Outline of a scientific method for investigating the future

By Michael Lee

 “Observation informs us about the past and the present; reason foretells the future.”
Hans Riechenbach, The Rise of Scientific Philosophy (1951)

Nothing epistemologically exotic needs to be conjured up in order to develop a scientific method for studying the future. Futurology would simply hold itself accountable to customary disciplines of scientific thought.

The great scientific philosopher René Descartes stated: “A method is required in order to search for the truth about things.” The core word is method, based on the Greek methodos meaning pursuit of knowledge with hodos signifying “way”.   For our purposes, method means a systematic procedure for developing new knowledge.

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