What is it about theories in human sciences - Sample Essay
Natural science’s collectively study of the physical world and their characteristics, form and function with a strong support of logical reasoning whereas Human sciences deal with social aspects of human settlement, human behavior and various variables that govern and effect the functioning of society and social factors with the strong support of empirical experiences. Natural and the human sciences consists of many theories but not all of them are true but with the advancement in science mostly all these theories are being replaced by the science community with the new ones as they are more detailed and precise than the previous one.
For instance, how the Newton’s laws are being taken over by Einstein’s and there are some theories that are built on previous theories thus there is already a gamut of empirical evidence. How far are the theories that govern human sciences and natural sciences objective and self supportive? Theories are generally a collection of ideas which are systematically put together in order to explain a fact or phenomena I strongly believe that while taking into consideration the theories of sciences-human and natural-the first and the foremost factor to be concerned is relevance with respect to time and place.
But here the question is what makes these theory convincing. The fact that our attitude/perspective to take and accept any theory without analyzing or questioning is what makes it more appealing. Knowledge is favorably dispersed among certain classes. The upper middle class and the elite are the bastions of knowledge, art, culture and expert knowledge. The class that exists at the extreme end and is the receiving class is the lower, working class. So, knowledge distinction between the known group of scientist and unknown group of common layman is vast.
–The creating end is taken for granted and the receiving end just grasps anything that is given to us because our stereotypical mind which believes that anyone who speaks professionally know what they are doing and have a better idea or knowledge about their proposed theory and are probably correct . Since my childhood no one has ever thought me to reason out the scientific theories or question it all. All I was told that this theory is right and you would have to learn it whether you like it or not because it is proven by a scientist with higher education qualifications and of experience.
Our mind is convinced that the theory proposed is correct. But all this changed when I joined the IB where I was encouraged to ask question. Like for instance a child always relies on teachings that are thought by the teacher without testing the hypothesis of the problem and hence blindly believing in what is taught to him unless he can test the liability and validity of the theory. Teachers, institution of education, parents and institution of family replicate this autonomy over knowledge . Thus if a teachers teaches 1+1=11 and not 2 the child will consider it as a fact then apply it similarly elsewhere without any understanding.
Thus because of this our mind will use simple logic and believe that all these theories have been repeatedly and thoroughly verified and that the scientist consider all the possibilities thus we can rely on the them and because of this belief we are more inclined to believe that these theories of natural science and human science are true. Some theories are made believe for example Charles Darwin’s renowned ‘theory of evolution’ which states that the human species has evolved over time from apes.
But if we go through the theory we will find many loop holes in them. For example the theory states that evolution from a common ancestor but half a billion years ago where did they come from remarkably but equally there is believed to be a creator who has devised all these primitive species and created the amazing diversity of life. Moreover the only possible way of evolution could be mutation and it is known that mutation is limited in scope and is always random because during the process of mutation the genetic code is either rewritten or destroyed.
Thereafter there will only be a new genetic code available and it is impossible to be mutated unless there is living organisms available. Even after all these uncertainties the theory is still being taught in schools and educational establishments. Thus for these children it is more or less a fact and they are convinced that we evolved from apes. Another example of this is the Ptolemaic astronomy theory as it a genuine example of natural science which has now been disapproved even though people believed in it and found it convincing for a long time.
Though there were many mathematical calculations behind this phenomenon which is an achievement in itself and were also backed by many visual evidences and was also put out well together for the ordinary people. If a person would stand and observe the sky constantly for days he would realize that all the visible heavenly bodies like the sun, moon and the stars will move across the sky through which anybody would be convinced that the earth is stationary (the observational accuracy was limited in the 17th century) and all the other bodies are revolving around it. Thus making it more Convincing because of observation and lived experience.
Hence the natural science depend on the parameter of observation to a large extent is a kind of sense perception analysis with a great degree of reasoning out and application which make it rigid and self explanatory. Along the same lines R . H. Thouless states that: “If statements are made again and again in a confident manner, then their hearers will tend to believe them quite independently of their soundness and of the presence or absence of evidence for their truth”. This proves that anyone who speaks professionally and are blessed with the skill of good oratory can influence people with or without any evidence.
But at times even emotion can affect our sense of perception about the truth. As we may not believe some information for the first time but if it’s repeated from many sources we eventually begin to accept it. Moreover it is found that in a test conducted by Hovland and Weiss in 1951 it was found that people believe statement or thoughts of higher reputation or authority. For example if I tell my friend an uncertain statement and then he states the same thing to another one of his friends, who tells it to his other friends.
So at one point of time the statement will be known by everyone because and would be considered a fact by everyone. Like the same way we play the game Chinese whisper in which a single statement is repeated to one another by whispering it into the other person’s ear. But this can lead to a problem, as a statement which is completely baseless can be accepted by the masses to be truth. Similarly Nietzsche quotes that truth is a metaphor fixed by repetitive usage. According to Nietzsche, truth comes from repetition”. But at times even emotion can affect our sense of perception about the truth.
As we may not believe some information for the first time but if it’s repeated from many sources we eventually begin to accept it. Moreover it is found that in a test conducted by Hovland and Weiss in 1951 it was found that people believe statement or thoughts of higher reputation or authority. In Straight and Crooked Thinking, R. H. Thouless 1974, p. 111 in Nietzsche’s On Truth and Falsity in an Extramoral Sense Reason- absence of this way of knowing, applying this way of knowing and are assuming the rationale/reason behind theories. Advent of media and technology-
Knowledge more fluidly available to one and all. More so in the public domain. IB students- inquirers. Sense Perception- observation and lived experience. Experiences are subjective, they vary and differ and sometimes, may not be convincing to those who have not had the same gamut of experience.