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Humanities LibreTexts

15: Scientific Reasoning

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    • Contributed by Bradley H. Dowden
    • Professor (Philosophy) at California State University Sacramento

    Because the contributions of modern science are our culture's best examples of advances in knowledge, it is important for everyone to have some appreciation of how scientists reason. Previous chapters in this book discussed three main aspects of scientific reasoning: justifying a scientific claim, explaining phenomena, and making new discoveries. This chapter more deeply examines the nature of scientific reasoning, showing how to assess the scientific claims we encounter in our daily lives, how to do good scientific reasoning, and how to distinguish science from mere pseudoscience. We begin with a description of science and a review of some of the method s of doing science that were introduced in previous chapters.

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