Essay on Philosophy of Science

1690 Words 7 Pages
Background

In the modern technological and highly specialized world scientists are seldom aware of the work of philosophers; it is practically unparalleled to find them queuing up, as they have done in Popper's case, to swear to the great practical beneficial influence which that philosophical work has had upon their own (1).

In his paper he started by the following “The problem which troubled me at the time was neither, 'When is a theory true?' nor, 'When is a theory acceptable?' My problem was different I wished to distinguish between science and pseudo-science; knowing very well that science often errs, and that pseudo-science may happen to stumble on the truth” (2)

Karl considers the empirical method of observations ensued
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7. Confirming evidence should not count except when it is the result of a genuine test of the theory; and this means that it can be presented as a serious but unsuccessful attempt to falsify the theory.
One can sum up all this by saying that the criterion of the scientific status of a theory is its falsifiability, or refutability, or testability” (2)

The Falsifiability and the Problem of Demarcation

As Popper characterize it, the central problem in the philosophy of science is that of demarcation, i.e., of distinguishing between science and what he denoted as 'non-science', under which he included logic, metaphysics, psychoanalysis, and others.

Popper is odd amid contemporary philosophers in that he admits the validity of the critique of induction, and indeed, goes away from it in saying that induction is never actually used by the scientist. However, he does not give in that this entails the skepticism which is associated with Hume (3), and says that the Baconian/Newtonian insistence on the primacy of 'pure' observation, as the initial step in the formation of theories, is totally erroneous.

Hence he weakens the classical belief that science can be differentiated from non-science on the foundation of its inductive methodology; to the contrary , Popper believes that there is no exclusive methodology

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