KARL POPPER’S CRITIQUE OF THE METHOD OF SCIENCE

0
2

ABSTRACT
Karl Popper’s philosophy of science focuses on what he calls the problem of demarcation, Popper’s proposal concerning demarcation can be usefully seen as a response to the verifiability criterion of demarcation proposed by the logical empiricists, such as Carnap and schlick. According to this criterion, a statement is meaningful if and only6 if it is verified, but Popper shares they believe that there is difference between science and philosophical metaphysics, he rejected the verifiability criterion for many reasons and proposes his falsifiability criterion as a method of science. He argued that verifiability played no role in formulating a satisfactory criterion for demarcation. Popper’s falsificationist proposal differ from the verifiability criterion, Popper does not hold that non-scientific claims are meaningless, instead, he argued that such unfalsifiable claims can often serve important roles in both scientific and philosophical context, even if we are incapable of ascertaining their truth or falsity.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Declaration
Certification
Dedication
Acknowledgement
Table of contents
Abstract
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
I.I Background to the study
1.2 Statement of problem
1.3 Purpose of the study
1.4 Thesis statement
1.5 Methodology
1.6 Scope and Limitation
1.7 Relevance of the study
1.8 Organization of the work
1.9 Definition of terms
1.10 Karl Popper’s Life and Influence
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
CHAPTER THREE: KARL POPPER’S CRITIQUE OF THE METHOD OF SCIENCE
3.1 The Problem of Induction
3.2 The Problem of Demarcation
3.3 Critical Rationalism as Popper’s method of science
3.4 Falsification as Popper’s method of Science
3.5 Hypothetico-Deductive Logic as Popper’s Logic of Science
3.6 Popper’s Notion of Verisimilitude
3.7 Criticism against Popper
CHAPTER FOUR:
4.1 Evaluation
4.2 Conclusion
4.3 Recommendation
Works Cited

CHAPTER ONE:

INTRODUCTION

1.1: BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Science has for a long time been part of all human undertaking even when we are oblivion of its existence and its evidence place in our life. Science has been discovered, it has been seen and accepted as a systematized body of knowledge that has served the needs of mankind various forms as well as threatened man’s existence on earth. Our concern here is to investigate the problem relating to its philosophical foundation. Scientific knowledge basically comprises our experience, observation and reflection upon experience, its investigations are guided by chosen methods and procedures which themselves are empirical. As such the propositions of any scientific claims about reality must be those that state facts which are gathered on the knowledge and understanding of samples of facts which comes from our observations of the nature and structure of the world. Science comes to discover the general laws or theories or principle that helps it to explain those facts. This procedure of arriving at generalization from few samples observed is called induction
This proceed used by the scientist to make investigation has become what is believed to be the Modus Operandi of any scientific endeavor (scientific method). Inductivism as scientist believe the general or universal laws of nature will continue to operate without interference. It should be noted that inductivism as a method of science takes a logical leap from particular instantiation to generalizations about them and others not yet observed. On this ground, induction has been accepted, at least, by the inductivists, especially Bacon. Newton, J.S. Mill and others as the basic principle of science.

The above is a brief analysis of what the method of science involves, the question here is that of the assumption of conclusiveness of the method of science found in its individual theories of events. Again, is method of science totally verifiable to the extent of making a pragmatic future prediction? Some philosophical scientists questioned these assumption made by the empiricist, philosophers like David Hume, Karl Popper, Carnap, etc. for Hume, he did not use the word induction, but his philosophical analysis is of the notion of causality or universal causation. Hume recognizes that when we observe external objects and consider the operations of cause, we are never able in a single instance to discover any power or necessary connection, any quality, which bonds the effect to the cause and render the one infallible consequence of the other. The implication of Hume’s analysis is that since we do not know why the effect occurred right after the cause, we still observe the same but different cause or the same cause but different effect. Hume actually means that there is no verifiable connection between cause and effect because the observer observes what he wants to observe, instances that supports his observation and experiment.

Karl Popper is unusual amongst contemporary philosophers in that he accepts the validity of the Humean critique of induction, and indeed, goes beyond in arguing that induction is never actually used by scientist. However, he does not concede that this entails the skepticism which is associated with Hume, and argues that the Baconian and Newtonian insistence on the primacy of ‘pure’ observation as the initial step in the formation of theories is completely misguided; all observation is selective and theory- laden. There no pure or theory free observation. In way he destabilizes the traditional view that science can be distinguished from non science on the basis of its inductive methodology; in contradistinction to this, Popper holds that there is no unique methodology specific to science. Science, like virtually every other human and indeed organic, Popper believes, consists largely a problem-solving. Popper then rejects induction, and rejects the view that it Is the characteristic method of scientific investigation and inference, and substitutes falsifiability in its place. Popper uses the principle to classify a hypothesis as either empirical (scientific) or as non empirical (non- scientific). Those which could be falsified empirical (experimental or observed) evidence he regards as scientific, those which could not be falsified by any kind of test he regards as non-scientific, or as he sometimes put it “metaphysical”. However, for many social scientists, the more probable a theory is, the better it is, and if we have to choose between two theories which are equally strong in terms of their explanatory power, and differ only in that one is probable and the other is improbable, then we should chose the former. Popper rejects this, science, or to be precise the working scientist view, in theories with a high predictive power and are consequently highly testable. But if this is true, Popper argues, the more improbable a theory is, the better is it scientifically, because the probability and informative content of a theory vary inversely. The higher the content of a theory the lower will be it probability, for the more information a statement contains, the greater will be the number of ways in which it may turn out to be false. Consequently, the severity of the test to which a theory can be subjected, and by means of which it is falsified or corroborated, is all important. For Popper all scientific criticism must be piecemeal, i.e., he holds that it is not impossible to question every aspect of a theory at once. More precisely, while attempting to resolve a particular problem a scientist out of necessity may accept all kinds of things as unproblematic. These things constitute what Popper terms the “background knowledge”. The basic question Popper tried to address was in his work Logic of Scientific Discovery

KARL POPPER’S CRITIQUE OF THE METHOD OF SCIENCE