Fresenius' Journal of Analytical Chemistry

, Volume 337, Issue 2, pp 150–154 | Cite as

The evolution of scientific methods

  • Erhard Oeser
Original Papers


Scientific knowledge may be regarded as a reversal of common sense knowledge, as it does not primarily serve the preservation of life, but the acquisition of “objective knowledge”. All the same, our innate cognition apparatus can be transcended only by aid of the apparatus itself, by a repetition of the original procedure. This means that a scientific method has the same quasicircular structure as the elementary mechanism of trial and error-elimination that is observable already by the lowest animals. A scientific method, however, is distinguished by being a consciously developed supraindividual mechanism for self-correction, that does not only eliminate incorrect information but also stores correct information. The reconstruction of the historical development of this supraindividual mechanism for self-correction depicts the evolution of the scientific method.


Physical Chemistry Analytical Chemistry Inorganic Chemistry Historical Development Scientific Knowledge 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erhard Oeser
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für WissenschaftstheorieUniversität WienWienAustria

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