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What is it about theories in human sciences and natural sciences that make them convincing?

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When looking at the human sciences and natural sciences, one may question the validity of a claim or choose to support it without any evidentiary support. For many years, science has been accepted by many as the dominant cognitive paradigm, or model of knowledge. In fact, there are also people who believe that science is the only pathway for gaining knowledge, and if something isn’t provable through science, then it should not be accepted. A person might ask, what is it about the human sciences and natural sciences that makes them convincing? How do people assume something to be true although they have not seen, measured, or tested the very idea themselves? How do the sciences use theories in order to convince populations everywhere?
In order to begin, I will discuss key words featured in the title. The word ‘theory’ is especially important since it can denote different meanings in the natural sciences and the human sciences, while encompassing other areas of knowledge as well. Some well- known theories may be the Pythagorean Theorem and the Big Bang Theory. These two are in the areas of Mathematics and Science, respectively, and are great examples that show the complexity of the word ‘theory.’ The Pythagorean Theorem discusses a method for finding an unknown length of a side in right-triangles, where as the Big Bang Theory describes the concept of evolution: how the world may have begun. The breadth of ‘theory’ is vast, ranging in meaning throughout the many different areas of knowledge. However, in the most basic of sciences, a theory can be described as one’s idea or prediction that can explain or describe a certain phenomenon, usually through observation. A theory in science can be tested through one’s hypothesis about thi...


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...wledge about a certain subject, one may be convinced through its consistency and ability to be repeated in order to come to the same conclusion every time. The scientific method, for example, is a theory constantly used in the sciences to reach a conclusion about a hypothesis. It has been seen as reputable based on the strengthening of evidence after every trial. However, for the human sciences, the same methods can not be used, but a person may rely on their intuitions and emotions in order to believe something to be true, relying instead on educated authority figures.


Works Cited

San Filippo, David. What is Human Science?. LMHC, 2 February 1991. Web. 25 October 2011.


van de Lagemaat, Richard. Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. 220-280. Print.


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