Systems, inquiry, and the meanings of falsification

Philosophy of Science 40 (2):255-276 (1973)
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The purpose of this paper is to show that there are as many formulations of the process of falsification as there are archetypal, philosophical systems of inquiry. This paper explores several systems of inquiry which are based on Churchman's reading of the history of Western epistemology. It is argued that (1) the falsification of scientific theories can never be a purely formal process although it is perpetually open to formal exploration; (2) that contrary to current belief, falsification can never be more certain than confirmation because falsification involves judgments which are no more certain than those involved in confirmation. The supposed asymmetry between confirmation and falsification is severely challenged. Finally, a Feyerabendian and a Hegelian notion of falsification are explicitly developed and contrasted



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References found in this work

Patterns of Discovery.Norwood R. Hanson, A. D. Ritchie & Henryk Mehlberg - 1960 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 10 (40):346-349.
Public Knowledge.John Ziman - 1969 - Philosophy of Science 36 (2):222-224.
Perception and Discovery.Norwood Russell Hanson - 1972 - Synthese 25 (1):241-247.
Grünbaum on "the Duhemian argument".Laurens Laudan - 1965 - Philosophy of Science 32 (3/4):295-299.
An experimental measure of personality.C. West Churchman & Russell L. Ackoff - 1947 - Philosophy of Science 14 (4):304-332.

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