The Supremacy of Method in Problem Solving
Without method, we are left with chance. Chance is the opposite of method,
and we would have a disorganized, chaotic world without methods and techniques.
But what is “method”? Unfortunately, method is an ambiguous
word. It has been widely misused and misinterpreted in the fields of science
and knowledge, resulting in the biggest educational and intellectual blunder
in history (see my book End the Biggest Educational and Intellectual Blunder
To understand problem solving and method, it is important to keep this
in your memory:
Method as used in the scientific method refers to a guide to the mental
activity stages by which we originate, refine, extend, and apply knowledge.
It is also the guide to problem origination, prevention, solution, and
challenge of solution. Since it is just a guide, it is subject neutral
and will not solve any problems by itself.
Method as used in problem-solving methods and scientific methods are
really the techniques or the creative, non-logical, logical, and technical
methods or techniques actually applied at the various stages of the scientific
method to try to accomplish results. There are many standard ones often
used and millions of miscellaneous ones. Thus, one is a guide, the other
is an action method directly applied.
Philosophers Karl Popper (1902-1994) and Paul Feyerabend (1924-1994)
have stated that there is no scientific method. It is true that what are
often called scientific methods are really technical methods or techniques.
However, it is not true that there is no guide to the mental activity
stages of the scientific method. This guide or method has been proven
to be the best of all guides or methods ever found for obtaining reliable
knowledge and solving problems.