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Karl Popper Critical Rationalism Essay

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Voltaire said “the perfect is the enemy of the good” (Voltaire 74). In striving for a perfect definition and application of scientific analysis, Karl Popper established an impractical and ineffective approach to science. In this paper, I will discuss the premises and principles behind Popper’s scientific method of critical rationalism. I will then explain where I believe his method succeeds, where it fails, and why I consider his method both impractical and ineffective. I will do so by first explaining his thoughts on science versus the status quo, then I will take the position that his approach is flawed and impractical, and lastly conclude with a commentary on why truth has to be flexible. My thesis is that in defining highly rigid parameters…show more content…
He urged that scientific theories could not be validated by confirming experiments, but rather could only be disproved by falsifying hypotheses. For example, if one were to hypothesize that it does not rain in Atlanta, and then if it were then to rain in Atlanta, the hypothesis would be deductively proved false. Conversely, a complete year or two without rain would not validate the hypothesis. Doctor Popper was strongly against a non-falsifiable deductive way of thinking (or what Simkin refers to as justificationism in his book Popper’s Views on Natural and Social Science) because of the aforementioned flaw with deductive reasoning: it is premised on validity, not truth. For Popper, as well as many other philosophers and scientists, the advancement of knowledge is dependent on the suggestion of new, probable ideas, not on bastardized ones derived from trite combinations of truth. According to Simkin, “Popper is against all forms of justificationism. They all involve a logical regress, as each justifying statement can be challenged, and the challenge has to be met by providing a justification for that statement itself” (Simkin 34). The reason that Popper was so against the practice of justificationism was that a scientist could exploit his data to confirm the hypothesis he
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