1.1 INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Falsification as a principle or theory which holds that for any
hypothesis to be cognitively significant, true or scientific it must be
inherently disprovable by experience before it can be accepted as a
scientific hypothesis or theory. This principle is associated with the
twentieth century Austrian- British Philosopher of science known as Sir
Karl, Raimund Popper. Science is a discipline that is interested in
trying to uncover or discover truths about nature; our natural
environment and the world at large, this is why Archibong (89) conceives
science as the systematic enterprise of gathering knowledge about the
universe by organizing and condensing that knowledge into testable laws
and theories”. These laws and theories are used to give explanations to
natural occurrences and make further predictions about the future.
Scientific method is procedural, that is, it adheres strictly to laid
down principles through which an objective knowledge is obtained. It is
widely accepted that empirical science is that discipline which employs
inductive methodology in the formulation of hypotheses or theories by
observing a limited number of instances. Induction therefore becomes
accepted by some scientists (inductivists) as a valuable method and
practice in the scientific enterprise.
It was based on this method of doing science which popper saw as
problematic, that is, difficult to accept since it relied on an equally
problematic principle of verifiability for the determination of its
truth. The verifiability theory states that statements are cognitively
significant or empirically tested if they can be conclusively verifiable
by experience. Popper rejected this inductivists’ criterion of truth
because it does not adequately provide a distinguishing feature between
scientific and non-scientific statements and on the reason that “a
theory can never be proven to be true by accumulating move and more
positive observations (French 53).
Hence, his postulation of the falsification theory as a better
alternative for the criterion of science. The falsification theory
states that a statement is meaningful or scientific if it is
falsifiable by experience or observation.
This work will therefore be concerned with the analysis and a critical examination of Karl Popper’s falsification theory.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Popper summits that the more a theory is falsified, the more it
becomes scientific. By this, every scientific theory must be such that
it can be refuted. This position is founded upon Popper’s quest to
demarcate science from pseudo-science. In as much as the position looks
plausible, there are problems that are associated with it. These can be
- What happens with theories that are falsified?
- If scientific hypothesis or theories are conjectures, why do they need refutation?
- Should scientists abandon a theory because facts contradict it?
All these are problems that revolves around Popper’s theory of falsification.
1.3 AIM OF THE STUDY
The study aims at re-examining the method of arriving at scientific
truth, the problem that are inherent in it and why Popper debunked it
and opted for a better method or theory. It further seeks to establish
whether or not Popper’s falsification theory is a better alternative or
substitute for testing the truth of scientific statements.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study is significant because the notion of truth in science is
sometimes arrived at by hasty or faulty generalizations; thus, what is
believed to be the truth in science, that is, scientific truth often
turn out to be false or probable. Hence, to remove the obstacles that
hinder or disrupt scientific truth, we must examine Popper’s
falsification principle to see if it can aid scientists to know the
1.5 METHOD OF THE STUDY
This is a philosophical research work; since philosophy is always
critical in its outlook, we shall therefore employ the methods of
analysis, speculation and criticism to the study at hand in order to
have a synoptic understanding.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research work does not incorporate the entire works of Karl
Popper, it only deals with a section of his philosophy which is in the
area of philosophy of science and it will also be limited to his
falsification theory as an alternative theory of testing the truth of
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
The Falsification Principle: A theory is falsifiable
if it is capable of conflicting with observable phenomena or events.
Delanty and Strydom (44), opines that “falsifiability is a principle
which states that “it must be possible for an empirical/scientific
system to be refuted by experience”. Thus, a good scientific theory or
statement must be capable of being falsified or refuted by conceivable
events; if there are no means of refuting the theory, it implies that it
is not scientific and should be abandoned or rejected.
Induction: Traditionally, induction is viewed as an
argument which proceeds from particular instances to a general
conclusion. “It is an argument in which a particular conclusion is
derived from certain premises from the report of specific observation”
Aigbodioh (142). It is further described as that which give the
premise(s) give a supportive evidence for the truth of the conclusion to
the accepted. Mautners (273) defined induction as “inference from a
finite number of particular cases to a further case or to a general
Verisimilitude: This term simply means truth
content, approximation to truth or nearer to the truth. It was used by
Karl Popper to explain that since cannot know or discover the truth but
they can only be closer to the truth.
A Research proposal for a critical examination of karl popper's falsification principle :
Reviews: A Review on a critical examination of karl popper's falsification principle , critical, examination, karl project topics, researchcub.info, project topic, list of project topics, research project topics, journals, books, Academic writer.
Falsification as a principle or theory which holds that for any hypothesis to be cognitively significant, true or scientific it must be inherently disprovable by experience before it can be accepted as a scientific hypothesis or theory. This principle is associated with the twentieth century Austrian- British Philosopher of science known as Sir Karl, Raimund Popper. Science is a discipline that is interested in trying to uncover or discover truths about nature; our natural environment and the world at large, this is why Archibong (89) conceives science as the systematic enterprise of gathering knowledge about the universe by organizing and condensing that knowledge into testable laws and theories”. These laws and theories are used to give explanations to natural occurrences and make further predictions about the future... philosophy project topics
A CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF KARL POPPER'S FALSIFICATION PRINCIPLE