Scientific Method - A Triad

by Murray I. Mantell,

Serial Information: Journal of the Professional Activities, 1969, Vol. 95, Issue 1, Pg. 47-54

Document Type: Journal Paper


Many writers on the philosophy of science, when describing the scientific method, include engineers in the category of scientists. There are three distinct patterns of problem solving (a triad) which fall into the broad sequence of the scientific method. These three patterns of problem solving, namely: (1) Basic Research (2) Applied Research (3) Systems Approach, are charted and described. One of the most significant differences between the work of the basic scientists and the engineer is in the types of assumptions used, where the successful engineering practitioner uses assumptions (standards) involving a complex system of prior social agreements. Conversely, the apparent general lack of success in solving social and political problems may largely be attributed to the lack of prior social agreements on the basic assumptions involved therein.

Subject Headings: Social factors | Agreements and treaties | Systems engineering | Political factors

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