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real anti popper essay 01

real anti popper essay 01 - Will Cliff 16 May 2010...

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Will Cliff 16 May 2010 Philosophy 8 TA - Andrew Jewell Prompt #2 In an effort to resolve the problem of induction and further define what we as humans know to be true within our universe, Karl Popper proposed his theory of falsification. Popper defined falsification as a scientific method that uses empirical evidence to either falsify a theory or leave it un-falsified. Popper believed his falsification theory not only solved the problem of induction but also could be used as criteria for the demarcation problem. Unfortunately, others didn’t see such problems as being able to be solved so easily by such a black and white solution as the falsification theory. Pierre Duhem and W.V.O. Quine proposed the Quine-Duhem thesis, which questions the validity of Popper’s falsification theory in several ways. While Popper demonstrates valid arguments defending his falsification theory against the Quine-Duhem thesis, the core values of Popper’s theory cannot withstand the strength of the problems the Quine-Duhem thesis presents it with. Popper based his disapproval for the scientific method of induction on its inability to logically justify itself. Inductive theories project conclusions based only on a limited number of empirical observations despite the fact that we are in a universe with an infinite number of entities. This is the essential problem that Popper saw in inductively drawn conclusions, as they are never truly confirmed. He simply couldn’t accept the statement, “all swans are white,” knowing that one cannot observing all swans in the
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universe. Proposing his falsification theory, Popper believed that it solved this problem of induction as it offered a deductive, empirical method of logical justification to immediately disprove inductive theories that otherwise would be “accepted.” Using the falsification theory, all one needs to “falsify” or disprove a theory is one entity that is different that what the theory itself states. For example, it takes only one black swan to falsify the inductive statement, “all swans are white.” To Popper this was the most simple, time-saving and efficient way to avoid the illogical scientific method of induction, as an inductive theory can be proven false with only one differing empirical entity.
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