The Methodology of Science As A Theoretical Discipline

Russian Studies in Philosophy 12 (4):38-51 (1974)
Abstract
By now many formulations have been proposed to provide a definition of the realm of research topics in the methodology of science, which is sometimes also called, in the tradition of Anglo-Saxon terminology, the philosophy of science. There are various situations in which fundamental discrepancies exist among some of these formulations. Without resorting in this article to citation and detailed analysis of such definitions, let us emphasize from the outset that one of the principal sources of significant differences among them lies in the following circumstance: the methodology of science may be treated either as a theoretical discipline or as a practical discipline . Inasmuch as closer examination of this question shows that practical interpretation of the methodology of science leads us to expect from it statements which — albeit in a different, nonindependent role — are also formulated in the framework of methodological investigations of a theoretical nature, to that degree, in this case one can speak of their being a single discipline, existing however, in two variants, the theoretical and the practical. Such a concept has the advantage that it creates the possibility of demonstrating the connections that exist within a very broad set of the most diverse intuitive versions of the tasks and character of methodological studies — versions that usually elevate to absolutes either the theoretical or the practical method whereby such researches are conducted
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