Carnap And Popper: The Philosophy Of Science

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Debatably the most integral question in the philosophy of science is how to demarcate between scientific and non-scientific theories, and many conflicting opinions have arisen throughout history. Rudolf Carnap was a German philosopher who believed that verificationism was the absolute method of demarcating science and non-science, and he shared this view with logical positivists. Karl Popper was an Austrian and British philosopher who instead believed falsificationism was in fact the appropriate method of demarcation. As a result, the two philosophers argued for their own ideologies, though their criteria did contain some overlap. While there are some similarities between Carnap and Popper’s demarcation criteria in the realm of science, it is impossible to completely agree with both philosophers as certain theories can be verifiable in principle but be unfalsifiable.

To begin, it is important to understand the similarities between Rudolf Carnap’s and Karl Popper’s demarcation criteria. According to Popper, if the results of an experiment or observation could potentially
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Carnap and Popper, under the following circumstances, can agree on the question of demarcation. Firstly, theories that are both falsifiable and verifiable through experimentation or observation are considered scientific. Secondly, theories that cannot be verified in principle can therefore not be falsified through experimentation, and are therefore unscientific through the criteria of both philosophers. However, where Carnap and Popper disagree is whether theories which can be verified in principle but cannot be falsified through experimentation are scientific. Carnap would claim that they are, while Popper would assert that they are not. Therefore, it is impossible to completely agree with both Carnap and Popper on the question of

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