Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge
Conjectures and Refutations is one of Karl Popper's most wide-ranging and popular works, notable not only for its acute insight into the way scientific knowledge grows, but also for applying those insights to politics and to history. It provides one of the clearest and most accessible statements of the fundamental idea that guided his work: not only our knowledge, but our aims and our standards, grow through an unending process of trial and error.
How to learn from your errors.
By Alex De Visscher - September 27, 2000
This book is a collection of twenty papers and speeches that Popper has written throughout his life. The connection between these papers is that they are all loosely related to Popper's famous thesis that science progresses as a series of conjectures and refutations. Scientists build tentative theories (conjectures) to explain what they observe. Since no scientific theory can actually be proven, all a scientist can do is trying to refute it. If a theory withstands severe attempts to refute it, the conjecture becomes more credible (but not more probable, and not more true). A successful refutation of a conjecture is a breakthrough: it leads to new insights, and it can eventually lead to better conjectures. Science is a systematic way of learning from your errors, and criticism is an essential part of it. Some of the papers in this book make a good introduction to Popper's ideas, but technical discussions of this kind are never easy to read. For instance, if you are unfamiliar with... read more
Hypothesis-Attempt to Falsify- Conclude-Repeat!
By Kevin Currie-Knight "Education Grad Student" - November 26, 2002
It is rare these days to read a proper treatment of science. Bookshelves in the "science" sections are filled with astronomy, biology, chemistry and such. Not to suggest their is anything wrong with these disciplines; it's just that science is a way of thinking, or if you will, a method- not a collection of beliefs.
Karl Popper has been largely misunderstood, being labeled a relativist and destroyer of objective science. To be sure, he did believe, as the reader will find in this enjoyable collection, that all theories- even well corroborated, are tentative. To give his critics more ammo, Popper considers science "reasoned myth-making." Neither of these extend to relativism. If theories are tentative- always subject to new and different tests- a theory can never be fully proved but CAN be fully falsified. This is the essence of the books essays. Whether Popper is discussing the pre-socratic philosophers, social science or demarcation, his falsification theory is the common... read more
an enjoyable book
By A Customer - November 28, 2002
The book is a collection of articles by Popper. It is easier to understand than his classic Logik der Forshung, and is much richer in content, for Popper embarks in some of these lectures on the history of philosophy and the history of science. There is also a delicious paper on self-reference and meaning in ordinary language.
I especially recommend the paper on "Scientific problems and their roots in metaphysics". Popper's conception of scientific dinamics as a sequence of big problems and answers to them makes him see continuity where experts on some particular philospher usually don't. Thus Popper sees a direct relation between Pythagoras, Plato and Euclid based on some fundamental cosmological problems. Euclid's Elements, Popper claims, were conceived by its author not as an excercise in pure geometry but as an organon of a theory of the world, designed to solve the problems of Plato's cosmology. Plato realized that Pythagoras' "arithmetical"... read more
Is it really true that deforestation and the land use practices of the Himalayan farmers are to blame for the recurring and devastating monsoon floods in the plains of the Ganga and Brahmaputra? The ...
You can be free from the effects of rejection! No one totally escapes rejection. But not everybody has to be damaged by it! Our Father has provided a means for us as His children to be delivered from ...