What science is not?
Science is not an art. Science calls for thought, though we can do much thinking that is not scientific thinking. The purpose of science is to produce knowledge -not to produce wisdom. It is important to know that knowledge and ideas are not the same, for not all ideas are knowledge. An idea may prove and become knowledge. It may be disproved. Science cannot control all ideas.
Science differs from ethics, though the knowledge that comes from science should be helpful to us in our conduct. Different value systems and ethics are of course, factors which, together with our knowledge, influence our conduct.
Research seeks answer to certain questions which have not been answered so far and which depend upon human efforts.
The credit for raising sociology to the level of a scientific study belongs to social research. The history of social research is much more ancient than the discipline called sociology. This is so because the social research has a very wide use and application and is used in many social sciences other than sociology.
I would like to quote ‘ Francis Bacon’ research is a power of suspending judgment with patience, of meditating with pleasures ,of asserting with caution ,of correcting with readiness and arranging thought with scrupulous plan.
Fact, value and objectivity –
Mostly, a fact is taken as something definite or something which happens or which is correct. According to one view, fact is an observation which is based upon experience. In other words, fact is a correct observation. According to the ‘concise ‘ oxford dictionary’, a fact is happening of an incident ,a correct statement ,a matter of experience , the reality of situation ,the conclusion of some observation or actually present phenomenon . Thus, facts are true and they are the real elements of incidents. According to Durkheim, social facts are actually existent; religion, mores, and beliefs.
A study in which the subject matter is centre of attention and prejudice are given no place, is known as objective study. In an objective study, the subject matter is observed and described as it is, with out exaggeration or diminution. Reasoning and intellect are more important than belief and faith in an objective study.
The term ‘Value’ in sociology does not have an economic connotation. Value is an abstract generalized principle of behavior expressed in concrete form in social norms to which the members of a group feel a strong commitment.
Science refers to disinterestedness; scientific inquiry /investigation presents facts as they are; while a scientist has a moral responsibility of giving findings without any biases and prejudices. The basic thing is that science, specifically sociology, has to be value free and research has to be objective and unbiased.
Give your answer about 200 words.
Q.1) Discuss the problems of social investigation.
Q.2) Define Objectivity.
Q.3) “Observation is the most suitable method in social research”. Examine.
Q.4) Explain characteristics of a good Researcher.
Dr. Chaya M.A. Ph.D is available for consultation through the Institute