The scientist constantly depends upon relevant concepts for moving gradually from concrete sense data to the higher levels of abstraction. Verifiability presupposes that the phenomena must be capable of being observed and measured. Scientific method presupposes that knowledge in order to be valid should consist of propositions amenable to empiricism. All evidence must be based on observation. Science, being empirical, claims that knowledge must be referred to concrete human experiences so as to make verification possible.
By objectivity it is meant that the scientific investigation must not be influenced by the subjective biases of the investigator. Rather the phenomenon is observed in its true form. The man of science is committed to the belief that to go nearer to the goal of truth, he must above all things, believe that the phenomenon world is a reality, independent of beliefs, hopes or fear or fears of any individual, all of which we find out not by intuition and speculation but by actual observation.
The main criterion of objectivity is that the conclusion should not vary from person to person; all people should reach the same conclusion. The scientific man must above all things, have a detached view as the phenomena in which he himself is involved as on observer. In the opinion of J. On the other hand the test of inter-subjectivity presupposes that repeated observation of a constant phenomenon by different observers will always provide them with constant data.
As the very purpose of science is to find out the naked truth, objectivity is fundamental to all sciences and essential for verification. This facilitates the verification of observation by many observers. Personal views, concepts and beliefs of the investigator do influence his study.
Scientific method demands that the investigator maintains an ethically neutral attitude in his pursuit of knowledge. Science never passes normal judgment on facts by designating them as good and bad.
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In his professional capacity, the man of science is not supposed to take sides on issues of moral or ethical nature. Scientific method reserves science on normative questions. Science aims at nothing but making true and adequate statements about its objects. Principles evolved through scientific method are universal. The conclusions drawn through scientific investigation apply to all cases and all circumstances.
The conclusions are not affected by the factors of time and space. To this end, science seeks to ascertain the common characteristics of types of objects and general laws or condition of events.
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Scientific principles hold true irrespective of the temporal and spatial order. The degree of maturity of science is directly proportional to its generalizing potential.
Science can make prediction by its logical reasoning and inferences establishing the cause and effect relationship among different phenomena. The foundation of science is based upon a faith in causality that the past and future belong to the same continuum.
It also believes that probably the same trend would manifest itself in some concrete effects. Predictability depends upon two essential conditions, such as the fixity of cause and effect relationship and the stability of causative factors. Prediction in the domain of science is grounded in the established knowledge concerning order among facts. However, the scientific expectation may not always be accurate.
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Science can only make prediction about the state of things on the basis of the law of causation and law of uniformity of nature with certain degree of accuracy. Relativism implies that the results obtained through scientific method are never considered as absolute truths. Propositions found valid in the light of scientific method under certain circumstances may be questioned on the face of new evidence.
Results of scientific investigation are only tentative and never considered as permanent. They have got relative credibility as a proposition is considered valid so long as it is not refuted in the future.
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Relativism as a principle of scientific method further holds that no notions are sacred to the scientist, no propositions are privileged to the researcher or no truths are absolute to an investigator. Skepticism is that principle of science which holds that the scientist must possess the capacity to view skeptically the validity of prevailing social theories. Realistic opportunities should be provided for them to express their interests and to participate in the research. Research results should be presented to local communities in non-technical terms and where possible translated into local languages.
Copies of research reports and other relevant materials should be made available to local communities. Subject to the requirements for anonymity, publications should always refer to the informed consent of participants and give credit to those contributing to the research project. The researcher must respect local cultural traditions, languages, and values.
Efforts should be made to incorporate local and traditional knowledge and experience and to acknowledge the principle of cultural property. Efforts should be made to provide meaningful experience, training and economic opportunities for local people.
In cases where individuals or groups provide information of a confidential nature, their anonymity must be guaranteed in both the original use of data and in its deposition for future use. Research on humans should only be undertaken in a manner that respects their privacy and dignity. Subjects must remain anonymous unless they have agreed to be identified.
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If anonymity cannot be guaranteed, the subjects must be informed of the possible consequences of becoming involved in the research. All research involving children must be fully justified and never undertaken without the consent of the children and their parents or legal guardians. Sacred sites, cultural materials and human remains cannot be disturbed or removed without appropriate local consent and in accordance with international, national and local laws and regulations.
Indigenous Knowledge provides a foundation for individual and collective well-being of past, present, and future generations of Arctic Indigenous Peoples. This knowledge system holds inherent value and methodologies, functions and validation processes. Indigenous Knowledge empowers communities throughout the circumpolar north to significantly advance our understanding, intellectual performance and management of the Arctic.
Principles of Sociological Inquiry: Qualitative and Quantitative Methods
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