Carnab’s Confirmability Principle and Popper’s Objections

Mohsen Almoallem

Abstract


This article deals with the work of the prominent philosopher and logician Rudolf Carnab in establishing the Confirmability Principle as a tool to distinguish scientific from metaphysical statements, and the objections raised by the philosopher of science Karl Popper to this principle. It also focuses on the philosophical and logical argumentation that lasted decades between them and its outcomes which had an influence on the contemporary shape of the philosophy of science in the twentieth century and how each one of them presented his own account for the nature of scientific methods that contemporary sciences must follow. While Carnab and the logical positivism group in general created the “verification principle” and then the “confirmability principle” as the proper way to eliminate metaphysical ideas from science that hindered its eventual progress for several decades, relying on the inductive method as a ground for scientific progress, Popper on the other hand, thought that in order to achieve such progress one must adhere to scientific theories and more specifically to the “Falsification Principle” in addition to relying on the “Virtual method” which grants the “Rational Hypothesis” a crucial role in contemporary sciences. The article concludes with the results of this argumentation and with how philosophy of contemporary science ended up giving more weight to the rational hypothesis and less to the confirmability principle due to the retreat of rigid empiricism in contemporary sciences, especially in physics. This led contemporary science to depend on philosophy once again.

 


Keywords


Confirmability Principle, Falsification Principle, Inductive Method, Logical Analysis, Verification Principle, Virtual Method .

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24200/jass.vol8iss2pp165-176

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Copyright (c) 2017 Mohsen Almoallem

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