path to knowledge
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Method is a process by which a task is completed; a way of doing something.
- Imposing an alleged uniform general method upon everybody breeds mediocrity in all but the very exceptional. And measuring originality by deviation from the mass breeds eccentricity in them.
- The confidence in the unlimited power of science is only too often based on a false belief that the scientific method consists in the application of a ready-made technique, or in imitating the form rather than the substance of scientific procedure, as if one needed only to follow some cooking recipes to solve all social problems. It sometimes almost seems as if the techniques of science were more easily learnt than the thinking that shows us what the problems are and how to approach them.
- Friedrich Hayek, The Pretence of Knowledge, Nobel Prize lecture (11 December 1974).
- The method of scientific investigation is nothing but the expression of the necessary mode of working of the human mind.
- Thomas Henry Huxley, "Our Knowledge of the Causes of the Phenomena of Organic Nature" (1863).
- Traditional scientific method has always been at the very best 20-20 hindsight. It's good for seeing where you've been. It's good for testing the truth of what you think you know, but it can't tell you where you ought to go.
- If every college teacher taught his courses in the manner we have suggested, there would be no needs for a methods course. Every course would be a course in methods of learning and, therefore, in methods of teaching. For example, a "literature" course would be a course in the process of learning how to read. A history course would be a course in the process of learning how to do history. And so on. But this is the most farfetched possibility of all since college teachers, generally speaking, are more fixated on the Trivia game, than any group of teachers in the educational hierarchy. Thus we are left with the hope that, if methods courses could be redesigned to be model learning environments, the educational revolution might begin.
- Neil Postman, Teaching as a Subversive Activity (1969).
- The quality of striving after the ideal, that is, the quality which makes men reformers, and the quality of so striving through practical methods—[is] the quality which makes men efficient. Both qualities are absolutely essential. The absence of either makes the presence of the other worthless or worse.
- Theodore Roosevelt, Latitude and Longitude among Reformers, published in the "Century" (June, 1900).