The Method of Scientific Investigation by TH. Huxley

Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895) was the grandfather of the famous English writer Aldous Huxley.



 He was an eminent zoologist of the nineteenth century. He was born in Ealing, Middlesex and joined the Royal Navy 38 a surgeon, His research on various. sea animals earned him a good repute. He wrote several papers'on scientific and philosophical topics. He was a staunch supporter of Danlvin‘s theory of evolution. His logical and clear style soon made this theory popular in England. The present essay clearly shows how simply he advances from argument to argument. This technique lends force to his expression.
The wirter has pointed out that an ordinary man also uses the chain of reasoning in his everyday affairs. He draws inferences by using the inductive method as well as the deductive method. He constitutes his judgment by using syllogism and experimental verification. His method of reasoning is very much like the one used by a scientist while conducting some scientific research. The only difference is between the degree of the refinement of these processes. The scientist is conscious that he is exploring some aspect of natural sciences. Therefore, he is exact and calculated. A common man. on the other hand is unaware that he is conducting some sort of research. Therefore he is not exact and calculated.
Deduction:
Deduction is the chain of reasoning when we move lrom general facts to a particular one. We apply a known principle to a particular case to get some results. This method is called deductive reasoning or deduction For example, we know that all hard and green apples are sour in taste This is known to everybody through his own experience in life We apply this known fact to a particular apple that is hard and green Without tasting it, we can come to the conclusion that it will be sour We have actually moved from the known facts to s particular case. We have applied deduction‘ in this case.
Induction:
in case of induction. we move from a particular case and reach a generalization. Scientific research is mainly based on this mode of reasoning. Certain tests are made on a few particular cases. If the result is the same every time, a general conclusion is drawn
For example. a person takes a hard and green apple. On testing it be finds that its taste is sour. He takes another apple that is also green and hard. Its gate is also sour. Soon he will draw a general conclusion that all hard and green apples are sour. This mode of reasoning is called induction.
Syllogism:
Syllogism is a complete set of logical argument. Already known facts are applied on certain cases and new conclusions are drawn. It has three parts: i) Major Premise. ii) Minor Premise, iii) Conclusion.
Let us take an example. We know that all heavier-theme“ objects fall down to the earth because of its gravitational pull. in the chain of logical reasoning, this knowledge will serve as a Major Premise. We throw a ball upward. It will go up to a certain extent because the force applied on it takes it up against the gravitational pull of the earth. When this force becomes zero. the ball will stalt falling down. it will happen so because the ball is also a heavier-than-alr object. This statement will be called Minor Premise. if we put both these premises together. we will reach the conclusion. like this:
Me or Premise:
All heavier-than-air objects come down on earth because of the gravitational pull of the earth.
Minor Premise:
A ball thrown upward is also a heavier-thamair object.
Conclusion:
It will also come down on the earth because of the gravitational pull ol the earth.

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