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Questions tagged [falsifiability]

The falsifiability of a hypothesis or statement, i.e. the inherent possibility of making observations that can prove the hypothesis wrong.

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Does falsifiability require reproducibility according to Popper?

I can see how the idea of falsifiability (rather than some form of verificationism) could support a demarcation between science and pseudoscience. Here is the Wikipedia definition of falsifiability: ...
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Are uncomputable numbers/things a problem for Wheeler's “it from bit”?

I have some questions related to Wheeler's ideas of "It from bit" and "Law without law" In summary, these both theories postulate that there was an initial universe with no laws from which laws of ...
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If I saw UFOs, and I was of sound mind and body, does that give the right to say that it is true? [closed]

Around a year ago I saw some spectacular things in the skies above me, on three separate occasions. I believe I was of sound mind and what I saw really did exist. Given that what I saw was so out-...
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Will AI make falsifiability obsolete?

With the advances in machine learning, data mining and process of big data, soon machines will find patterns that could either interpreted as causation or correlation while we have no idea of the ...
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Operationalization / Falsifiability and ethics

I'm studying crowd behavior and I have some tricky questions: (1) Does operationalization guarantee testing falsifiability? (2) Is the study of crowd behavior falsifiable science? From a Freudian ...
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To what extent is embodied cognition falsifiable?

As a matter of philosophy of science, since Karl Popper (1934), falsifiability is a crucial distinctive property of scientific inquiry. So, I wonder to what extent are some hypotheses of cognitive ...
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Is the negation of a non-falsifiable statement falsifiable?

In Popper's "Logic of Scientific Discovery", falsifiability is set up as a criterion for determining the purview of science. The canonical example is the statement "All swans are white", which is ...
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Do unverifiable statements provide any knowledge?

I believe the following three examples are equally self-contradictory: A: Nothingness is blue B: Objects don't exist when we are not looking at them C: There exists a parallel universe that never ...
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Value of unfalsifiable beliefs

I understand the value of falsifiable beliefs. Often they make predictions, and are classified as scientific ideas, useful in churning out predictions. But do unfalsifiable beliefs have any value? ...
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What is the philosophical status of interpretations of a scientific theory?

What constitutes an interpretation of a scientific theory? Are interpretations subject to scientific criteria like falsifiability, repeatability, etc, or are they philosophical comments? And finally, ...
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Scientific statements that are not falsifiable

Consider this statement: There exist black swans. It is (practically) not falsifiable, since we can't search the whole world to conclude there are no black swans. However, it is provable, and I ...
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Does the idea of falsification assume the existence of an objective reality?

In order to falsify a hypothesis, an observation must be compared to some statement of fact that would be true if the hypothesis were true. The unspoken assumption seems to be that the observation, ...
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Does Popper's falsification view of the problem of induction have any implications for the NEW riddle of induction?

Popper claims to solve Hume's problem of induction by explaining that science does not use induction at all, but rather science can be described by the process of putting forward hypotheses and then ...
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Can descriptive accounts of distant past or future be falsified?

An earlier question Can explanatory historical accounts (as opposed to descriptive ones) ever be falsified? seems to contain the opinion that descriptive accounts can be falsified. In connection with ...
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Burden of Proof vs. Confirmation Bias vs. Falsifiability

I think I'm using the concepts Burden of Proof, Confirmation Bias and Falsifiability inappropriately, or muddling the notions in my way of thinking. I just looked up these concepts on google a few ...
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At what prediction level do we call a physical world theory true?

Alright, I am in a bind. I know that prediction is the ultimate test of a theory in the physical world. You can make any assumptions, you can come up with useless things like the math in string ...
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How do you have to rate the probability of an existential claim?

If the prior probability of every universal hypothesis is zero how would you have to rate the probability of the statement that unicorns (at least one) exist? Probability of an event = number of ...
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Why can some things apparently be “pretended” but others apparently can't? [closed]

"Pretend to be upset" - seems broadly possible? "Pretend to lift your right arm" (for a person who has the capability of doing this action ) - not sure if this is possible "All experiences are real (...
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Is the scientific method, itself, falsifiable?

Fundamental to science is the concept of hypotheses being falsifiable. A falsifiable hypothesis, naturally, is one which could be proven wrong by empirical experimentation or observation. Karl ...
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Is falsificationism a reliable scientific methodology?

Initially it seemed to me that falsificationism is a reliable scientific methodology for disregarding hypotheses/theories. Upon some thinking, however, I conclude that it is not. Below I explain why. ...
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What is the utility of non-falsifiable beliefs about God?

Note: This question is derived from comments by the original poster of an earlier question (on my answer to that question, How can theists respond to the argument that God is "unfalsifiable"...
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How can theists respond to the argument that God is “unfalsifiable”?

In this short essay, "Theology and Falsification", Anthony Flew argues that the idea of God is unfalsifiable. Flew gives the following example: A person of faith asserts that God loves his children. ...
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Sufficient & necessary conditions for singular and general statements

In David Rynin's 1956 address to the American Philosophical Association, "Vindication of L*G*C*L P*S*T*V*SM", he remarks upon the "tenuous logical relationship" between a general statement, "For any ...
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Examples of Falsifiability

I came across the notion of falsifiability quite recently. The wikipedia article on the same states that: Falsifiability or refutability of a statement, hypothesis, or theory is the inherent ...
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If we can't experimentally prove a fundamental law of physics due to human limitations, does that make it false?

The title is worded a bit vaguely so let me expand a bit on it. Say there is some sort of law of physics that's quite obvious if you had more than our basic 5 senses and lived in more dimensions, ...
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Can explanatory historical accounts (as opposed to descriptive ones) ever be falsified?

At the descriptive level, history is falsifiable based on archaeological evidence and textual sources. But this applies only to descriptions of historical events. Yet historians presumable do more ...
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Quantum Mechanics has formally undecidable problems. What is the philosophical significance of this?

A certain problem is quantum mechanics has been shown to be uncomputable. This means that although it is in a certain sense making a prediction, there is no systematic way to determine what prediction ...
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What are the most important criticisms of Popper's account of Falsification? [duplicate]

Karl Popper is mostly known for his falsification principle. I'm very familiar with his account and I understand it well. I've heard multiple times that there are some real issues with this account ...
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Evolution and Popperian falsifiability

According to Karl Popper's falsification criterion only a falsifiable theory is said to be a scientific theory. If this is true, is Evolution Theory falsifiable and hence considered scientific?
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Does anyone argue that Karl Popper's theory of critical rationalism does not meet its own conditions?

I am a huge fan of Dr. Popper's work, and particularly his theory that the property of falsifiability separates the scientific from the non-scientific. However, it struck me that this theory does not ...
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Other terms for Popper's “metaphysical research program”

Are there synonyms or alternative terms for Poppers "metaphysical research program"? This seems like a useful concept for practicing scientists, but telling them that their work isn't "true" science ...
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Is medicine falsifiable?

Would modern medicine be falsifiable according to Popper? What about alternative medicine, such as homeopathy? My problem with this, is that I imagine such falsification depends on double blind ...
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Judging the Logical Conclusion for this Epistemological Debate [closed]

I was involved in a debate with my friend a few days ago. He proposed that the most logical answer for questions that can't be judged with science, logic and reason should be polar, i.e., either '...
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What would falsify compatibilism?

I'm trying to figure out whether compatibilism (SEP, Wikipedia) is falsifiable, a metaphysic, or something else. One way to get at this is to take a Popperian approach, and ask whether any ...
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If we can falsify hypothesis, cant we verify them by falsifying their negation?

Some people argue that we can not verify hypothesis but we can falsify them? I believe we can usually negate statements. So, if we can falsify statements, why cant we verify statements by falsifying ...
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Falsifiability, facts, opinions, and tautologies

Wikipedia says: In the same way, "all men are mortal" is unfalsifiable: even if someone is observed who has not died so far, he could still die in the next instant. By contrast, "all men are ...
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Are there any potential flaws in the definition of validity as “provable or falsifiable”?

I have made an argument in another thread that a proposition must be provable or falsifiable to be valid. Are there any flaws in this definition of validity? What might be a potential counter-argument ...
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Is the claim “this coin is fair” falsifiable?

Wikipedia says, The claim "No human lives forever" is not falsifiable since one would have to observe a human living forever to falsify that claim. Thinking on similar lines, even if the ...