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Karl Popper, the enemy of certainty, part 4: Lakatos, Kuhn and Feyerabend Liz Williams

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Karl Popper, the enemy of certainty, part 4: Lakatos, Kuhn and Feyerabend Liz Williams

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Karl Popper, the enemy of certainty, part 4: Lakatos, Kuhn and Feyerabend Liz Williams Story from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2012/oct/01/karl-popper-lakatos-kuhn-feyerabend Image Attribution: Bill Pierce/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image This diverse trio drove the philosophy of science forwards with their responses to Popper's theory of falsificationThe history of the philosophy of science throughout the 20th century is marked by sporadic reactions to Karl Popper breaking out into florid and controversial display and effectively governing the course of the discipline as the century winds to its close. Popper's most significant critics during this period were the trio of Imre Lakatos Thomas Kuhn and Paul Feyerabend " very different thinkers who nonetheless in their response to the theory of falsification served to drive the philosophy of science forwards in leaps and bounds.A central difficulty of falsification is behavioural rather than theoretical " falsificationism is an ideal. Scientists do not in practice jettison theories in response to a single falsificatory instance.But what do they do instead? Generally they attempt to rescue their theory by dint of shoring it up with auxiliary hypotheses. Popper recognises this referring to it as the "conventionalist stratagem". The problem with that stratagem is that eventually it destroys the theory's testability: astrology does this by refusing to countenance any negative instance; it renders itself unfalsifiable and therefore superficial. Many positive examples are invoked in support of the theory: it is based on inductive instances. But negative examples " of which there are many " are discounted as falsificatory instances by astrology's followers and thus the theory chugs on undeterred yet increasingly weakened. What is this? This is an experiment in virtual agent news production. Keywords: Science, Philosophy, Philosophy

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2013.01.06.

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