Scientific Method and Sir Karl Popper

1407 WordsNov 28, 20096 Pages
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”…show more content…
The use of empirical methods and inductive explanations is the root cause for Popper’s revolt upon the metaphysical reasoning used to explain social behavior (at this time). It is not that astrology is a pseudo-science; astrology is merely a residue of the subject of the investigation (Popper 1952). Disciplines are means of administratively distinguishing the unified systems from which problems may be taught. It is far more important to understanding falsification that “We are not students of a subject matter but students of problems” (Popper 1952)p. 125). Traditionally, scientists formed hypotheses to explain or rationalize some natural phoneme that they have observed. Popper intends that a hypothesis must predict a phenomenon or behavior and not just offer to explain it. “I believe that there is not a classic of science, or of mathematics, or indeed a book worth reading that could not be shown, by a skillful application of the technique of language analysis, to be full of meaningless pseudo-propositions” (Popper 1952), p. 130). Popper is positive that each hypothesis has a possible contradiction. This “sensitiveness to problems” to the extent of having a “consuming passion for them” fortifies Popper’s revolt against merely accepting plausible and rationalized results of observations. For falsification to take place, the scientist must identify situations that falsify or negate the hypothesis. Finally,
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