The Scientific Method Of Critical Rationalism Essay

The Scientific Method Of 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 for acceptable science, Popper encourages a dangerously obdurate disregard to problems, situations and realities. Much of science is not an exact science but when overwhelming evidence suggests that a hypothesis is a reliable fact, we cannot pretend otherwise simply because the hypothesis has not exhausted all possible tests of falsifiability.
Before discussing why Popper’s approach is ineffective, it is important to highlight his thoughts on deduction and induction, as those concepts are critical to Popper’s viewpoints. Typically, the term deduction refers to the process of using facts known to be valid to reach a conclusion. For example, if all humans are fallible and I am a human, I too must be fallible. It is important to note a common characteristic with deductive claims: they are not necessarily truthful, they only have to make logical sense in the context of the argument. This logical process is contrasted with induction; where a general idea is used to postulate some assumption: I...


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...e to not accept a theory as true until it has proven its integrity. That is, by not merely accepting any branch of new science as true as soon as it pops up we can preserve the absoluteness of science. From there, once new fields have stood the test of time and satisfy Popper’s criteria may they finally be accepted.
Popper’s approach is premised on the assumption that there can be only one perfect truth. But “truth” is not necessarily so rigid. “True north” for example, may change over time as precession changes. What constitutes autism and how to address it varies with each afflicted individual. The degree to which climate change is caused by man and the remedies for it may be fluctuating and not perfectly determinable. It seems that we have found hypotheses that falsify Popper’s assumption of what truth is and so, by his own conditions, we need to reject his theory.

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