Incompatibility between Falsificationism and Realism

Document Type : Research Paper



Popper's falsificationism is a theory on scientific methodology and a criterion to separate scientific propositions from unscientific ones. Contrary to inductive method, it does not seek to prove the conclusive truth or even inconclusive and probable truth of scientific theories based on psychological self-evidence of observable and so-called basic propositions. Therefore, theories always remain at the level of conjecture and guessing. However, they can be approximately true guessing, although they are not absolutely or probably true conjectures. The concept of "approximate truth" or "more approximation to truth" is closely related to the reinforcement of propositions, degree of reality-showing or truth-showing, and scientific progress. Such an idea at least necessitates accepting the doctrine of correspondence between truth and realism about the existence of universe and scientific identities independent from men's minds. However, critics claim that Popperian falsificationism and scientific realism are incompatible and one is actually given up at the expense the other. Some scholars believe that realism is at most more compatible with positivism and others hold that falsificationism necessitates the rejection of essentialism and as a result necessitates unrealistic instrumentalism. The present paper tries to elaborate on these claims.



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