to shock learners under the psychological pressure of an authoritative figure i.e. Authority heightened the obedience of people. Hence, Logic and belief are the primary factors one uses to check how convincing a Human science theory is. For example, the theory from a study done in the University of Oxford reported that drinking wine increased cancer, the study showed that ?drinking a glass of wine a day caused approximately 7,000 additional cancer cases in women, especially breast cancer? amongst the 1.3 million people (9). In a place like UK where 55% (10) of the population consumes alcohol, this theory will surely be met with resistance and might not be accepted. Emotional and cultural bias convince people otherwise in this case. However the same theory in a non-drinking in Islamic will be accepted more whole-heartedly. All in all, one primarily looks for soundness in reason and inductive logic in Natural sciences theories while appeal to emotive and cultural beliefs are the main factors that make a Human Science theory convincing. Emphasis on emotion to test the correctness of a theory is viewed rather negatively in the scientific community while in Human Sciences, the same emphasis on emotion and cultural beliefs are used for individual interpretation. In Art and Ethics too, one looks for intuitive and emotional appeal to judge whether the knowledge at hand is ?right? or ?wrong?. Depending on which area of knowledge one is considering, it seems that the same way of knowing has different and rather contrasting roles. ...read more.

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