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Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge

£9.95

Product description

The way in which knowledge progresses, and especially our scientific knowledge, is by unjustified (and unjustifiable) anticipations, by guesses, by tentative solutions to our problems, by conjectures. These conjectures are controlled by criticism: that is, by attempted refutations, which include severely critical tests. They may survive these tests; but they can never be positively justified: they can neither be established as certainly true nor even as 'probable' (in the sense of the probability calculus). Criticism of our conjectures is of decisive importance: by bringing out our mistakes it makes us understand the difficulties of the problems which we try to solve. This is how we become better acquainted with our problem, and able to propose more mature solutions: the very refutation of a theory - that is, of a tentative solution to our problem - is always a step forward that takes us nearer the truth. And this is how we can learn from our mistakes. As we learn from our mistakes our knowledge grows, even though we may never know - that is, know for certain. Since our knowledge can grow, there can be no reason here for despair of reason. And since we can never know for certain, the can be no authority here for any claim to authority, for conceit over our knowledge, or for smugness.The essays and lectures of which this book is composed apply this thesis to many topics, ranging from problems of the philosophy and history of the physical and social sciences to historical and political problems.

Item details

Condition:
Used: very good
Format:
Paperback
ISBN-10:
0415043182
ISBN-13:
9780415043182
Publisher:
Routledge

Standard UK Delivery (£3.95 per order)

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About this item

The way in which knowledge progresses, and especially our scientific knowledge, is by unjustified (and unjustifiable) anticipations, by guesses, by tentative solutions to our problems, by conjectures. These conjectures are controlled by criticism: that is, by attempted refutations, which include severely critical tests. They may survive these tests; but they can never be positively justified: they can neither be established as certainly true nor even as 'probable' (in the sense of the probability calculus). Criticism of our conjectures is of decisive importance: by bringing out our mistakes it makes us understand the difficulties of the problems which we try to solve. This is how we become better acquainted with our problem, and able to propose more mature solutions: the very refutation of a theory - that is, of a tentative solution to our problem - is always a step forward that takes us nearer the truth. And this is how we can learn from our mistakes. As we learn from our mistakes our knowledge grows, even though we may never know - that is, know for certain. Since our knowledge can grow, there can be no reason here for despair of reason. And since we can never know for certain, the can be no authority here for any claim to authority, for conceit over our knowledge, or for smugness.The essays and lectures of which this book is composed apply this thesis to many topics, ranging from problems of the philosophy and history of the physical and social sciences to historical and political problems.

Condition:
Used: very good
Format:
Paperback
ISBN-10:
0415043182
ISBN-13:
9780415043182
Publisher:
Routledge

Delivery & returns

This item will be dispatched to UK addresses via second class post within 2 working days of receipt of your order. Standard UK delivery is £3.95 per order, so you're only charged once no matter how many items you have in your basket. Any additional courier charges will be applied at checkout as they vary depending on delivery address.

This item will be dispatched to UK addresses via second class post within 2 working days of receipt of your order. Standard UK delivery is currently free, no matter how many items you have in your basket. Any additional courier charges will be applied at checkout as they vary depending on delivery address.

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Oxfam Books & Music Lichfield

Welcome to the Oxfam Lichfield Books & Music.  Being at the very heart of the city's rich literary and cultural heritage - just two doors away from the birthplace of Samuel Johnson - we are well positioned to serve the needs of all our customers, locally and beyond.  We specialise in books but we are just as passionate about our music.  We sell vinyl and CDs, as well as video games, cameras and musical instruments.

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