What is Qualitative Science?

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

We live in a science-based culture dominated by measurements, graphs, statistics and calculations. The more we think in terms of quantity, however, the more we value the richness of qualitative experience which we seek for in nature, the arts, in religious experience and in human relationships as an inwardly fulfilling, yet elusive antidote to our obsession with numerical accuracy. In the end, most of us would choose quality over quantity. But qualitative experience seems at first to be the antithesis of scientific objectivity. Is there—can there even be—such a thing as qualitative science? 1. What are qualities? We generally distinguish between good quality and poor quality when we judge almost anything: shoes, tools, even education and human relationships; food, water, soil, etc. Man-made products are of good quality when they are well made, durable, and fulfill their intended … [Read more...]