|From:||"Stavros Macrakis" <macrakis@xxxxxxxxxxxx>|
|Date:||Mon, 10 Dec 2007 13:42:29 -0500|
On Dec 10, 2007 6:02 AM, John F. Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:|
Falsifiability is part of Popper's philosophy of science, and most
Popper (if I'm remembering my long-ago reading of him correctly) did not argue for falsifiability on the practical grounds that you can't check every crow (after all, maybe you're missing the one crow that *falsifies* your theory), though he certainly expected that if you're only looking for confirming evidence, you're not likely to find falsifying evidence.
He argued that if it is *impossible* to falsify a theory, then the theory isn't worth bothering with. His target was belief systems (specifically Marxism and psychoanalysis) which were constructed in such a way that no counterexample could be constructed -- because there are various ways *within the theory* to explain them away.
But even scientific theories are difficult to falsify because, as Lakatos put it, there is a "protective belt" of auxiliary hypotheses around the "hard core" theory, and scientists will adjust the protective belt to preserve the hard core.
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