Popper’s Conception of Scientific Discovery and Its Relation to the Community of Science

  • H. T. WilsonEmail author


Popper’s view of scientific activity appears to take its social and communitarian features largely for granted. Rather than making this inter-subjectivity the basic problematic in his work, he wanted to move beyond language without, however, foreclosing the possibility that communication may often be a source of confusion in research and related scientific activity. Popper feared that the study of science, no less than scientific activity itself, may be led astray by an overly reflexive approach and focus (Popper, The Poverty of Historicism. Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1957, pp. 135–6, 142, 148–9). There are aspects of his views on this matter which bear a considerable resemblance to Bacon, even though Popper is clearly a Cartesian deductivist rather than a Baconian inductivist, for reasons that become apparent in The Logic of Scientific Discovery. According to Popper, no such practice or method of discovery exists, either in science or anywhere else (Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery. Hutchinson, London, 1959, pp. 27–48ff).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Professor of Public Policy & Public Law, Program Evaluation & Policy AnalysisYork UniversityTorontoCanada

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