Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific by Karl Popper

By Karl Popper

Conjectures and Refutations is one in all Karl Popper's so much wide-ranging and renowned works, impressive not just for its acute perception into the way in which clinical wisdom grows, but additionally for utilizing these insights to politics and to historical past. It offers one of many clearest and such a lot obtainable statements of the elemental concept that guided his paintings: not just our wisdom, yet our goals and our criteria, develop via an never-ending means of trial and blunder.

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Years later--it must have been in 1928 or 1929--I called this first problem of mine the 'problem of demarcation'. The criterion of falsifiability is a solution to this problem of demarcation, for it says that statements or systems of statements, in order to be ranked as scientific, must be capable of conflicting with possible, or conceivable, observations. III Today I know, of course, that this criterion of demarcation--the criterion of testability, or falsifiability, or refutability--is far from obvious; for even now its significance is seldom realized.

But we may also examine, for example, whether our historical sources are mutually and internally consistent. 4. Quantitatively and qualitatively by far the most important source of our knowledge--apart from inborn knowledge--is tradition. Most things we know we have learned by example, by being told, by reading books, by ____________________ 10This answer, and almost the whole of the contents of the present section xv, are taken with only minor changes from a paper of mine which was first published in The Indian Journal of Philosophy, 1, No.

Although we may sometimes, for example in archaeology, advance through a chance observation, the significance of the discovery will usually depend upon its power to modify our earlier theories. Pessimistic and optimistic epistemologies are about equally mistaken. The pessimistic cave story of Plato is the true one, and not his optimistic story of anamnēsis (even though we should admit that all men, like all other animals, and even all plants, possess inborn knowledge). But although the world of appearances is indeed a world of mere shadows on the walls of our cave, we all constantly reach out beyond it; and although, as Democritus said, the truth is hidden in the deep, we can probe into the deep.

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