The Falsification Principle

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  • Created by: Vez97
  • Created on: 20-02-16 18:49


The falsification principle aims to improve upon the apparently limited verification principle by suggesting that the difficulty with religious statements is that there is no possible state of affairs that could ever lead to a religious statement being proven false.

The meaningfulness of a statement lies in the method of its falsification.  Any statement that cannot be falsified is empty of meaning.

KARL POPPER (1902 - 1994)

--> "science is more concerned with falsification of [a] hypothesis than with [its] verification."

The FP has its origins in Karl Popper's philosophy of science.  Popper agreed that several observed instances can't confirm a general principle, but pointed out that a single negative instance can falsify that theory.

  • E.g. no matter how many positive sightings I make of cats with tails, I cannot be certain of the truth of the theory "all cats have tails" - but just one sighting of a cat with no tail falsifies the theory.

According to Popper, theories are scientific only if they are falsifiable.

ANTONY FLEW (1923 -)

Flew developed the philosophies of Popper.  He argues that when we say something is the case (e.g. badgers are black and…


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