Category Archives: science

What does Popper’s falsifiability criterion achieve?

Michael Kennedy writes on the criticism page: Popper’s falsifibility criterion is only a necessary condition for scientific status. If by demarcation criterion we mean a frontier with scientific statements on one side of the line and non-science on the other … Continue reading

Posted in epistemology, science | 27 Comments

Does Science Presuppose the Existence of Regularity in Nature?

A popular criticism of Popper’s scientific method is that he “smuggled induction in through the back door.” Contrary to claims of having done away with it altogether, Popper’s proposed method of science actually presupposes induction. Therefore, critics argue, Popper failed … Continue reading

Posted in logic, science | 23 Comments

Howson on Deutsch

In Chapter 7 of his book The Fabric of Reality, David Deutsch has a dialogue in which he discusses critical rationalism with a crypto-inductivist, a philosopher who thinks there is an induction shaped hole in his worldview although he agrees … Continue reading

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Disagreement vs. Justificationism

Justificationists often complain that Popper’s philosophy doesn’t enable us to pick out one scientific theory as being decisively the best at any particular time. But there is something extremely odd about this objection. Critical rationalists advocate various restrictions on what … Continue reading

Posted in epistemology, science | 20 Comments

Stanford Encylopedia Criticisms

This is a follow up to Rafe’s post The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy vs Karl Popper in which I reply to the Encyclopedia’s criticism of Popper’s position. Continue reading

Posted in epistemology, science | 5 Comments

Knowledge and Biology

Many people I have discussed Popper with seem confused by Popper tying together evolution and epistemology in his book Objective Knowledge and other places. Evolution, they say, is all about biology and epistemology is about what people think. I’m going to try to clear up this confusion. Continue reading

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Essentialism

Anti-essentialism is a Popperian idea that many people are either unaware of or do not understand.  Many people are essentialists, particularly people who think they understand philosophy, but essentialism is a bad mistake. There are two separate ideas that Popper … Continue reading

Posted in epistemology, essentialism, science | 4 Comments

Review: Popper, Otto Selz and the Rise of Evolutionary Epistemology by Michel ter Hark

“Popper, Otto Selz and the Rise of Evolutionary Epistemology” by Michel ter Hark is historically interesting and philosophically provocative. Continue reading

Posted in biology, epistemology, evolution, logic, science | 61 Comments

Popper on epistemological naturalism

This is a quote from Popper in Logic of Scientific Discovery, Section 10: This view, according to which methodology is an empirical science in its turn—a study of the actual behaviour of scientists, or of the actual procedure of ‘science’—may be described … Continue reading

Posted in epistemology, logic, quote, science | 1 Comment

Criticism of Salmon on Popper

Wesley Salmon wrote a critique of critical rationalism in which he claimed this it could not explain why it is rational to use the predictions of scientific theories to help us make decisions. First, note that Salmon does not and … Continue reading

Posted in epistemology, logic, science | 68 Comments