DOI link for Constructing science
Constructing science book
The whole of the scientiﬁc enterprise is suﬀused with reasoning and the related process of argumentation. From the initial choice of theoretical context and the researcher’s position within it, to the production of the consequent detailed hypothesis and the selection of variables in order to translate this into a testable form; from the choice of equipment and how it is to be used, to the interpretation of the outcome of the study and its relationship with the context in which the work was devised, working scientists have to continually justify their choices both to themselves and to the community of scientists to which they belong. In general, therefore, I want to argue that reasoning in context is central to both the belief processes of science and to its practices. Even open-ended pursuits such as blue-sky, exploratory, or curiosity-driven research still require the originator to persuade others (and themselves!) at some stage of the game of the meaning of the results that they believe they have found. This chapter is designed to introduce the reader to the range of modern approaches by certain social sciences, including psychology, to this central aspect of science.