Popper on Refutability: Some Philosophical and Historical Questions

  • Diego L. Rosende
Conference paper
Part of the Boston Studies in The Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 272)

Popper's falsifiability criterion of demarcation is critically examined, both as a proposal with an independent epistemological rationale and as a condition which modern science is supposed to satisfy, and some famous objections to it are discussed. While possessing an irresistible epistemological appeal, an analysis of the objections arising from the Duhem problem shows that there is an immediate conflict, and not a mutual support, between Popper's methodological approach to falsifiablity in Logik der Forschung and his formal criterion of demarcation. Moreover, and partly owing to this unnoticed conflict, his classic defence of falsi-ficationism as an alternative to conventionalism is shown to rely on assumptions linking testability with meaning which, contrary to what is sometimes supposed, were shared by Popper with some of his positivist and conventionalist targets, and later superseded by his realist and objectivist conception of scientific statements.


Scientific Theory Newtonian Theory Marxian Theory Historical Question Demarcation Criterion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diego L. Rosende
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Buenos AiresCiudad de Buenos AiresArgentina

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