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saving the phenomena

Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


A ncient G reek philosophy, philosophical method, metaphysics A type of empirical methodology initiated by Aristotle . It requires that a scientific discipline should start from phenomena and then develop hypotheses to explain the ground of the phenomena, rather than being satisfied solely with discovering the nature of things. The term “phenomena” should be understood to include both observed facts and common and learned assumptions about a certain subject matter. The methodology may apply to both natural and social sciences. In Greek philosophy, the term also concerns the ground of the world of appearance in discussion developing from Parmenides' metaphysical claim that only the One is real being and that there is no real motion . “Originally in Aristotle and his immediate successors the task is to give an account of phenomena in terms of basic physics which in turn must be constructed in such a way that the phenomena can be accounted for. Later on basic physics istaken for granted and phenomena must be explained in its terms. This is how the idea of saving the phenomena (rather than giving an account of them) arises.” Feyerabend, Problems of Empiricism ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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