The Rationality of Scientific Discovery: The Aspect of the Theory of Creation
ABSTRACT: In order to understand the rationality of scientific creation, we must first clarify the following: (1) the historical structure of scientific creation from starting point to breakthrough, and then to establishment; (2) the process from the primary through the productive aspects of the scientific problem, the idea of creation, the primary conjecture, the scientific hypothesis, and finally the emergence of the genetic structure establishing the theory; and (3) the problem threshold of rationality in scientific creation. Given that the theory of scientific creation adopts the descriptive viewpoint of rationality, it therefore establishes rational principles such as the following: (1) a superlogical mode of thinking; (2) an analysable genetic structure which consists of the primary and productive aspects (including experiential facts, background theory, operational means, higher irrational factors, etc.); (3) a means of recourse to the effect of incubation of a higher idea; (4) a movement in thinking from generality to particularity; and (5) the replacement of irrational by rational factors.
1.The Logic Theory of Scientific Discovery and the Irrational Theory of Scientific Discovery
The modern forms of the logic theory of scientific discovery have abandoned the discovery model of pure logic, and search after the discovery logic in a broad sense. Both the retrospective inference which Hanson initiated and the inductive which Maclauin elucidated deserve serious attention among them . Their common charateristics are to resort to the irrational factors, at the same time, they are unable to expound the process of emergence of the new ideas. In addition, the rationality of discovery is summed up into "the algorithm" or "the patterns of discovery" is still put forward, and it holds that it is according to the overeconomical principle that the discovery of the scientific laws discovers "the patterns" in experience and data . They are both the different expression of discovery logic, the former is a kind of logic of problem solving, the latter is actually an inductive inference. Their common shortcomings are the simplification and to be unable to reveal how the new ideas occur in the process of scientific creation.
The irrational theory of discovery advocates "the method of bisection" of discovery and verification and holds that the scientific discovery is "the intuitional result like poetry" (Popper), and doesn't thoroughly have the possibility of epistemological research (L. Laudan) . The problems of scientific discovery should be studies by psychology and sociology.
The logical theory of discovery and the irrational theory of discovery are two extremely opposite points of view, but each side is being weakened after debate: the irrational factors are brought into the logic in a broad sense (Hanson & Maclaurin), and the rational interpretation is drawn into the irrational theory (Kuhn). And so the problem seems to have improved, but with the decline of the craze for scientific discovery, this important comprehensive research isn't paid attention to.
2. The Prerequisites for Researching the Rational Problems of Scientific Creation
2.1 The Historical Structure of Scientific Discovery
Kuhn indicates: "the scientific discovery is possessed of its own history, the history before discovery and that after discovery"  G.Holton puts forward a developmental model of knowledge to elaborate the stages which scientists obtain the important new ideas. He thinks the subject from which the new ideas emerge is knowable, for the so-called results are relevant to their processes, without sudden appearance of the results .
That the scientific discovery is developed into a process, is of great advantage to analyse all kinds of relevant factors involved in the scientific knowledge. That the new ideas come into being...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document