(from Gr. methods,; meta, after, beyond, among; and hoods, way). Path of investigation, knowledge; mode of reaching an objective. Set of operations of practical or theoretical knowledge of reality; procedure followed in the sciences to verify a concept or to teach it. Ordered set of the principal elements of an art. In elementary terms, a distinction is made between the analytical m., which signifies resolving the complex in the simple, and the synthetic m., which proceeds in the opposite direction. Frequently, both directions overlap and are mutually enriched by the application of deductive or inductive and experimental judgments. The contribution of statistical-mathematical procedures to determine certain constants or trends that cannot be observed in individual cases is also considered as a m. Each of the sciences, upon establishing its specific mode of investigation, also elaborates its own m. of study, or methodology. The methodology is a doctrine on the structure, organization, logic and means of an activity; it is also a set of methods followed in a scientific investigation or in a doctrinaire exposition.