Philosopher Karl Popper And Empirical Falsification

Decent Essays

Philosopher Karl Popper is widely known for his rejection of classical inductivism, the idea that scientific knowledge is derived only from observation, and also his support of empirical falsification, the idea that scientific theories cannot be proven correct, but they can be proven false. In other words, empirical falsification means that theories can and should be closely and thoroughly examined by decisive experiments. In Popper’s view, a claim must be falsifiable, or testable, in order for it to be scientifically true; if a hypothesis cannot be refuted, then it is not a scientific claim. Untestable ideas and theories within science are dubbed “pseudo-science” by Popper, because they have no falsification. Things like Anthropology and …show more content…

Alternatively, the proclamation “the Earth is flat” is scientific because it can be proven to be false through scientific investigation. Popper came up with the term “Critical Rationalist”, an expression to describe his ideology. Critical rationalists believe that hypothesis and theories should be criticized in a rational way and should be tested in a way that they can be proven to be false.
Popper was inspired to come up with his idea of falsification because of the many advances happening in the Western scientific world while he was growing up in the early 1900’s. Growing up in this time, Popper was intrigued by the psychoanalytic theories of Sigmund Freud and even attended lectures of Albert Einstein about the rules of the universe. He noticed that these distinguished thinkers used different methods within their work. Freud could make almost any piece of data work in favor of his theory. To illustrate, he could explain someone’s intimacy issues both in terms of not being hugged enough as a child or in terms of being hugged too much. Evidence to support his claims were all around. Contrary to Freud, Popper noticed that Einstein was making a different kind of prediction. Instead of looking in the past to “predict” the present like Freud, he was looking ahead to predict things in the future. Popper saw Einstein’s method to be extremely risky because if the

Get Access
Get Access