Scientific Method and Sir Karl Popper

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Sir Karl Popper, challenging the status quo, inspiring generations to ponder on the meaning of science, the methods to find truth, is one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century. Of particular importance to scientific methods of inquiry is the brawl between the development of theory and the criteria for science. In Popper’s own words, it is in this brawl that Popper decided to “grapple with the problem: When should a theory be ranked as scientific? or Is there a criterion for the scientific character or status of a theory?” (Popper 1957), p. 1). Born just after the turn of the century in 1902 (my Great Aunt was 4 at the time), in London, England, Popper began grappling with the brawl between “when is theory scientific” and “what is the criteria for the scientific character of theory” in the fall of 1919 (p. #). The thing that troubled Popper most he stated is “When is theory true?” (Popper 1957), p. 1-2). Born from the thing that was troubling Popper most originated his philosophy of Science as Falsification. First, it may be dangerous to proceed any further in this discussion without bringing into light perspectives about the time when Popper toiled on the naissance of falsification. In 1919, when Popper began to labor about potential for truth in theory, social turbulence was epidemic in Europe. The period between 1914 and 1989 can be viewed as a “protracted European Civil war” (Williams 2005). World War I (WWI) is well underway while communism extends beyond German idealists and the Russian Comintern into Hungary and Italy. Greek forces occupy Turkey’s Aegean coast for territorial ambitions. Over 20 million people are dying of a flu epidemic sweeping across China, Europe, and into the Americas. Social principles shift in the United States with laws prohibiting the sale of alcohol and granting women the right to vote. Social disturbance, disorder is the standard, not the exception of the time when Popper inaugurates a quest to find ‘truth’...
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