/ Introduction to Philosophy of Science

PHI 030

April 15, 2015

Karl Popper


"[Popper] combined a combative personality with a zeal for self-aggrandisement that did little to endear him to professional colleagues at a personal level."
Stephen Thornton

Popper's Views

  • Took prescriptive (as opposed to descriptive or historicist) approach to philosophy of science
  • Does not think science has one method
  • Accepted David Hume's critique of induction, and went further claiming science doesn't use induction
  • Instead, science has a very particular logic of falsification

Popper's Targets

Karl Marx
Sigmund Freud
Alfred Adler

Popper's Hero (or Exemplar)

"Einstein's theory was highly ‘risky’, in the sense that it was possible to deduce consequences from it which were, in the light of the then dominant Newtonian physics, highly improbable (e.g., that light is deflected towards solid bodies—confirmed by Eddington's experiments in 1919)."
Stephen Thornton


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