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Does the Procedure Really Make the Product?

One of the things you hear more frequently in the eternal fight between French and Italian cuisine is that the first with respect to the second has more 'method.' A souflé which is respectful of the procedure, the quantity of each ingredient, the timing, and all the rest is a souflé. If it does not respect the receipt, it is simply something other –not a souflé. Accordingly, if something 'violates' the procedure, the result is evidently different.

Thinking of that contrastively, procedures and receipts work almost in the same way. Research is a process that requires a great deal of precision and accuracy in order to be successful. If the procedure is not followed correctly and the results are not accurate, the research is not reliable and the results are not valid. Furthermore, the results of the research must be able to be replicated in order to be considered valid. If a researcher deviates from the procedure or alters the results, the research is not reliable and the results are not valid.

Paradoxically, the result seems to become something else –stranger to itself. But if this is consistent with cooking, is it the same for research? I am, therefore, wondering to what extent is the procedure affecting the result, exerting an influence on the definition of the object -how much it actually creates the object- from an ontological perspective.

And yet, is this different object from what we expected associated with something bad per se? For instance, is a text written following an atypical procedure necessarily a bad text? If style, paragraphing and so on do not meet the requirements of the reviewer is that still a text? I believe it is and, moreover, I believe it is worth to be read –still.

However, as far as methodology and phenomena are concerned, does the first affect the way we define the second? May a discourse in discourse analysis be defined as such only because of the procedure? A researcher's methodology, I believe, may be able to influence what type of data they collect, which in turn could lead to different interpretations of the phenomenon. Additionally, the researcher's prior assumptions and knowledge about the phenomenon can shape the way they define it. For example, a researcher who has studied discursivity within a particular discourse community may interpret a phenomenon differently than a researcher who has not studied the same community. If one thinks of that in this way, the procedure is used to create the desired outcome, whether that is a scientific experiment or the preparation of a particular food, in both cases, following the procedure correctly is essential to achieving the desired result. So, the question both for science and cuisine does not change: does the procedure really make the product?

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