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Popper on Corroboration Essay

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Updated: Apr 16th, 2019

Popper’s theories have always attempted to draw the line between science and non-science. Popper is of the view that induction belongs to the non-science category. Therefore, Popper falls back on his best-tested theory as the best tool for scientific research. However, his views on corroboration seem to contradict his earlier dismissal of induction. According to him, future effectiveness of any given theory cannot be guaranteed.

In addition, Popper quips that no theory can be relied on because rationally, if a theory is proved, it ceases being a theory and automatically becomes a fact. As a philosopher, Popper was of the view that individuals’ comprehension comes from setbacks and the consequent efforts of solving them. This informs the foundation of Popper’s best-tested theory. Popper goes on to claim that indeed there is no good reason for using a particular theory.

The best-tested theory emphasizes on the need for scientists to act as problem solvers. Whenever presented with a particular problem, the problem always comes before the observations. Therefore, in Popper’s view the logical approach to scientific research is to deductively test theories that are subject to logic. In this process, conclusions from different hypotheses are compared to each other to determine whether they misrepresent or agree with a particular hypothesis.

Consequently, the basis of action is determined from the process using the best-tested theory. According to Popper, the main advantage of this approach is that it presents the most rational choice. This is mostly because of the critical discussion involved in the selection of the best theory.

Critics of the best-tested theory fault it for lacking in scientific capacity and authority. In addition, its lack of empiricism points toward induction. However, Popper counters these arguments by emphasizing the rationality and the scientific nature of the critical discussion involved in this theory. In Popper’s view, the best-tested theory remains the best approach to scientific research.

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