Karl Popper And Falsificationism

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Despite key differences in their solutions, both Karl Popper and Paul Feyerabend noticed issues with the positivist system of scientific discoveries and attempted to develop new methods for understanding science. Popper developed new understandings surrounding the theory dependence of observation, and the flaws of induction. His system of falsificationism was a key factor in the development of sociology of science as a whole and of Feyerabend’s system of Epistemological anarchism. Feyerabend built on Popper’s ideas and criticisms and took heavy issue with the positivist model of the consistency condition, and his work has helped change our understanding of the sociology of science and the nature of scientific theories immensely.
The positivist
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As a result, Popper developed his own system for the scientific method known as Falsificationism. Falsificationism first recognises that a key issue with inductivism is the physiological limits of our senses, for example without the advent of the telescope we would not have been able to find many of the planets we know today. More importantly, falsificationism also starts from the standpoint that all observation is presupposed by a theory. At the time this was a fairly radical idea and is in complete opposition to what the positivists claimed. Falsificationism posits that it is a theory that starts the process and then an observation either confirms or disproves this theory, rather than an observation being the start of the method. More importantly falsificationism outlined the theory dependence of observation. The theory dependence of observation states that not only does a theory come first in the method, but without proper theoretical knowledge observation is not truly possible. As can be seen with optical illusions, the positivist’s theory that the human eye is a mirror of the world is inherently flawed (Richards, S. 1983, p. 53). Our vision can be tricked into seeing things that are not there, and more importantly, without something to search for it can be difficult to find. Another element of the theory dependence of observation is that we can be taught to …show more content…
To Popper an idea could come from a dream or a thought and if it can be falsifiably tested than it is a worthwhile theory. As such Popper posits that bold conjectures that can be easily tested are great examples of scientific discovery. If something cannot be falsifiable, Popper suggests that it is therefore no longer useful and cannot be considered reliable. This is another way in which Falsificationism opposes Positivism. Popper sets forward the idea that old theories, if proven false must be removed, therefore making room for newer theories (Richards, S. 1983, p. 59). This conjecture is very important as it paves the way for Feyerabend’s critique of

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