• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐What is it about theories in the human sciences and natural sciences that makes them convincing? Our lives are becoming more reliant on scientific theories and we have placed scientist leaders above many other business and political leaders. We take scientific theories as ?the dominant cognitive paradigm? of knowledge? and we see an idea to be ?definitely true? should it be ?scientifically proven?. This raises the knowledge issue: to what extent is scientific theories held in a higher regard in relation to others? And to what extent do these areas of knowledge - natural and social sciences - use observation, evidence and the scientific method - in establishing scientific theories? Finally, we ought to ask to what extent can we depend on scientific method for true, reliable, and ?convincing? theories? I define a ?convincing? theory as one that is capable of overriding opposition and effectively earning the trust of others. As Feynman defines, the premise of science is based on inductivism, where the scientific method of observations, reasons and experiments ensures controllability, measurability and repeatability. Deductive logic is key to the theories in the natural sciences, its apparently watertight syllogism allows a claim to be undermined and disputed; hence, a scientific claim is characterized to "lend itself to scrutiny and rigorous testing? [which] accounts for the enormous and rapid progress made by science? (Alchin, 2006, 17). ...read more.


Consciousness and emotions in the social sciences are claimed to cause great obstacles in establishing convincing theories because perception can be coloured by strong emotions and make us ?blinded? by belief. The very difference in the involvement of object and subject in the natural sciences and the social sciences respectively, defies the kind of predictability that we can expect of molecules, atoms and larger inanimate objects. While qualitative data can be gathered in the natural sciences, it is claimed that human sciences are more difficult to measure because there exist no discrete units for measuring emotions and thoughts e.g. a continuous stream of consciousness. The incredibly unpredictable nature of the social sciences prevents laws and theories to accurately support the claims in the social sciences. Therefore, while consistency creates sustainable theories in the natural sciences, the human sciences are more focused on observations and the general behavioral patterns of the society in rendering its theories ?convincing?. As a knower, I like to challenge and evaluate whether a theory is true (it can be assumed that the theories closest to truth, are most likely to be the most convincing theories). ...read more.


The investigation by Weisberg[4] proved the extent of vulnerability in humans; it discovered that adding a line of ?neurobabble?[5] to a scientific theory effectively adds to the convincing nature of the theory. Our partiality for believing that we can fully understand a topic without a fundamental knowledge of it, leads us to consent all scientific theories, which may very well be not ?true?, solely because a ?respectable? scientist proposed these theories. ?Knowledge-by-authority? effectively convinces us because we tend to believe and trust the leading scientific figures to put forward, what we believe to be, the right judgments. It is most evident that theories in both the natural sciences and the human sciences are convincing depends on multiple factors; the repeatable, consistent and predictable nature of results in the natural sciences proves to be the core strength of the scientific method in deducing ?convincing? theories. However, for the normal knower with insufficient knowledge in the fields of science, we also believe in and are thoroughly convinced by the theories of the sciences due to our tendency to place all our trust in leading figures for informing us ?convincing? theories. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge essays

  1. What is it about theories in the human sciences and natural sciences that make ...

    The proposed theory derived is also considered strong and widely applicable if the same experiment is performed in different locations, under similar conditions (unce.unr.edu). This enables scientists to formulate detailed explanations of occurrences in our natural environment with different lines of evidence to support a single theory.

  2. TOK Mathematics and Sciences Essay

    Perception is vital in such situations because it is possible to make an error while some scientists might argue over the features of a species or the color of a reaction because they see it in different ways. Hence, the possibility of absolute certainty is eliminated when looking at visual

  1. TOK Essay on Natural Sciences

    For example, Koreans have to be polite to any other Koreans that are older than them despite it is only one year. So the way younger Koreans talk to older Koreans are significantly different as it is in a much politer way for example younger Koreans would not be able

  2. To what extent can the human sciences achieve success by imitating the methods of ...

    Data and trying ti find a relationship between them,scientist try to form a hypothesis(a theory) which after will lead to a prediction(effects).To prove the hypothesis is true,it is tested.After is being tested,despite the result it will always be and endless circle as new observations takle place.This is how science developed

  1. In the natural sciences progress can be made, but in the arts this is ...

    For instance, a bump in the area hypothetically responsible for a heightened sense of taste, would assume he or she is a chef. Progress was made when modern technology demonstrated that character traits cannot be in a strictly linked to exact portions in the brain as what phrenology proposes.

  2. Knowledge gives us a sense of who we are. To what extent is this ...

    Just because one, under the multifarious dynamics of public pressure, behaves in a certain way might not mean that one IS that way. The biggest flaw of Social Psychology might be that it labels a string of behavioral tendencies and actions as part of individual identity.

  1. In what ways may disagreement aid the pursuit of knowledge in the natural and ...

    Disagreements regarding the extent of human involvement in the cause of climate change may produce the motivation to advance knowledge in that area, however those who explicitly deny its climate change?s existence, tend to base their opinion on emotion as opposed to reason.

  2. In what ways may disagreement aid the pursuit of knowledge in the natural and ...

    Emotion can, at times, skew our reasoning. This could have lead to holes or mistakes in their theories. They would have each needed to put their bias behind themselves as their counterpart was looking for flaws in their model. It is evident that economics is not an exact science, as there are countless external factors that have an effect on the economy.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work