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The analytic-deductive approach

The analytic-deductive approach of Descartes and Leibniz views the world as a formula. It is based on the argument that there is an objective truth common to us all and therefore all truths can be deduced before hand. Thus, decisions are consistent with proven truths. Decision making usually begins with a mathematical expression of the preference function of the decision-maker.

Linstone and Mitroff (1995) state that “the inputs into an Analytic-Deductive IS are simple ideas or basic propositions that break a complex phenomenon (e. g., leadership) down into its basic components” The mechanism here is a mathematical model which takes numerical scores from each component, and derives one output, supposedly the best solution to the issue.

Very simply, logical consistency is critical for this IS. Any factor in the thinking process that does not have consistency in its logic has to be rejected, irrespective of its’ relevance. Both the Inductive-Consensual and Analytic-Deductive approach have proved to be relevant to the sciences, natural and physical. The widely accepted structuring of Euclidean Geometry and Newtonian Physics testifies to its acceptance amongst scientists.

Their success however does not carry to the realm of social sciences, psychology or analytical history. This is because “Even the most seemingly elementary acts of humans possess a “messiness” that renders them very different from the natural sciences”. (Mitroff & Linstone, 1995, p. 59) Very obviously, human beings do not react to every situation in terms of arithmetical or geometrical logic. Also problems in the human world have numerous cross linkages, which cannot be solved by constructing sectoral problems and their solutions.

Problems of this nature, dealing with irrational humanity, put both the Inductive-Consensual and Analytic-Deductive logic to the sword. They will of course remain relevant for constructing and deriving solutions for work in the area of natural and physical sciences. 1. 4 Multiple Realities Immanuel Kant’s ideas form the general basis for the Multiple Realities IS. The method tries to combine the data resources of the Inductive-Consensual approach with the mathematical modeling of Descartes’ theory to come to the knowledge conclusion of the problem at hand.

The inputs used by the Multiple Realities IS are far more complex than that used by the previous two modes. Input data here consists of two related components, “(1) a data set that is distinctively coupled to a particular image or model/theory of the problem, and (2) a range of different data-model/theory couplings that represent various views or representations of the problem. ” (Mitroff & Linstone, 1995, p. 62) For Alfred Schultz, “Multiple Realities were differentiated from each other by many things.

One of the most important of these was the different modes in which people interacted with these realities—do they act? Do they plan? Do they experience? What are the modalities of daydream, phantasm, sleep, and the scientific attitude—since the scientific attitude to life … a distinct modality of relating to the object domain which the wide-awake person in the natural attitude encountered. ” (Castranova, E, pg 1) Thus, the basic difference between Multiple Realities and the Inductive and Analytic modes is the assumption that there is more than one way to define a problem.

Multiple realities are also called interpretative systems, needing a human mind to interpret the various inputs and decide which are appropriate and will need to be synthesized to arrive at the final problem. The Inductive-Consensual and the Analytic-Deductive models are thus inappropriate when problems are ambiguous; ill structured and need many views. However, even the Multiple Realities method, though it uses many more inputs, reduce issues to numbers and produces an optimal solution. Issues of aesthetics or other intangible are thus rejected outright due to their inability to be converted into numbers.

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