Human evolution theory utilizing concepts of neoteny & female sexual selection
An etiology of neuropsychological disorders such as autism and dyslexia, and the origin of left handedness.

twitter / andrewL9

Karl Popper

The Logic of Scientific Discovery: Bibliographical Excerpts

"The initial stage, the act of conceiving or inventing a theory, seems to me neither to call for logical analysis nor to be susceptible of it. The question how it happens that a new idea occurs to a man--whether it is a musical theme, or a dramatic conflict, or a scientific theory--may be of great interest to empirical psychology; but it is irrelevant to the logical analysis of scientific knowledge. This latter is concerned not with questions of fact (Kant's quid facti?), but only with questions of justification of validity (Kant's quid juris?). Its questions are of the following kind. Can a statement be justified? And if so, how? It is testable? It is logically dependent on certain other statements? Or does it perhaps contradict them? In order that a statement be logically examined in this way, it must already have been presented to us. Someone must have formulated it, and submitted it to logical examination." (Popper, Karl (1959) The Logic of Scientific Discovery. Basic Books, New York p. 31)

"The fact that value judgments influence my proposals does not mean that I am making the mistake of which I have accused the positivists--that of trying to kill metaphysics by calling it names. I do not even go so far as to assert that metaphysics has no value for empirical science. For it cannot be denied that along with metaphysics has no value for empirical science. For it cannot be denied that along with metaphysical ideas which have obstructed the advance of science there have been others--such as speculative atomism--which have aided it. And looking at the matter from the psychological angle, I am inclined to think that scientific discovery is impossible without faith in ideas which are of a purely speculative kind, and sometimes even quite hazy; a faith which is completely unwarranted from the point of view of science, and which, to that extent, is 'metaphysical'. (Popper, Karl (1959) The Logic of Scientific Discovery. Basic Books, New York p. 39)

"We may now return to a point made in the previous section: to my thesis that a subjective experience, or a feeling of conviction, can never justify a scientific statement, and that within science it can play no part but that of the subject of an empirical (a psychological) inquiry. No matter how intense a feeling of conviction it may be, it can never justify a statement. Thus I can be utterly convinced of the truth of a statement; certain of the evidence of my perceptions; overwhelmed by the intensity of my experience: every doubt may seem to be absurd. But does this afford the slightest reason for science to accept my statement? Can any statement be justified by the fact that K.R.P. is utterly convinced of the truth? The answer is, 'No'; and any other answer would be incompatible with the idea of scientific objectivity. Even the fact, for me so firmly established, that I am experiencing this feeling of conviction, cannot appear within the field of objective science except in the form of a psychological hypothesis which, of course, calls for inter-subjective testing: form the conjecture that I have this feeling of conviction the psychologist may deduce, with the help of psychological and other theories, certain predictions about my behavior; and these may be confirmed or refuted in the course of experimental tests. But from the epistemological point of view, it is quite irrelevant whether my feeling of conviction was strong or weak; whether it came from a strong or even merely from a doubtful surmise. None of this has any bearing on the question of how scientific statements can be justified." (Popper, Karl (1959) The Logic of Scientific Discovery. Basic Books, New York p. 46)



Related Links