Understanding Scientific Inquiry

Peter J. Veazie


Science is a process of inquiry: a process of asking and answering questions.  However, a good question is more than an interrogatory, and a good answer is more than information: there are logical constraints that dictate when a question is answerable and what qualifies as an answer.  This paper will provide an understanding of (1) when a question is answerable, (2) when a question is not ready to be asked, (3) when a question is trivial, (4) what is required for a response to be an answer, and (5) what sequence of inquiry is required to identify an answer.  Equipped with this understanding, a scientist can better determine an appropriate sequence of study for a research program as well as identify the necessary arguments to warrant claims of understanding, funding, and the publication of research findings.


Erotetics; research questions; research philosophy

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SCHA, R. J. H. 1983. Logical Foundations for Question Answering, Eindhoven, the Netherlands, Philips Research Laboratories.

WIŚNIEWSKI, A. 1995. The posing of questions : logical foundations of erotetic inferences, Dordrecht ; Boston, Kluwer Academic Publishers.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.23756/sp.v6i2.437


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Science & Philosophy - Journal of Epistemology, Science and Philosophy. ISSN 2282-7757; eISSN  2282-7765.