Phaneroscopy, Semeiotic, Logic
Ger. wisseschaftliche Methode; Fr. méthode scientifique. Ital. Metodo scientifico. The general method of successful scientific research. The following are some of the characteristics.
(1) The student’s first step is to form a perfectly definite and consistent idea of what the problem really is; then he ought to develop the mathematics of the subject in hand as fast as possible; and to establish a mathematical method appropriate to the particular problem, if it be one which allows exact treatment. As examples and models of what is meant, may be mentioned Maxwell’s researches on colour sensation in the Philos. Trans. for 1860, Flinders Petrie’s book Inductive Metrology, the last chapters of Pearson’s Grammar of Science. Of course, as the student’s understanding of the matter advance, he will return to this first task, and continually improve upon his first essays.
The second step will be to consider the logic and methodeutic of the research in hand, unless it is itself a question of pure mathematics, where the logic is inseparable from the mathematics. He will do well to study the manner in which questions somewhat analogous to his own have been successfully resolved in widely different fields; for the greatest advantage has accrued from the extension of methods from one subject to a widely different one, especially from simple to intricate matters.
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