Methods of theoretical knowledge

Man learns the world in various forms - in the form ofeveryday knowledge, knowledge of religious, artistic, and also scientific. The first three forms are considered as extra-scientific, and although scientific knowledge has grown from everyday, everyday, it differs significantly from all non-scientific forms. Scientific knowledge has its own structure, in which two levels are distinguished: empirical and theoretical. During the XVII-XVIII centuries, science was mainly at the empirical stage, and only talked about the theoretical steel in the XIX century. The methods of theoretical cognition, by which the methods of a comprehensive study of reality in its essential laws and connections were understood, began to gradually be built on empirical ones. But even in spite of this, the empirical and theoretical studies were in close interaction, suggesting thereby an integral structure of scientific knowledge. In this connection, even general scientific methods of theoretical cognition appeared that were equally characteristic of the empirical method of cognition. At the same time, some methods of empirical cognition were also used by the theoretical stage.

The basic scientific methods of the theoretical level of cognition

Abstraction is a method that reduces todistraction from any properties of the object during the cognition with the purpose of more in-depth study of one of its sides. Abstraction in the final result must work out abstract concepts that characterize objects from different sides.

Analogy is a mental conclusion about the similarity of objects, which is expressed in a certain relation, based on their similarity in somewhat different ways.

Modeling is a method based onprinciple of similarity. Its essence lies in the fact that the research is not subjected to the object itself, but its analogue (substitute, model), after which the data are transferred according to certain rules to the object itself.

Idealization - mental design(construction) of theories about objects, concepts that do not really exist in reality and can not incarnate in it, but those for which in reality there is an analog or a close prototype.

Analysis is the method of dividing one whole into parts in order to know each part separately.

Synthesis is a procedure inverse to analysis, consisting in the combination of individual elements in one system for the purpose of further cognition.

Induction is a method in which the final conclusion is made from knowledge obtained to a lesser degree of generality. Simply put, induction is a movement from the particular to the general.

Deduction is the opposite method of induction, with a theoretical focus.

Formalization is a method of displaying meaningful knowledge in the form of signs and symbols. The formalization basis is the distinction between artificial and natural languages.

All these methods of theoretical cognition in that orother degree can be inherent in empirical knowledge. The historical and logical methods of theoretical cognition are also no exception. The historical method is the reproduction in detail of the history of the object. Especially it finds wide application in historical sciences, where the specificity of events is of great importance. The logical method also reproduces history, but only in the main, the main and essential, without paying attention to those events and facts that are caused by random circumstances.

This is by no means all methods of theoretical knowledge. Generally speaking, in scientific knowledge all methods can be manifested simultaneously, being in close interaction with each other. The specific use of individual methods is determined by the level of scientific knowledge, as well as the features of the object, the process.

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