Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Falsifiability - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "Paul Feyerabend examined the history of science with a more critical eye, and ultimately rejected any prescriptive methodology at all. He went beyond Lakatos? argument for ad hoc hypothesis, to say that science would not have progressed without making use of any and all available methods to support new theories. He rejected any reliance on a scientific method, along with any special authority for science that might derive from such a method. Rather, he claimed, ironically, that if one is keen to have a universally valid methodological rule, anything goes would be the only candidate. For Feyerabend, any special status that science might have derives from the social and physical value of the results of science rather than its method. Following from Feyerabend, the whole 'Popper project' to define science around one particular methodology?which accepts nothing except itself?is a perverse example of what he supposedly decried: a closed circle argument. Moreover, it makes Popper effectively a philosophical nominalist, which has nothing to do with empirical sciences at all. Although Popper's claim of the singular characteristic of falsifiability does provide a way to replace invalid inductive thinking (empiricism) with deductive, falsifiable reasoning, it appeared to Feyerabend that doing so is neither necessary for, nor conducive to, scientific progress."

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