London, England: Routledge (1962)

The way in which knowledge progresses, and especially our scientific knowledge, is by unjustified anticipations, by guesses, by tentative solutions to our problems, by conjectures. These conjectures are controlled by criticism: that is, by attempted refutations, which include severely critical tests. They may survive these tests; but they can never be positively justified: they can neither be established as certainly true nor even as 'probable'. Criticism of our conjectures is of decisive importance: by bringing out our mistakes it makes us understand the difficulties of the problems which we try to solve. This is how we become better acquainted with our problem, and able to propose more mature solutions: the very refutation of a theory - that is, of a tentative solution to our problem - is always a step forward that takes us nearer the truth. And this is how we can learn from our mistakes. As we learn from our mistakes our knowledge grows, even though we may never know - that is, know for certain. Since our knowledge can grow, there can be no reason here for despair of reason. And since we can never know for certain, the can be no authority here for any claim to authority, for conceit over our knowledge, or for smugness. The essays and lectures of which this book is composed apply this thesis to many topics, ranging from problems of the philosophy and history of the physical and social sciences to historical and political problems
Keywords Knowledge, Theory of   Methodology   Prediction   Science
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Reprint years 1963, 1965, 1989, 1992, 2002, 2008, 2014
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ISBN(s) 9780415043182   9780203538074   9780415285940   0415285941   0415285933   0415043182   0710065078   0710065086   9780710065087   9781135971441   1013388305   1013443934   1013367723   1013507363
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