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:: Tuesday, August 22, 2006 ::
A Workable Definition of Hypothesis:
:: Monday, August 21, 2006 ::
As I have used this term in the past and will likely do so even more in the future, it seems appropriate to give the term a working definition, which is what I will now do. Essentially, in the sequence of events, any potential explanation of reality or potential guideline for success of action starts in the realm of the speculative. Such a speculation is based or built on principles or propositions of an abstract nature which serve to embolden and strengthen said hypothesis. Such abstract ideas or principles are properly referred to as theses. As a hypothesis is worked through, a key point is to look for any contradictions in the process for (if there are any), then whatever is proposed cannot be properly seen as viable since the foundational tenets of logic and reason would thereby be violated.
When the point is reached where after subjecting what has been outlined to proper scrutiny, there is no formal contradiction in the theses presented within the trajectory of the explanation given, then said hypothesis can be said to have moved into the realm of theory. Having explained the process of reason and logic thusly, I propose the following definition for a hypothesis as I have long utilized it either explicitly or implicitly:
Hypothesis: An explanation of a subject, circumstance, or event which is advanced on tentative grounds by a proposed thesis or series of theses and is open to further examination or being potentially disproved before it reaches the stature of a viable theory.
Hopefully, this will help in providing greater precision to the readers in seeking to utilize the tools of logic and reason to come to grips with what they see around them and better enable them to analyze the facts of reality objectively. (With a mind towards providing useful solutions rather than the kind of illogical emotionalist drivel that too often is unfortunately prevalent.)
:: Shawn 1:53 PM [+] ::
Defining the Terms "Normative" and "Non-Normative":
I have in the past year explicitly used these terms to explain key differences in how one perceives issues that confront them on a daily basis. It seems appropriate in light of such frequent reference to these concepts to provide a more delineated explanation of the distinction than the one I have customarily linked to from time to time in my postings to Rerum Novarum for the past year. With that in mind, here is the distinction in a nutshell for your consideration:
Normative: Deals with what is "better" or "worse" and therefore involves a value judgment which is properly viewed as subjective in nature.
Non-Normative: Deals with what is verifiable by the examination of facts which are capable of resolving the issue and therefore is properly viewed as objective in nature.
A lot of what passes for "logical discourse" today is anything but logical. Instead, it is often an individual placing their own value judgment on an issue, circumstance, or event, etc., and therefore it is subjective or open to various interpretations. The distinction between what is normative and what is non-normative is an important tool for the person looking to utilize the tools of logic and reason and navigate the many minefields of proposed "truth" out there with the goal of separating the wheat of truth from the chaff of falsehood.
:: Shawn 6:19 PM [+] ::