Scientific Reasoning

The other important point to note, is the tendency to be prescriptive about what constitutes scientific reasoning, which pervades studies relating to domain-general issues that we described earlier. As we have already mentioned, Koslowski points out that these studies are dominated by the empiricist view of science which ignores the role of theory or mechanism. There seems to be a normative undertone in most research in this tradition with regard to what scientific reasoning is. However, both in developmental psychology research and in philosophy of science, there has been as yet no clear consensus as to what marks scientific reasoning. Let us take for instance, the debate on the pupil as scientist metaphor. The line of argument that individual scientists may also be inconsistent, and context bound like children and laymen, or that children also construct theories that are coherent within their framework, and so on, does not seem to clarify however, as to what it is that is `scientific' in any particular instance of reasoning. It seems that domain general studies of scientific reasoning or thinking which rely on philosophy of science only seem to provide a mapping of students' ideas against a background of philosophical perspectives, but are yet to provide any leads for the communication of science.