SOLVING THE DEMARCATION PROBLEM USING THREE THEORIES Essay

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In this paper, I will explain three theories on how to solve the demarcation problem, or the problem of distinguishing between science and non-science, and how all three of them need to be combined in order to truly solve this problem. First, I will explain each of the three different theories proposed by A.J. Ayer, Karl Popper, and Paul Thagard, these philosopher’s arguments for each of these theories, and an example of using each theory. Then, I will explain why all three of these theories need to be combined by showing examples of how each individual theory incorrectly categorizes something as scientific. Next, I will show how these three theories together can correctly distinguish science from non-science. Finally, I will explain…show more content…
If we would see them either with our eyes or through a camera, we would be using empirical evidence to prove this statement. Although, we do not have that technology currently to prove this statement, it is still verifiable “in principle.”ii Karl Popper in “Science: Conjectures and Refutations” creates the theory of falsifiability to try to distinguish between science, pseudoscience, and metaphysics. His theory of falsifiability states that there must be “a possibility of refuting the theory”iii in order for a theory to be falsifiable. Another way of stating this is that an experiment must be designed (but not necessarily implemented) so that the theory is tested as whether it is true or not. Popper argues that every time a scientific theory is tested, it is an attempt to be proven false. He also argues that a “‘good’ scientific theory”iv forbids many things from happening, which is an indicator of falsifiability. An example that follows Popper’s principle of falsifiability is the statement, “All cats have white fur.” This statement can easily be tested and shown to be false. A scientist can take a group of random cats and look at their fur. If even one of the cats’ fur is not white, then the statement is false. Thus, the statement has the possibility of being proven false, which results in the statement having falsifiability. Paul Thagard in “Why Astrology is a Pseudoscience” creates a

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