Topics: Scientific method, Falsifiability, Philosophy of science Pages: 12 (4727 words) Published: January 2, 2013
KARL POPPER has argued (I think successfully) that a scientific idea can never be proven true, because because no matter how many observations seem to agree with it, it may still be wrong. On the other hand, a single contrary experiment can prove a theory forever false. Argue that truth is evolving and can never be absolutely known. As it turns out they were wrong, thus ultimately harmful for the evolution of Human Knowledge. Popper was a Realist but did not believe that we could Demonstrate True Knowledge of Reality “My thesis is that realism is neither demonstrable nor refutable. Realism like anything else outside logic and finite arithmetic is not demonstrable; but while empirical scientific theories are refutable, realism is not even refutable. (It shares this irrefutability with many philosophical or 'metaphysical' theories, in particular also with idealism.) But it is arguable, and the weight of the arguments is overwhelmingly in its favor.” (Popper, 1975)

Problem of Induction: How can it be shown that inductive inferences (at least probabilistic ones) are valid, or can be valid?  By an inductive inference is here meant an inference from repeatedly observed instances to some as yet unobserved instances. It is of comparatively minor significance whether such an inference from the observed to the unobserved is, from the point of view of time, predictive or retrodictive; whether we infer that the sun will rise tomorrow or that it did rise 100,000 years ago. Their authors do not take Hume's logical criticism sufficiently seriously; and they never seriously consider the possibility that we can, and must, do without induction by repetition, and that we actually manage without it. It seems to me that all the objections to my theory which I know of approach it with the question of whether my theory has solved the traditional problem of induction - that is, whether I have justified inductive inference. Of course I have not. From this my critics deduce that I have failed to solve Hume's problem of induction. (Popper, 1975) Hume's Problem of Induction is: How can it be shown that inductive inferences (at least probabilistic ones) are valid, or can be valid? This problem is a typical muddle since it uncritically pre-supposes the existence of a positive solution to what I have called 'Hume's problem' ; but Hume has proved that no positive solution exists. (Popper, 1975) The above quotes from Karl Popper demonstrate how knowledge can become corrupted over time. David Hume DID NOT prove that no positive solution (of Causation and Necessary Connection) is possible, but simply that no positive solution existed, and that Hume kept an open mind as to whether this could indeed be solved (as it now has been with the Metaphysics of Space and Motion). 

Concept of verification
In the philosophy of science, verificationism (also known as the verifiability theory of meaning) holds that a statement must, in principle, be empirically verifiable for it to be both meaningful and scientific. This was an essential feature of the logical positivism of the so-called Vienna Circle that included such philosophers as Moritz Schlick, Rudolf Carnap,Otto Neurath, the Berlin philosopher Hans Reichenbach, and the logical empiricism of A.J. Ayer. Popper noticed that the philosophers of the Vienna Circle had mixed two different problems, that of meaning and that of demarcation, and had proposed in verificationism a single solution to both. In opposition to this view, Popper emphasized that there are meaningful theories that are not scientific, and that, accordingly, a criterion of meaningfulness does not coincide with a criterion of demarcation. Thus, Popper urged that verifiability be replaced with falsifiability as the criterion of demarcation. On the other hand, he strictly opposed the view that non-falsifiable statements are meaningless or otherwise inherently bad, and noted that falsificationism does not imply it.

Concept of falsification
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