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PHIL2005 Exploring The Nature Of Science

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PHIL2005 Exploring The Nature Of Science

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PHIL2005 Exploring The Nature Of Science

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Course Code: PHIL2005
University: The University Of Western Australia is not sponsored or endorsed by this college or university

Country: Australia

What is falsificationism? Describe one argument for or against falsificationism (or some aspect of it) from the published scholarly literature. Does this argument succeed or fail? Why?

The famous philosopher Karl Popper has coined the term “Falsificationism”. Falsificationism, as a theory takes an inductivism approach where every scientific theory is analysed in a logical manner. It asserts that the scientific theories cannot be proved. However, the theories can be falsified by showing contradictory observations.
One argument for Falsificationism has been put forward by Albert, (2015), where supports Popper’s criticism of the positivism approach. According to him a philosophy that prescribes scientists their actions, is causing as the hindrance in their progress. As per the Falsificationism approach, it can be said that using certain observations, theories can be falsified. In contrast with the Falsificationism theory, the inductive process of thinking advocates for the theories that are derived from the facts. However, falsificationists oppose the statement as they think that this is logically impossible. The falsificationism approach recognizes that the theories cannot be derived from. However, Popper says that the scientific theories should have the ability to explain the phenomena it has been planned to explain. Moreover, the theories should be formed in a way so that certain conclusions can be derived. The conclusions that are deductively derived from the theories can be applied to test the theory. The theories are tested for the consistency (Farrell & Hooker, 2013). Theories that are inconsistent, cannot be used in order to derive information. Next the theories are compared to other theories. The conclusions are then compared to the observations. In the context of social psychology, it can be said that the practice of these fields will not be changed drastically as a result of the falsificationism theory (Popper, 2014). Moreover, sociologists have also confirmed the fact that the research methods can be employed as long as the scientists abide by the ‘control through criticism’ ideology.
The argument by Popper succeeds because; in his initial approach, he tries to find out the ways of learning from an experience. Moreover, he tries to find out the ways in which these experiences can be employed so that something can be gained, which surpasses the experience (Pigliucci, 2013). Popper has pointed out that although the experiences provide with information, the information have to be processed and logically analysed in order to come to a conclusion. According to Philosophers, this ability to rationalise an experience and come to a conclusion is attributed to the induction process (Ivanova, 2015). As per the popular notion the power of science resides in the process of averting prejudices. The scientists then follow a steady and confirmed path of deriving inference from a singular observation. In spite of Bacon’s attempt to support the inductive method of finding, it does not address the issue of reaching to the conclusion. The procedure of reaching to a conclusion from the analysis of an experience has been entirely omitted by Francis Bacon. Nearly 200 years after Bacon’s approach, Karl Popper has highlighted the logical as well as the psychological issues related to the induction procedure (Leiter, 2015). Popper has pointed out that the past observations, by no means, can necessitate any conclusion. Moreover, Popper has also pointed out that it is more of a human nature that they seek for confirmation of their ideas and beliefs (Trafimow & Earp, 2017). However, it has been questioned that if the inductive method is not applied in the process, it will be difficult to distinguish between the pseudo-science and the science that is capable of imparting knowledge. To answer this question, Popper points out the contrast between the conjecture made by Einstein’s theory of relativity and that of the capability of a massive body to exert on a photon. Einstein’s relativity theory did not search for the confirmation, but in contrast it went against all accepted knowledge of the time. Hence, confirming to the evidences and the observation should not be counted as the ultimate evidence to confirm the theories (Leiter, 2015). Furthermore it can be said that this proposition is based on a simple and logical asymmetry. Hence, Popper logically infers that no definite number of observation can be suggested so as to come to a final conclusion (Willis, Beebee & Lasserson, 2013). Even a single theory that threatens a previous one, if accepted as a fact, can refute the earlier theory easily. Moreover, it is to be noted that the logical process is able to clarify the logical relations, but it cannot establish the truth by itself. However, it can present a contradiction between two statements marked by Popper. Popper has mentioned that no argument can make the compulsion of believing and accepting it. However, a valid deduction compels to select between the truth of the conclusion and the falsity of the argument on the other. Brown, (2013) stands firmly in support of the tradition of critical rationalism. Although he disagrees with Popper in regards to the queries how the scientists need to deal with the result of the falsifying observations.
In conclusion, it can be said that the Popperian epistemology stresses the fact that experiments are of high importance. However, the scientist should not use the experiments in order to prove something. Falsificationism is an exceptional way of inconsistencies between the theoretical propagations and the observations. 
Albert, H. (2015). Karl Popper, critical rationalism, and the Positivist Dispute. Journal of Classical Sociology, 15(2), 209-219.
Brown, M. J. (2013). Values in science beyond underdetermination and inductive risk. Philosophy of Science, 80(5), 829-839.
Farrell, R., & Hooker, C. (2013). Design, science and wicked problems. Design Studies, 34(6), 681-705.
Ivanova, M. (2015). Conventionalism about what? Where Duhem and Poincaré part ways. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, 54, 80-89.
Leiter, B. (2015). Normativity for Naturalists. Philosophical Issues, 25(1), 64-79.
Pigliucci, M. (2013). The demarcation problem. A (belated) response to Laudan. Philosophy of pseudoscience: Reconsidering the demarcation problem, 9.
Popper, K. (2014). Conjectures and refutations: The growth of scientific knowledge. routledge.
Trafimow, D., & Earp, B. D. (2017). Null hypothesis significance testing and Type I error: The domain problem. New Ideas in Psychology, 45, 19-27.
Willis, B. H., Beebee, H., & Lasserson, D. S. (2013). Philosophy of science and the diagnostic process. Family practice, 30(5), 501-505.

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