Methods and Technical Research Tools
What is the relationship between methods and technical research tools?
Knowledge concerning technical tools takes the forms of accepted beliefs of the kind "telescopes are useful tools for examining distant celestial bodies" or "polling is a useful technique for assessing public opinion". This in turn leads to the employment of respective methods, such as "data on distant celestial bodies is acceptable if it is obtained by a telescope" or "x represents public opinion on a certain topic if the results are obtained through polling". This in turn leads to the usage of the respective techniques in practice. However, is it at all possible for a research technique to be used independently of any method?
In Scientonomy, the accepted answer to the question is:
- Propositional technological knowledge can be accepted and be part of a mosaic.
|1 April 2016
|It was acknowledged as an open question by the Scientonomy Seminar 2016.
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In Scientonomy, the accepted answer to the question is Technological Knowledge as Part of Mosaic (Mirkin-2018).
Technological Knowledge as Part of Mosaic (Mirkin-2018) states: "Propositional technological knowledge can be accepted and be part of a mosaic."
There is accepted propositional technological knowledge which appears to exhibit the same patterns of change as questions, theories, and methods in the natural, social, and formal sciences. Technological theories attempting to describe the construction and operation of artifacts as well as to prescribe their correct mode of operation are not merely used, but also often accepted by epistemic agents. Since technology often involves methods different from those found in science and produces normative propositions, many of which remain tacit, one may be tempted to think that changes in technological knowledge should be somehow exempt from the laws of scientific change. Yet, the discussion of the historical cases of sorting algorithms, telescopes, crop rotation, and colorectal cancer surgeries show that technological theories and methods are often an integral part of an epistemic agent’s mosaic and seem to exhibit the same scientonomic patterns of change typical of accepted theories therein. Thus, propositional technological knowledge can be part of a mosaic.
This question is a subquestion of Status of Technological Knowledge.