Death of Karl Popper, Philosopher of Science Hot

Death of Karl Popper, Philosopher of Science

Karl Raimund Popper

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Philosopher and scientist Karl Popper dies in London, England, at the age of 92. Born in Vienna, Austria, Popper studied and taught in Vienna until the Nazi persecution of Jews forced him to emigrate.

One of the most important contributions to the philosophy of science which Karl Popper has made was to argue that the inductive nature of science means that, no matter how often a theory is confirmed or supported with evidence, it will never be confirmed beyond any possible doubt or refutation.

As a consequence, Popper concluded that the principle of falsification is ultimately more important and fundamental to the scientific process because any theory or claim can, at least in principle, be falsified through new evidence. Science therefore proceeds more effectively though the falsification of theories than by repeating the same experiments over and over to create renewed confirmations for what remains a tentative theory.

Although Karl Popper was always sympathetic to the aims and methodology of the Vienna School of philosophy, he was never a member and did differ from them in some important respects. One of the more important of his differences from the Logical Positivists was his rejection of the idea that unfalsifiable statements are inherently meaningless.

Karl Popper believed that falsifiability created a boundary between science and pseudoscience, but he never rejected metaphysics out of hand. On the contrary, Popper believed that ideas in metaphysics often anticipate science and become a problem only when people treat metaphysics as if it were a hard science, as happens in the examples of astrology and alchemy.


Sir Karl Popper's "Science as Falsification"

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