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The Hypothetico-Deductive Method

TheHypothetico-Deductive Method

Philosophyof science describes acomplete field of serious academic research that deals particularlywith the genres of science. The study vividly tackles the definitionof what science is. The explanations of the operation of science arealso tackled within this field of study. It tries to answer most ofthe questions about science. The theories and methods used inphilosophy of science explain the things that happen, how they happenand why they happen. One of the most common answers includes what thescientists refer as stronginferencephilosophers call it the hypothetico-deductivemethod.(Barker&amp Philip, 54). Givena hypothesis, or a cluster of hypotheses, one can easily get manystatements about what would be defined in reality if the hypothesisor the cluster was true. The scientists take some of the statementswhich they call test implications, and carry out research to find outif they are true in the real world. When a number of the testedstatements turn out to be correct, the hypothesis is taken to be trueeven if the aggregate result does not prove it. Since thehypothetico-deductivemethod isbased on the results of some statements and not the aggregate result,it is not always correct sometimes the method can give wrongresults.

Insome cases, the inference is not deductive this is commonly calledthe deductive fallacy. Most of the people term it as cogentnondeductive inference. This means that, although it does notdetermine up to the required deductive validity, which states thatthere cannot be a situation where the premises are right and theconclusion wrong, this inference gives partial support to theconclusion. The study on several test implications can be said to beputting the hypothesis at risk it is exposed to a process where itsflaws may be easily seen. It is easy to know that the hypothesis hasjust survived. This makes ideas to remain vague even when they arenatural. There is no study which has been done to determine the testimplications which should confirm the hypothesis and how they shouldsum up to create strong evidence which can be accepted (Barker&amp Philip, 59).

Oneof the best examples where the hypothetico-deductivemethod hasbeen used for confirmation is in the Copernican Revolution. Thisshows how the method has been used to prove some of the hypothesesand also clearly shows the problems that come up due to use of thismethod. The Copernican Revolution story has been told very manytimes. However, in most cases, the scope and objective of the storyare not well covered. Although the name of the Revolution issingular, the activities are plural since they are several. Althoughit was a fundamental in transforming the mathematical astronomy, itinvolved other subjects such as physics, cosmology, religion andphilosophy. In this Revolution, different subjects have been broughttogether and used to come up with one thought which is taken to betrue.

Agood example from the Copernican Revolution which uses thehypothetico-deductivemethod isthe Ancient two-sphere universe. The revolution includes ideas whichchange people’s conception on the universe and how they relate toit. The stories about the revolution are seen as the turning point ofman’s thought about his development. The greatest irony is that theRevolution is based on the astronomical research which was veryobscure (Kuhn,2).

Inthe year 1543, Nicholas Copernicus came up with a proposal to betterthe simplicity and accuracy of the astronomical theory bytransferring majority of the earth’s astronomical functions to thesun. Previously, the earth had been seen as the center of astronomyand most of the astronomers used it to calculate the motion ofplanets and stars. The following century, the sun took all theastronomy which previously belonged to the earth the sun was nowused as the center for calculating the motion of planets and stars.This took away astronomical status which had been unique for theearth. Most of the modern principal achievements in astronomy rely onthis change. The changes in astronomy form the major concepts of theCopernican Revolution. Although the research is consideredinaccurate, the Revolution has been widely adopted. This is a veryclear indication that the hypothetico-deductivemethod canat times give incorrect conclusions (Kuhn,2).

Thereforms in astronomy is not the only meaning of the revolution thereare other changes in how man understands nature. However, all theseoccurred after the publication of the Copernicus Revolution. Most ofthe innovations took place in a period of one and half century duringthe Newtonian conception of the universe. These concepts resultedfrom unexpected products of the astronomical theory by Copernicus. Hehad stated that the motion of the earth was important in improvingthe methods used in determining the positions of the astrologicalbodies. In the other sciences, this revolution caused many problems.The concept was highly rejected by other scientists since theastronomy concept was incompatible with the universe. This is a clearindication of the incompetence of the the hypothetico-deductivemethod. Itwas only adopted because it was famous not because of any scientificproof (Kuhn,3).

Accordingtothe current studies done among the different characteristics ofphilosophy of science, Hypothetico-Deductiveisthe starting place for non-inductive examination of the judgment ofconfirmation. The study specifically expresses particular hypothesiswhich are confirmed by the true implications. Philosophers such asOften, Hempel’s associate this model with a case of Semmelweiss’inferential processes in discovering the origin of the childbedfever. For this case, the research presented itself as a majoraccount. Moreover, individuals learned that the H-D methodology as ahindrance for criticism for its confirmation.

Thedebate of inference on the proper explanation additionally factors inthe issue of entry onconfirmation. Studies to discover the best procedureof examining several hypotheses that can assist to answer theconcerns on the origin of childbed fever. Some hypotheses disagreedwith noticeable facts results and could be excluded as false with theimmediate effect. Other researches needed experimental testing bydeducing that observable activities could be conducted if the theorywere true. Later on, conducting a research and observing if the testinferences occurred (Kuhn,42).

Whenthe experiment resulted to negative test implication, the theorycould be rejected. However, when the experiment presented the testsuggestions to be positive, such results failed to demonstrate thehypothesis true. Though the confirmation of test implications do notconfirm a hypothesis, it offers some support and some validation forit. The degree of such support relies on the variety, quantity andprecision associated with the supporting evidence.

Fromthe Copernican Revolution, it is clear that the hypothetico-deductivemethodis based on opinions and not scientific prove. Although it is widelyused for confirmation, it cannot be highly relied on for confirmingfacts. The hypothesis is only confirmed by proving some statementsbut not all of them. When other methods are introduced, the flaws ofthis method can be easily seen. The method is highly used forconfirmation but it does not give 100% correct results.


Barker,Gillian, and Philip Kitcher. &quotPhilosophy of science: A newintroduction.&quot (2013).

Kuhn,Thomas S.&nbspTheCopernican revolution: Planetary astronomy in the development of Western thought.Vol. 16. Harvard University Press, 1957.