By Peter C. M. Molenaar PhD, Richard M. Lerner PhD, Karl M. Newell Phd
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Extra resources for Handbook of Developmental Systems Theory and Methodology
That some people are smart and that some are smarter than others is common sense. 1. Levels of discourse in a scientific research program. 22 RELAT IONAL DEVELOPMENTAL S Y S TEMS T H EORY perceiving, thinking, feeling, relating, remembering, valuing, intending, playing, creating, languaging, comparing, reasoning, wishing, willing, judging, and so on. Although the observational, commonsense, or folk level of discourse has a sense of immediacy and concreteness, science—often defined as the reflective criticism of common sense (Wartofsky, 1968)—requires movement to a level of critical reflection on this commonsense understanding.
Theories and methods refer directly to the empirical world, whereas metatheories– methodologies refer to the theories and methods themselves. The most concrete and circumscribed level of scientific discourse is the observational level. This level is one’s current commonsense means of conceptualizing the nature of objects and events in the world. There is uniform agreement across a wide spectrum of philosophical systems that commonsense observations constitute the base of the structure of scientific discourse (Nagel, 1967, 1979; Pepper, 1942; Wartofsky, 1968).
239) Cartesian methodology can most clearly be viewed through the lens of Newton’s mechanical explanation. There are three steps in this process. The first is considered descriptive, and the second and third are considered explanatory. Step 1: Reduction–Description The first step of mechanical explanation entails addressing the commonsense object of inquiry and reducing it to the absolute material, objective, fixed, unchanging, foundational elements or atoms. As stated earlier, terms such as reductionism, atomism, elementarism, and analytic attitude all identify this step.