Class Notes (810,585)
Canada (494,162)
Philosophy (1,167)


2 Pages
Unlock Document

McMaster University
Sean Corner

Instructors: Stefan Rodde &Adam Sopuck Date: 11/24/13 Class: Philosophy & the Sciences 1D03 Topic: Falsibility as the Criteria for Demarcating Science form Pseudo Science— Popper Recap  We have some general understanding that some theories just aren’t scientific o By this we intend to mean is that such theories lack a certain rigor or methodological adequacy o Ex. Alternative medicine (Homeopathy)  Astrology: the theory that astronomical phenomena may have some connection to human life  Energy Medicine: theory that a “healer” may channel healing energy into a patient usually through touch  What makes theory unscientific? o Is there some common feature that all pseudo scientific theories share which make them unscientific  What makes a theory scientific? o Is there some common feature that all scientific theories share which make them unscientific  Poppers Answer: scientific theories have clear empirical conditions under which they may be falsified  Popper Statement (on page 26 of text) o By ‘irrefutable’ here it is meant that is there is nothing that one could observe that would contradict the hypothesis  Why is irrefutability problematic? o ‘Irrefutable’ is not synonymous with ‘incapable of being false’  Consider the following hypothesis o “The reason why material bodies attract one another is because the are connected together by metaphysical (invisible) glue”  Surely we do not consider this hypothesis to be a good one because it is irrefutable  It is a detriment to a hypothesis that it lacks proper conditions for falsification o Given the problem of induction the ‘withstanding of falsification’ is the only kind of grounding in observation that scientific theories plausibly have  3 mechanisms of irrefutability o Vagueness  A theory may be irrefutable insofar as it is vague in what it predicts, or what it asserts of empirical phenomenon o Ad Hoc Reinterpretation of Fact or Theory  A theory may be irrefutable if, whenever it is confronted by empirical data that appears to contradict it, it either gets reinterpreted to accommodate the new empirical data, or the empirical data gets reinterpret
More Less

Related notes for PHILOS 1D03

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.