Carnap And Popper Analysis

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One’s willingness to agree both with Carnap and Popper on the question of demarcation depends on how strict one chooses to be in accepting one criterion over the other. There exists middle ground, or grey area, between the two criteria that makes it possible to accept both. In principle, it is possible to agree both with Carnap’s and Popper’s theory of demarcation, as Carnap’s verificationism principle includes being able to falsify a theory, which agrees with Popper’s falsification criteria. However, if one chooses to accept that a theory is only scientific if it can be falsified and that it must require empirical content, then Popper’s criteria can no longer agree with Carnap’s. In addition, each criteria of demarcation encourages a different …show more content…
While a logical positivist who agrees only with Carnap’s criteria would say a scientific theory can be both be verifiable and falsifiable. The key difference here is that Carnap states that a good scientific theory is the one that has the most evidence to support it. Popper or a follower of his would disagree by arguing that a good scientific theory is the one that can be falsified by results or observations but has yet to be contradicted. Returning to the previous example of early astronomy, what makes the heliocentric model a scientific theory in this case is its ability to be supported by observations or calculations. Kepler used Brahe’s observational data of the solar system to support Copernicus’s claims and this was later confirmed by Newton. It does not follow Popper’s criteria because the three astronomers were out to find evidence to support the theory and not out to find contradictory evidence, illustrating the instance where the two criteria do not agree with each other. In addition, Popper’s empirical content requirement and his disagreement with Carnap the infallibilism of singular propositions are two main areas in which one can argue in support of one theory over the other if one theory is to be chosen strictly over the other. It can be argued that Carnap does not explicitly say that a theory must contain empirical content for it to be scientific. Similarly, it is possible to argue that Popper and Carnap present very different criteria as Carnap says one can trust his observations to contain absolute truth and therefore, can support a theory. This brings the argument onto the next point, that the two criteria encourage a different form of carrying out scientific

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