It is undeniable that the ultimate goal of science is to understand the true world. However, while this may be the aim of science, its actual progress is difficult to objectively measure due to the lack of a standard of truth. In other words, it is difficult to ascertain how close our scientific theories are to reflecting the true world since there is no indication of how far we have left to go. This problem is at the foundation of the fallibilist belief; according to Howard Sankey, “the fallibilist points to the existence of scientific theory-c...
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...e. Even if a theory completely and accurately describes the truth of the world, it is impossible to know whether this is the case in the absence of an objective standard of truth. Therefore, currently accepted theories will always be cast in doubt and subject to revision.
The fallibilist viewpoint is necessary in order to progress closer to the truth due to its nature of theory-change. Despite constantly challenging currently accepted theories, fallibilists are still able to believe that science progresses towards the truth, as illustrated in the historical example of the transition from Newtonian to Einsteinian science. However, it is impossible to permit that truth can be achieved if one takes up a fallibilist standpoint since this negates the potential for theory change and revision, and essentially implies that infallible theories do exist at the point of truth.
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