What are the characteristics of scientific knowledge?November 25, 2019
It is possible to define scientific information in a systematic way in order to reach general knowledge in order to know the boundaries in a predetermined area.
Scientific knowledge has certain characteristics. These features can be listed as follows:
Characteristics of Scientific Knowledge
1. Objectivity or objectivity: Scientific knowledge is a kind of knowledge that is put forward regardless of the beliefs, convictions, perspectives and world views of scientists. This is an indication that scientific knowledge is invariable from person to person, from society to society. Scientific knowledge includes truths that apply to everyone. Since these truths can be proved experimentally, scientific knowledge is generally accepted. Under normal conditions, for example, water boils at 100 degrees around the world. The fact that water reaches its boiling point at 100 degrees is scientific, objective information.
2. Phenomenality: Phenomenality means that the situations in which science deals with exist within the observable physical reality and can be perceived and experimented with our sensory organs. For example, the boiling of water is observable and perceptible by our senses. We can obtain information on the temperature at which water boils, as a result of factual observation of water. In short, reality is the fact that scientific knowledge can emerge on the basis of a concrete response.
3. Generalization: As science deals with individual phenomena, it reaches generalizations with the similarities of these phenomena within themselves. Science, which deals with any area of concrete ownership, or a part of that area, reaches general laws on them. Thus, the existing relationships between the facts are revealed. For example, the science that would explain the tendency of objects dropped from a height to fall down, explains the gravity law by the law of the fall of stone and cotton. In fact, situations are different; but the event is the same: the fall event.
4. Universality: Science is the common legacy of all humanity. The development point of science today has been formed with the contribution of different scientists from different cultures. The accumulation of knowledge of humanity in any branch of science is not only the property of the person, group or community that obtained that knowledge, but the common existence of all humanity. Because science has emerged as a common product of complementary studies throughout history. This product has to be in the service of all humanity. For example, any treatment method developed in the field of medicine belongs to the whole humanity and the whole field of medicine, not just the property of a person, group or society that finds it. Universality can also be seen as the same acceptance of scientific laws in all societies. For example, cancer cells,
5. Accumulation: Science is a dynamic process; regularly shows improvement and renewal on previous scientific studies and scientific theories. As a result, scientific knowledge is dynamic and can be developed and renewed. The fact that science regularly utilizes the past knowledge of humanity and transfers knowledge to the future defines the cumulative nature of science. Since accumulation means putting direction, developing and changing direction, science continues to accumulate for the future of humanity while putting it on previous knowledge. For example, the highly advanced telescopes used today are developed as a result of the optical studies of Ibn Heysem who lived in the 10th century.
6. Consistency: Consistency is the structure of logic. Consistency, a common principle of thoughts; they are connected to each other by correlation, order, concept or idea; It is the state of interconnection and harmony between the components and elements of a logical whole. Scientific knowledge must comply with the rules of logic both when producing and verifying. There is no place in science for misleading information. Attention is paid to ensure that the information that constitutes a system is consistent with each other and does not conflict.
7. Repeatability: Science treats the phenomena it examines with a determinist understanding, that is, the cause-effect relationship. This cause-effect relationship is revealed by experimental method. The results obtained in this respect can be reproduced by other scientists or in any natural state, either in laboratory conditions or in the natural environment. In other words, scientists can achieve the same results by creating the same research conditions. For example, the freezing temperature of water is normally minus four degrees. When we test this information under the same conditions, it is clear that we will reach the same conclusion.
8. Applicability: The results of science can be used to facilitate human life. In fact, the purpose of science is not to bring convenience to people in everyday life, but to know; but we do not neglect to benefit from the results of science. For example, the thermal expansion of objects is scientific knowledge. We can use this knowledge to produce tools and these tools can make our lives easier.
9. Criticism: The scientist should be critical. Because criticizing, that is, questioning, is a sine qua non condition. A scientific theory or proposition may be correct, as long as it is supported by and coincides with the facts. Here, the scientist is not supported by the facts, insists on the information that is wrong by the facts, can replace the wrong ones with the right, can criticize himself and the scientific do.
10. Systematic, Regularity: Scientific knowledge is obtained within a certain method. Reach the general laws about the facts based on the individual events. In other words, scientific knowledge is not created in a way that goes down the hill. For example, a certain method and route is followed for the studies to be carried out in the laboratory environment. This shows that science is systematic. An understanding of science that does not advance within a system will undoubtedly cause chaos.
Source: Atatürk University Department of Sociology 1st Grade “Introduction to Philosophy” and “Introduction to Sociology” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Other Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM)