Popper’s Theory of Epistemology: A Perpetual Falsifiable Journey Towards Truth
2012 09 21

Compiled by: RedIceCreations.com

What does it feel like when you realize that a scientific theory you had complete faith in is proved wrong?

According to Karl Popper’s Logic of Scientific Discovery all you can do with a theory is prove it wrong. And that has been widely accepted now, so that is why scientists are so happy when their theories are proved wrong because that is itself something that can be known and it thus limits the possibilities of how nature works and how it was “designed”. It is not so much by Intelligent Design, but by Design Intelligence that we come to know the way nature actually works as opposed to how some people would like it to work, i.e. simplistically. Nature is complicated and even complex. Right now we are on the verge of a disproof of a high magnitude, if the Higgs particle is not found soon, and if there is no super-symmetry, and neutrinos really do go faster than the speed of light. We are not there yet, but this would be some big disproofs of well accepted parts of the standard model. And we will have to go back to the drawing board, no matter how elegant those theories are. If they are not true of nature, then we will start from scratch and try to find something better. And we will feel good about it because our theory was disproved, and so that takes us at least one step closer to knowing something more useful about the structure of nature.


Though Popper did not believe in the possibility of attaining the ultimate truth, he was not a skeptic. To him, we can expand our understanding and grow our knowledge. He suggested an idiosyncratic criterion to distinguish scientific knowledge from other source of knowledge: FALSIFIABILITY. A scientific hypothesis must provide a logical possibility to be refuted by a probable true observation statement. Therefore, according to Popper, falsifiability is a required characteristic for a scientific theory. Science evolves by shedding its falsified theories. Popper’s falsification model is similar to the notion of "natural selection". The best theory survives.

He suggested two qualities as a virtue of good scientific theory:

1. A good (useful, not necessarily true!) theory is a great challenger. It is intrinsically open to all kind of examinations. The broader the range of the claim the better is the theory, since wide-ranging claims are highly falsifiable. The life-span of the theory against the attack of falsificationists is not relevant for determining its quality.

2. A good theory is clear and precise. It does not hide behind vague expressions, or it does not act as a double-dealer. Indeed, the less a theory shows this quality the less information it provides.

Falsificationism encourages all kind of speculative theories, as long as they are stated clearly and precisely. The inadequate or the unfitting ones will be tossed away by examinations. A scientific theory can never be said that it is true, but it can be said that it is closer to the truth than its predecessors. Confirmation is not considered as a valid method, any observational statement whether be singular or general, cannot be true, but may be better than previous ones. Falsificationists do not accept general or singular "laws". Here is a dramatic example: According to Popper, the statement, "Planets rotate around the sun" still should be considered " a surviving theory" waiting to be falsified.

Let’s evaluate the following examples according to Popper’s theory of epistemology:

Whoever smokes over 17 cigarets per day, will die within 7 days. (A good theory).

All the philosophy instructors in UA are male. (A good theory, but not better than the previous example)

Most of the philosophy instructors in UA are crazy. (A bad theory, "most" and "crazy are vague, thus, difficult to falsify it)

Speed of light is about 300,000 km/sec. (A good theory)

Speed of light is 299,000 km/sec. (A good theory, better than the previous one)

The existence of ghosts is a probability bouncing between one out of googoplex to hundred percent. (A bad theory; vague and non-falsifiable)

If you have faith in me without any doubt in your heart, you won’t have any problem. (A bad theory; vague and non-falsifiable).

English is better than French. (A bad theory; vague and non-falsifiable)

Popper’s theory of falsification is better than Inductivism. (A bad theory; vague and non-falsifiable!).

Article from: yuksel.org

Karl Popper’s the Three Worlds of Knowledge
From: KnowledgeJump.com

One of the more popular epistemology models (except for perhaps in the training/learning/behavioral sciences) is Sir Karl Popper’s writings on the Three Worlds of Knowledge [PDF]. The behavioral sciences (knowledge/learning/management professions) seem to prefer and stay within the realm of Michael Polanyi’s concept of tacit and explicit knowledge. However, Polanyi’s epistemology is narrower and has a limited basis for understanding knowledge as compared to Popper’s work, which provides a broader epistemological foundation.

Karl Popper theorizes that there are three worlds of knowledge:

World 1 is the physical universe. It consists of the actual truth and reality that we try to represent, such as energy, physics, and chemistry. While we exist in this world, we do not always perceive it and then represent it correctly.

World 2 is the world of our subjective personal perceptions, experiences, and cognition. It is what we think about the world as we try to map, represent, and anticipate or hypothesis in order to maintain our existence in an every changing place. Personal knowledge and memory form this world, which are based on self-regulation, cognition, consciousness, dispositions, and processes. Note that Polanyi’s theory of tacit and explicit knowledge is based entirely within this world.

World 3 is the sum total of the objective abstract products of the human mind. It consists of such artifacts as books, tools, theories, models, libraries, computers, and networks. It is quite a diverse mixture. While knowledge may be created and produced by World 2 activities, its artifacts are stored in World 3, for example a claw-hammer, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and Godel’s proof of the incompleteness of arithmetic. Popper also includes genetic heredity (if you think about it, genes are really nothing more than a biological artifact of instructions).

Drums are an example of World 3 knowledge as the drumsticks and taut skin and shape of the drum clue us in on what it is and how to use it.

Books are another example of Word 3 knowledge as they store an array of ideas, such as knowledge or models.

World 2 knowledge is the tacit and explicit knowledge that we have within us.


Read the full article at: knowledgejump.com

Related Articles
Karl Popper - Wikipedia
Philosophy Posters
Existentialist Philosophy: "The Myth of Sisyphus" (Video)
Hawking contra Philosophy
A Crash Course in Hermetic Philosophy
Where tech and philosophy collide

Latest News from our Front Page

Recent Israeli Synagogue Attack, a Possible False Flag?
2014 11 21
Dear Friends - I woke up yesterday morning to see a newspaper lying on the kitchen table with the front page proclaiming that five people were slain in an Israeli synagogue after a so-called "Palestinian attack." Some members of the media said that four people were killed, others said five, so it seems like that there was some confusion (or ...
The Michael Brown Shooting, Race Baiting for Political Power and Militarization of the Police
2014 11 21
From Youtube: The evidence clearly shows that Officer Darren Wilson was justified in shooting Michael Brown, so why is this case being hyped by the mainstream media and the leftist political establishment?
Detekt: A New Malware Detection Tool That Can Expose Illegitimate State Surveillance
2014 11 21
Recent years have seen a boom in the adoption of surveillance technology by governments around the world, including spyware that provides its purchasers the unchecked ability to target remote Internet users’ computers, to read their personal emails, listen in on private audio calls, record keystrokes and passwords, and remotely activate their computer’s camera or microphone. EFF, together with Amnesty International, ...
New UK spy chief says tech giants aid terrorism, privacy not ‘absolute right’
2014 11 21
Robert Hannigan, the new head of GCHQ The new head of Britain’s GCHQ, the UK equivalent of the NSA in the U.S., said he believes privacy is not an absolute right and that tech giants must open themselves up to intelligence agencies. “GCHQ is happy to be part of a mature debate on privacy in the digital age,” Hannigan said. “But privacy ...
LOL: Atheist Feminist Pornographer Used as Moral Authority in T-shirt Row
2014 11 21
Dr. Matt Taylor was thrust into the headlines this last week, largely for his lead role in successfully landing a spacecraft on a comet 300 million miles from earth that travels at a speed of 85,000 mph. In short, Taylor and his colleagues pulled off one of the most amazing achievements in contemporary science and space exploration, and in a ...
More News »