Plato's Theory Of Falsifiability

Superior Essays
In the course of achieving scientific understanding, it becomes necessary to distinguish between what can be proved and what cannot. Falsifiability is a necessary tool in making that distinction between what can be verified and what cannot, while also providing a criterion between pseudoscience and science. Though it’s not perfect, it’s a solution that works for the time being in creating scientific discoveries and refuting incorrect information.
In the beginning of human discovery, there is as Plato writes, “[A man] compelled to look straight at the light,” and after receiving pain from the sun he will turn away to what he can see, which results in him making a choice between the new reality and the former (Plato, 215). Fundamentally, this
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In fact, after the man comes back and attempts to tell others about the light, Plato writes that “…if any one tried to loose another and lead him up to the light, let them only catch the offender, and they would put him to death” (Plato, 217). The moral of the cave allegory is that people will steer themselves towards confirmation biases and familiar information, and when confronted with alternative information may respond violently. While scientists don’t attempt to murder each other over different interpretations, this accurately describes the predispositions of people to believe familiar truths over the unknown. Verifying that this information is correct, or at least corroborates with other theories, is crucial in making accurate scientific discoveries even for cave dwellers. Though the cave dwelling man was unable to get a consensus on the verifiability of the sun, there was a distinction made between appearance and reality. What appeared to be true at the time was that beyond the cave, there was nothing. What the reality of the situation was that the humans simply never ventured beyond the cave, and when they saw the light they were punished for leaving the current knowledge hole. Russell …show more content…
Popper knew very well that scientists made the distinction between science and pseudoscience “by its empirical method, which is essentially inductive, proceeding from observation or experiment” (Popper, 33). His point in making a further distinction was to ensure that theories “posing as science” would be challenged by refutation and either proven or disproven (Popper, 34). To deal with observations, Popper writes that “If the observation shows that the predicted effect is definitely absent, then the theory is simply refuted” (Popper, 36). Because of this, falsifiability helps distinguish between scientific theories like gravity and pseudoscientific ideas like Astrology. For instance, when Popper writes of the Astrologers failing the test: “Astrologers were greatly impressed, and misled, by what they believed to be confirming evidence… Moreover, by making their interpretations and prophecies sufficiently vague they were able to explain away anything that might have been a refutation of the theory had the theory and the prophecies been more precise.” (Popper, 37). Essentially, Astrologers “destroyed the testability of their theory” and made their confirmation bias clear (Popper, 37). In this case, it is possible to test pseudoscientific theories by refuting them. Each theory has a different way of establishing truth, which means that different approaches

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