Outline of scientific method

Outline of scientific method

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to scientific method:

Scientific method – body of techniques for investigating phenomena and acquiring new knowledge, as well as for correcting and integrating previous knowledge. It is based on observable, empirical, measurable evidence, and subject to laws of reasoning, both deductive and inductive.


Nature of scientific method

Scientific method
Three models of theory change.png
Platonic idealism
Logical argument
Bayesian inference
Scientific community
In the Middle Ages
In the Renaissance
Scientific Revolution
Natural sciences

Elements of scientific method



Use Occam's razor to prune the list of hypothetical explanations of the observation.


A prediction is a logical inference from the hypothesis—Bayesian inference is subjective use of statistical reasoning—Deductive reasoningRetrodiction


Feynman: "We can do anything we want (in theorizing). Then all we have to do is check with the experiment."


Test of the inference: prediction and experimentation to establish new facts. Critical examination of the hypothetical explanation:

History of scientific method

Main articles: History of scientific method, Timeline of the history of scientific method, and History of science


What made the scientific method succeed?

  • Political factors
  • Economic factors
  • Other factors

Why didn't the scientific method arise elsewhere?

Scientific method concepts

Empirical methods

Paradigm change

Problem of induction

The problem of induction questions the logical basis of scientific statements.

Scientific creativity

When method goes wrong

Critique of scientific method

Use of statistics

Relationship of scientific method to technology

Technology is subordinate to Science; Scientific discovery rests on technology.

Science and technology studies

Departures from method

Michael Polanyi elegant beautiful Occam's razor.

Geocentric model Nicolaus Copernicus Tycho Brahe Kepler Isaac Newton Galileo

Persons influential in the development of scientific method

See also


physical law -- Science policy -- Scientific Revolution -- Sociology of knowledge -- Science studies -- Conflicting theories

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