Falsifications and Progress - Essay Sample

3 pages
721 words
George Washington University
Type of paper: 
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Falsificationism is an alternative induction philosophy advocated for by Karl Popper who was educated in Vienna in the 1920s. At around this time, there was a group known as Vienna circle which supported logical positivism. This approach made Science special and demanded that each theory had to be supported by facts and the more the facts then, the theory becomes more accurate. Popper was against this idea as it favored adoption of new theories yet the facts could not prove anything and rule out any possibilities at the same time.

Falsification proposes that observation is guided by and presupposes theory. This makes it more flexible as opposed to logical positivism and can even be used to explain changes in human behaviors and in the environment more convincingly. In falsification, theories are defined as speculative smart guesses created in an attempt to get rid of problems associated with previous theories so as to explain occurrences in the universe elaborately. Falsificationism is flexible in that it gives room for testing of the theories and only the justifiable ones remain applicable as others are eliminated and replaced.

Falsification can be given credit as the reason for progress in the field of Science due to the elimination of theories proved false and adoption of new ones. Logically, it is possible to deem a given theory as false based on reference to observation. In Science, if one is able to observe that a 10 kg weight and a 1 kg weight will fall through the same distance at the same speeds, then the theory that bodies fall at speeds proportional to their weights can be deduced as false. This implies that falsificationism treats science as a set of hypotheses proposed with the intention of accounting for universal behaviors. Not all hypotheses are scientific theories. For a hypothesis to qualify as a scientific theory, it has to be falsifiable. A statement such as It never rains on Wednesday can be termed as falsifiable because of observation of rain on the stated day. This implies that falsifiability depends on the existence of a logical observation which is an inconsistency with the hypothesis. Falsificationists, therefore, insist that scientific theories must be falsifiable because a law is informative only if certain observations can be ruled out. Theories can be classified according to the degree of falsifiability, clarity, and precision. A good theory makes a lot of claims, provides a lot of falsification avenues and at the same time, it is able to resist falsification when put to the test. For instance, the law that All planets move in ellipses around the sun is more falsifiable than Mars moves in an ellipse around the sun.

The element of falsifiability is evident in progress of scientific works. For instance, both Keplers laws of planetary motion and Newtons Laws of motion are applicable in the fields of dynamics. Newtons laws are however much more superior and widely used as a result of possessing a higher degree of falsifiability. The three laws of motion provide more opportunities for interested parties to prove that they are false and yet such an action has not been done.

Falsification has played a role in the progress of Science. For instance, Physics has progressed from Aristotle to Newton and to Einstein regimes. Physics by Aristotle was able to explain the reason as to why things fall into the ground by stating that heavy objects seek their natural place at the center of the earth. This theory was however falsified as it was observed that stones dropped from the top of the mast of a moving ship fell at the base of the mast and not at some distance away from the mast as the theory suggested. Newtons theory was able to explain this phenomenon using inertia as the cause of the stones falling at the mast. Later on, however, Einstein was able to add supporting evidence to the theories on falling objects. Einsteins theory of relativity proved that mass should be a function of velocity and that mass and energy could be transformed into one another. Einsteins theory has never been proved false, and hence it still holds. In conclusion, the progress of science and in this case physics is based on falsification whereby theories have to stand the tests and remain un-falsified by observations in order to become relevant.

Have the same topic and dont`t know what to write?
We can write a custom paper on any topic you need.

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the collegeessaywriter.net website, please click below to request its removal: