Talk:Karl Popper

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Deleted a paragraph stating that the statement "black hole exist" is an example of non-falsifiable. By that logic, any statement of existence is not falsifiable: "neutrinos have mass," for example. The inverse statement is certainly falsifiable-- "neutrinos have no mass" is falsifiable by measureing the mass of a neutrino. It is absurd to state that if two scientists make the same measurement, with one saying "I'm trying to see if neutrinos have mass" and the other one says "I'm trying to see if neutrinos have no mass", one is working on science and the other isn't.


Toffeeman : I have expanded the para about falsifiability to make it clear that Popper is talking about universal laws ("Black holes exist" is an existential statement and thus "doesn't count"). I have also deleted the sentence about application of the falsifiablilty criteria to ethics. I would have ignored it if there was a citation (I haven't read everything the man said - so he could have said it) but it is so far away from my understanding of Popper's work that I would need a citation to be convinced.

Falsification vs. Falsificationism

I'm concerned with the content of this page. Popper may be remembered commonly as a proponent of falsification, which he of course was, but his work on the philosophy of science was mostly about falsificationism; that is, that empirical statements are never confirmed, merely disconfirmed, and that theory choice and scientific practice can be operated in a strictly rational way. The stuff about the swans seems like a pretty poor rephrasing of Hempel's paradox. Brainslug 12:40, 7 May 2007 (EDT)

The stuff about the swans may be poor rephrasing, it is however poor rephrasing of the Logic of Scientific Discovery. The argument in LSD is not that no empirical statement can be confirmed but that no universal law can be confirmed. Indeed the falsification of a universal law require confirmation of an existential statement ("All swans are white" is falsified by confirmation of: "at least one black swan exists")--Toffeeman 08:54, 22 May 2007 (EDT)

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