Nature of Rural Sociology is concerned with the scientific status of the discipline. In other words, we have to discuss whether Rural Sociology is a science or not. This sort of inquiry of truth is based on certain fundamental assumptions which are often called as essential elements of science. These are as follows:-
Anybody of knowledge, to be regarded as science must have objectivity. When any particular investigation is carried out without being influenced by the researcher’s personal feelings, bias or attitude, that investigation becomes objective. This objectivity helps different researchers to reach at the same conclusion. So the primary duty of a researcher to reach at the same conclusion.
So the primary duty of a researcher is to strive at self eliminatory in his judgments and provide an argument which is true for each individual mind as his own. This is attended under two conditions. The repeated investigation of one phenomenon by the same observer yield constant data; And the repeated observation of constant phenomena by different observers yield constant data.
The scientific theories or laws always try to discover under the surface level of diversity the thread of uniformity. Science is not interested in individual objects or individual groups of objects as such. Its primary aim is to trace order in nature, to this end; science seeks to as certain the common characteristics of types of objects and general laws or conditions of events. The conclusions arrived at a scientific method have general applicability.
The scientific findings are based on the empirical evidence. The speculation and imaginations have no place in science. The scientist believes that the rule source of knowledge is experience (i.e. data of senses) and that there are no universal and necessary truths from which valid existential inferences can be drawn. This sort of reliance on reality makes the scientific generalisations verifiable. Any knowledge or information which cannot be verified or tested cannot be science they can at best be belief or philosophies.
Science is not only based on empirical evidences, but also on rational arguments only the help of data collected from reality will yield no knowledge. They should be properly organised and rational thinking be applied to arrive at general truth.
The scientist does not accept uncritically whatever sense datum offers itself before him. To this sense-datum, he applies the screws of reason so as to comprehend its true character. In other words the man of science regards rational ideas as the guiding principle on making prediction that are then to be tested by observation.
By logical reasoning and inferences science establishes the cause and effect relationship among different phenomena. It also believes on the principles of law of uniformity of nature. Which states that the nature will before similarly under similar conditions? Given the similar situation the same cause must produce the same effect. On the basis of these two principles i.e. (law of concession and law of uniformity of nature). Since predicts about future state of things with certain degree of accuracy.
Science deals with empirical truths. But the most important thing is that while analysing the true nature of these empirical objects, it follows a formal or rigorous method. This systematic method of analysis and generalisation enables the scientists to variety the findings again and again in different occasions. Generally two prevalent methods are found in realm of science i.e. deductive and inductive. In deductive methods the conclusion is drawn from a set of self-evident propositions.
Without questioning the truth of the propositions themselves. On the other hand in inductive method, the particular truths in empirical situation are gathered continually and gradually till the most general truth is established. Thus deduction proceeds from general to particular were as induction proceeds from particular to general often a scientist is confused as to which method is scientific.
A valid scientific generation combines the both. It borrows the element of formal truth from deduction and material truth from induction and established its own truth by application of logical reasoning.
It is difficult to establish any uniform law applicable to all the individuals and societies in variably.