Complementary Frameworks of Scientific Inquiry: Hypothetico-Deductive, Hypothetico-Inductive, and Observational-Inductive
The 20th century philosophy of science began on a positivistic note. Its focal point was scientific explanation and the hypothetico-deductive (HD) framework of explanation was proposed as the standard of what is meant by “science.” HD framework, its inductive and statistical variants, and other logic-based approaches to modeling scientific explanation were developed long before the dawn of the information age. Since that time, the volume of observational data and power of high performance computing have increased by several orders of magnitude and reshaped the practice and concept of science, and indeed, the philosophy of science. A new observational-inductive (OI) framework for scientific research is emerging due to recent developments in sensors, data systems, computers, and knowledge discovery techniques. We examine the nature of these changes and their impact on the question of what is meant by “science” after discussing five examples of the OI framework, and conclude that the HD and OI frameworks are...