Scientific Theoretical Inquiry

25 – 31 August 2018

As we have said before, scientific inquiry has two components, the observational and the theoretical. LTs 2 and 3 looked in some detail at observational inquiry. In LT4, we looked at classification in scientific and mathematical inquiries. LTs 5 and 6 were concerned with mathematical inquiry, with focus on theory construction in mathematics, and the tools of defining and reasoning. LT 7 explores theoretical inquiry in science. The readings in this LT are concerned with constructing, justifying, and evaluating scientific theories that explain our observational generalizations.

Part 1 [on LT7-Reading A]

The LT 7 - Reading A: “Explaining” is Chapter 7 of the book Introduction to Rational Inquiry.

Read the chapter. Reflect on what it says about explanations in scientific inquiry. In engaging with the reading, keep in mind the following questions:

  • How do all the tools of inquiry we have seen so far come together to contribute to ‘explanations’ in scientific inquiry?
  • Are there parts that you think we need to clarify further?

Make a note of your thoughts and questions.

Part II [LT7-Readings B1 and B2]

Instead of a video to watch, LT7 comes with two Readings under Part II.

Read LT7-Reading B1: “Exploring the Earth and the Sky", and

LT7-Reading B2: “ Scientific Thinking in Everyday Life: Banana Chips: A Dining Table Conversation”

Reflect on the following question, and discuss your thoughts with others:

How are Readings B1 and B2 related to Reading A, and to theory construction in Mathematics that we have seen in LTs 5 and 6?


At the end of the week, on September 1, you will receive Quiz 7.

The Quiz is to be completed online by September 3.

Further details for submission will be given as part of the Quiz.