Just Say 'No' to Logical Negativism
Susan Haack, Putting Philosophy to Work: Inquiry and Its Place in Culture, Prometheus Books, Expanded Paperback Edition, 2013
27 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2012 Last revised: 17 Aug 2012
Date Written: August 14, 2012
Karl Popper’s influential philosophy of science had the enthusiastic support of well-known scientists, and has even played a significant role in the U.S. legal system. Assessing the true value of Popper’s contribution to our understanding of science is complicated by the fact that, besides the authentic, uncompromisingly falsificationist Popper, there is also a shadow Popper who offers more modest, and more plausible, ideas. But the authentic Popper’s original and distinctive claims about science are indefensible; and the shadow Popper’s more defensible ideas are not original. The Critical Common-sensist approach developed in my Defending Science — Within Reason resolves the difficulties of Popper’s Logical Negativism, and provides a much more plausible account of the scientific enterprise.
Keywords: science, Popper, falsificationism, deductivism, verisimilitude, skepticism, Peirce, Whewell, Critical Common-sensism
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