Unit 6: Scientific Reasoning
Unlike the syllogistic arguments you explored in the last unit, which are a form of deductive argument, scientific reasoning is empirical. This means that it depends on observation and evidence, not logical principles. Although some principles of deductive reasoning do apply in science, such as the principle of contradiction, scientific arguments are often inductive, and for this reason, science often deals in confirmation and disconfirmation.
Nonetheless, there are general guidelines about what constitutes good scientific reasoning, and scientists are trained to be critical of their own inferences as well as those of others in the scientific community. In this unit, you will investigate some standard methods of scientific reasoning, some principles of confirmation and disconfirmation, as well as some techniques for identifying and reasoning about causation.
Completing this unit should take you approximately 4 hours.
6.1: The Basic Principles of Scientific Reasoning
6.2: The Question of Causality
6.2.1: The Basics of Causality
6.2.2: Five Ways to Identify a Cause
6.2.3: Causality is More Than Just Cause and Effect
6.2.4: The Difference Between Causation and Correlation
6.2.5: Ways of Representing Cause and Effect
6.2.6: Fallacies About Causation