The professional philosophy statement

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the professional philosophy statement

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Citation needed As Popper put it, a decision is required on the part of the scientist to accept or reject the statements that go to make up a theory or that might falsify. At some point, the weight of the ad hoc hypotheses and disregarded falsifying observations will become so great that it becomes unreasonable to support the base theory any longer, and a decision will be made to reject. Citation needed Although the logic of naïve falsification is valid, it is rather limited. Nearly any statement can be made to fit the data, so long as one makes the requisite 'compensatory adjustments'. Popper drew attention to these limitations in The logic of Scientific Discovery in response to criticism from pierre duhem. Quine expounded this argument in detail, calling it confirmation holism.

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5 In this larger picture, the fact that page a single basic statement can contradict a strictly universal statement, though true logically, is in itself useless, because it cannot lead to a falsification. To support falsification, popper requires that a class of offs basic statements corroborate a falsifying hypothesis. 2 A basic statement corroborates the falsifying hypothesis, if it does not logically contradict it, but contradicts the theory to be falsified. Though it corresponds to the empirical notion of reproducible experiments, this requirement exists entirely at the formal level 11 and must be complemented by methodological rules in a falsification process. Naïve falsification edit naïve falsificationism is an unsuccessful attempt to prescribe a rationally unavoidable method for science. Sophisticated methodological falsification, on the other hand, is a prescription of a way in which scientists ought to behave as a matter of choice. The object of this is to arrive at an incremental process whereby theories become less bad. Citation needed naïve falsification considers scientific statements individually. Scientific theories are formed from groups of these sorts of statements, and it is these groups that must be accepted or rejected by scientists. Scientific theories can always be defended by the addition of ad hoc hypotheses.

26 so, a basic statement must make reference to a specific thing or specific location and time. The sentence "There exists a black swan" is not a basic statement, but the statement "There is a black swan on the shore of the Swan river" is a basic statement, it is a singular existential statement. Popper arrived at these conditions through an analysis of what one expects from basic statements. In addition, a basic statement must be inter-subjective. So, "John saw a black swan on the shore of the Swan river" is not a basic statement. 29 Methodological rules and falsifying hypotheses edit falsifiability is defined strictly in terms of the logical form of the theory, 1 but this mother criterion of demarcation can not work without being complemented by methodological rules. 30 Thus, contemporary philosophers consider that Popper's demarcation criterion has two parts: the logical part (stated in terms of rules of inference - ways to logically infer new statements from existing statements) and the methodological part (stated in terms of rules that do not claim. 31 The methodological rules define falsification. They should not be confused with the (logical) rules of inferences used to define falsifiability, which is about the logical form of the theory.

the professional philosophy statement

Professional Philosophy Statement, free essays

We can understand them in terms of the concepts of universal or individual names: ". Dictator, planet, H2O are universal concepts or universal names. Napoleon, the earth, the Atlantic are singular or individual concepts or names. In these examples individual concepts or names appear to be characterized either by being proper names, or by having to be defined by means of proper names, whilst proposal universal concepts or names can be defined without the use of proper names." — Karl Popper, popper 1959. 4243 A statement is strict or pure, if it does not use any individual name. So, a law of nature cannot refer to particular things. The sentence "This apple is attracted by the planet earth" is not a scientific statement. Popper wrote an entire section on strictly universal and strictly existential statements, because he considers the distinction between universal and individual concepts or names to be of fundamental importance. A statement is singular if it contains an individual name or the equivalent.

21 Thus we need to distinguish between existential and universal statements and also between singular and strict statements. Universal and existential statements are built-in concepts in logic. The first are statements such as "there is a white swan". Logicians call these statements existential statements, since they assert the existence of some thing. They are equivalent to a first-order logic statement of the form: There exists an x such that x is a swan, and x is white. The second are statements that categorize all instances of something, such as "all swans are white". Logicians call these statements universal. They are usually parsed in the form: For all x, if x is a swan, then x is white. Unlike existential and universal statements, singular and strict statements are not built-in concepts in logic, because they correspond to a specific perspective on our experience of the world.

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the professional philosophy statement

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In contrast to positivism, which held that statements are meaningless if they cannot be verified or falsified, popper claimed that falsifiability resume is merely a special case of the more general notion of critical rationalism, 17 even though he admitted that empirical refutation is one. Criticizability, in contrast to falsifiability, and thus rationality, may be comprehensive (i.e., have no logical limits though this claim is controversial, even among proponents of Popper's philosophy and critical rationalism. Definition edit for Popper (and others) in any scientific discussion we accept a background knowledge. 18 Such a background knowledge is thus implicit in the definition of falsifiability and corresponds to different types of statements, their relationship 1 and their interpretation in terms of observations and measurements. 19 Different types of statements edit recall that a theory is falsifiable if it is contradicted by a basic statement. It remains to define what kind of statements create theories and what are basic statements.

Scientific theories are particular kind of universal statements. 20 Basic statements are particular kind of existential statements. 21 Not all universal statements are theories and not writing all existential statements are basic statements. Theories have the form of strictly universal statements. 22 Basic statements have the form of singular existential statements.

19 Contemporary philosopher david Miller mentions that other similar objections have been anticipated and answered by popper. The falsifiability criterion does not imply that unfalsifiable systems such as logic, mathematics and metaphysics are not parts of science. 14 Contrary to intuition, unfalsifiable statements can be embedded in—and deductively entailed by—falsifiable theories. For example, while "all men are mortal" is unfalsifiable, it is a logical consequence of the falsifiable theory that "all men die 150 years after their birth at the latest". Similarly, the ancient metaphysical and unfalsifiable idea of the existence of atoms has led to corresponding falsifiable modern theories.


Popper invented the notion of metaphysical research programs to name such unfalsifiable ideas that guide the search for a new theory. Thus falsificationism has two levels. At the logical level, scientists use deductive logic to attempt to falsify theories. At the non-logical level, they decide on some criteria, which use falsification and other factors, to pick which theories they will study, improve, replace, apply or (further) test. These other criteria may take into account a metaphysical research program. They are not considered in the formal falsifiability criterion, but they can give a meaning to this criterion. Needless to say, for Popper, these other criteria, the so called rules of the game, are necessary. Some philosophers consider them as parts of Popper's demarcation criterion, but Popper viewed them only as a necessary context.

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Moreover, this singular existential statement is empirical: it is impractical to teresa observe all the swans in the world to verify that they are all white, but one can observe one swan that is not white. This shows the fundamental difference between verifiability and falsifiability. Also, in the logical form of the theory, there is no notion of future experiments, but only a (formal) class of basic statements that contradict. 2 11 Such a simple contradiction with a basic statement is not what Popper calls a falsification. 5 A falsification usually entails a derivation from a system of statements, which include the universal statement and initial conditions, to a singular statement, which is contradicted by brief a falsifying hypothesis, 2 12 but the argument can be generalized. It is possible by means of purely deductive inferences (with the help of the modus tollens of classical logic) to argue from the truth of singular statements to the falsity of universal statements. Such an argument to the falsity of universal statements is the only strictly deductive kind of inference that proceeds, as it were, in the inductive direction; that is, from singular to universal statements." — Karl Popper, popper 1959,. .

the professional philosophy statement

Objections can be raised against falsifiability as a criterion of demarcation similar to those which can be raised against verifiability. For example, as pointed out by many and reformulated by colin McGinn, we have to be able to infer that if a falsifying result has been found in a given experiment it heavy will be found in future experiments;. This is clearly an inductive inference. — Colin McGinn, McGinn 2002, sec. 3 Very early, in anticipation of this specific objection Popper wrote, this attack would not disturb. My proposal is based upon an asymmetry between verifiability and falsifiability; an asymmetry which results from the logical form of universal statements. For these are never derivable from singular statements, but can be contradicted by singular statements. P 19 In its simple form, the point here is that although a singular existential statement such as 'there is a white swan in Europe' cannot be used to affirm a universal statement, it can be used to show that one is false: the statement.

attempt to provide an a priori justification for synthetic statements was successful." However, if one finds one single swan that is not white, deductive logic admits the conclusion that the statement that all swans are white. Falsificationism thus strives for questioning, for falsification, of hypotheses instead of proving them or trying to view them as valid in any way. For a statement to be questioned using observation, it needs to be at least theoretically possible that it can come into conflict with observation. A key observation of falsificationism is thus that a criterion of demarcation is needed to distinguish those statements that can come into conflict with observation and those that cannot. Popper chose falsifiability as the name of this criterion, which he described, informally, as follows: I shall require that the logical form of the theory shall be such that it can be singled out, by means of empirical tests, in a negative sense: it must. — Karl Popper, popper 1959. P 19 The required logical form is that there must exist basic statements that contradict the theory (and also some that corroborate it because the theory must be consistent). This logical form implies the possibility of refutations by experience because, by definition, a basic statement must be intersubjective and interpretable in terms of observations.

He proposed that statements and theories that are not falsifiable are unscientific. Declaring an unfalsifiable theory to be scientific would then be pseudoscience. Popper clearly distinguished between refutability and refutation, 5 and excluded refutation based on (formal) logic only, because he considered consistency a prerequisite so necessary that it had to be a part of the demarcation criterion itself, not of a subsequent refutation. Contents, overview edit The classical view of the philosophy of science is that it is the goal of science to prove hypotheses like "All swans are white" or to induce them from observational data. The Inductivist methodology supposes that one can somehow move from a series of statements such as 'here is a white swan 'over there is a white swan and so on, to a universal statement such as 'all swans are white'. As observed by david Hume, immanuel Kant and later by popper and others, this method is clearly deductively invalid, since it is always possible that there may be a non-white swan that has eluded observation 7 short (and, in fact, the discovery of the australian black. This is known as the problem of induction. One solution to the problem of induction, proposed by Immanuel Kant in Critique of Pure reason, is to consider as valid absolutely a priori the conclusions that we would otherwise have drawn from these dubious inferential inductions.

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"All swans are white" can report be proven false and is, hence, a falsifiable statement, since evidence of black swans proves it to be false and such evidence can be provided. Were the statement true, however, it would be difficult to prove true. A statement, hypothesis, or theory has falsifiability (or is falsifiable ) if it can logically be proven false by contradicting it with a basic statement. 1 2, for example, the claim "all swans are white" is falsifiable since the basic statement, "In 1697, during the. Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh expedition, there were black swans on the shore of the Swan river in Australia" 3 contradicts. The concept is also known by the terms refutable and refutability. The concept was introduced by the philosopher of science, karl Popper, in his exposition of scientific epistemology. He saw falsifiability as the criterion for demarcating the limits of scientific inquiry.


the professional philosophy statement
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