Cet ouvrage interroge le penser épistémologique de K.R. Popper, à la fois dans ses fondements et dans son déploiement, en posant deux questions épistémo-logiques : celle du " paradoxe méthodologique" et celle de " l'exigence d'élargissement de la formule de la croissance du savoir scientifique.".
Karl Popper’s ‘non-foundationalist’ critical rationalism had been established before Edmund Gettier came up with his analysis of knowledge. Popper’s critique of foundationalism shook the foundation of the hall mark of Western traditional epistemology as defended by Descartes, the logical empiricists and invariably Gettier. The position I am defending in this paper is that, Gettier is not correct to have presented the epistemic agent in his counterexamples as justified. I have arrived at this conclusion because it is uncritical of Smith to (...) think that ‘Jones owns a Ford car’ can be inferred from the perception of ‘Jones drives a Ford car’, without a problem. In the same manner, Smith’s belief that the testimony of a company president is basic and not questionable is faulty. The first belief ignores the fact that every perception is theory laden while the second ignores the problem of trust in testimonial knowledge. Popper just like in Yoruba epistemology subscribed to the position that observation itself is theory laden, and that is why in Yoruba epistemology propositional knowledge falls within the scope of second-hand information, which requires further personal investigation or questioning. (shrink)
El objetivo del presente trabajo es señalar algunas primeras aproximaciones a la cuestión del principio de racionalidad en el pensamiento de Karl Popper. Si bien este tema específicamente pareciera no mostrarse con precisión, (cuestión marcada por diversos autores), al menos no como lo es su propuesta falsacionista, se intentará retomar las principales notas sobre el principio de racionalidad e indicar algunas aproximaciones al debate epistemológico que surge en torno a este principio.
Falsification may demarcate science from non-science as the rational way to test the truth of hypotheses. But experimental evidence from studies of reasoning shows that people often find falsification difficult. We suggest that domain expertise may facilitate falsification. We consider new experimental data about chess experts’ hypothesis testing. The results show that chess masters were readily able to falsify their plans. They generated move sequences that falsified their plans more readily than novice players, who tended to confirm their plans. The (...) finding that experts in a domain are more likely to falsify their hypotheses has important implications for the debate about human rationality. (shrink)
Based on an analysis of ten popular introductions to social psychology, we will show that Karl Popper's philosophy of ‘critical rationalism’ so far has had little to no traceable influence on the epistemology and practice of social psychology. If Popper is quoted or mentioned in the textbooks at all, the guiding principle of ‘falsificationism’ is reduced to a mere ‘falsifiability’ and some central elements of critical rationalism are left out – those that are incompatible with positivism and inductivism. Echoing earlier (...) attempts to introduce Popper to social psychology by Paul Meehl and Tom Pettigrew, we will argue that a discussing Popper's ideas in more depth could help social psychology to move forward in view of the ‘crisis of confidence’ that has emerged recently in view of the ‘Stapel affair’ and the reports of failures to replicate social psychological experiments in high-powered replication attempts. (shrink)
It is an irony to attack a more sceptical epistemology than one's own in the name of scepticism and defend, instead, an epistemology that is positively illogical. And yet that is what Martin Gardner has done in his “A Skeptical Look at Karl Popper.”.
Popper’s Critical Rationalism presents Popper’s views on science, knowledge, and inquiry, and examines the significance and tenability of these in light of recent developments in philosophy of science, philosophy of probability, and epistemology. It develops a fresh and novel philosophical position on science, which employs key insights from Popper while rejecting other elements of his philosophy.
The way in which knowledge progresses, and especially our scientific knowledge, is by unjustified 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'. 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. (shrink)
In a letter of 1932, Karl Popper described _Die beiden Grundprobleme der Erkenntnistheorie – The Two Fundamental Problems of the Theory of Knowledge_ – as ‘…a child of crises, above all of …the crisis of physics.’ Finally available in English, it is a major contribution to the philosophy of science, epistemology and twentieth century philosophy generally. The two fundamental problems of knowledge that lie at the centre of the book are the problem of induction, that although we are able to (...) observe only a limited number of particular events, science nevertheless advances unrestricted universal statements; and the problem of demarcation, which asks for a separating line between empirical science and non-science. Popper seeks to solve these two basic problems with his celebrated theory of falsifiability, arguing that the inferences made in science are not inductive but deductive; science does not start with observations and proceed to generalise them but with problems, which it attacks with bold conjectures. _The Two Fundamental Problems of the Theory of Knowledge_ is essential reading for anyone interested in Karl Popper, in the history and philosophy of science, and in the methods and theories of science itself. (shrink)
This paper considers critical rationalism under an institutional perspective. It argues that a methodology must be incentive compatible in order to prevail in scientific competition. As shown by a formal game-theoretic model of scientific competition, incentive compatibility requires quality standards that are hereditary: using high-quality research as an input must increase a researcher's chances to produce high-quality output. Critical rationalism is incentive compatible because of the way it deals with the Duhem-Quine problem. An example from experimental economics illustrates the relevance (...) of the arguments. (shrink)
Kant and Popper. The affmity between the philosophy of Kant and the philosophy of Karl Popper has often been noted, and most decisively in Popper's own reflections on his thought. But in this work before us, Sergio Fernandes has given a cogent, comprehensive, and challenging investigation of Kant which differs from what we may call Popper's Kant while nevertheless showing Kant as very much a precursor of Popper. The investigation is directly conceptual, although Fernandes has also contributed to a novel (...) historical understanding of Kant in his reinterpretation; the novelty is the genuine result of meticulous study of texts and commentators, characterized by the author's thorough command of the epistemological issues in the philosophy of science in the 20th century as much as by his mastery of the Kantian themes of the 18th. Naturally, we may wish to understand whether Kant is relevant to Popper's philosophy of knowledge, how Popper has understood Kant, and to what extent the Popperian Kant has systematically or historically been of influence on later philosophy of science, as seen by Popper or not. (shrink)
0. Rational Rabbis aspires to make two main points, one philosophical and contemporary, the other interpretative and historical. The book’s philosophical undertaking, presented in Part I, is to develop a central insight of Karl Popper’s into a more fuller theory of rational endeavor. The book’s interpretative and main undertaking, presented in Part II, is to argue (a) that the talmudic literature bears clear witness to a tannaitic view of humanly possible intellectual achievement intriguingly akin to the theory of rationality proposed (...) in Part I, and (b) that despite appearances to the contrary, it is a voice centrally responsible for the Bavli’s halakhic discourse and project. The TR session at AAR 2002 focused on this second last claim by means of a close reading of the ‘meitivi’ sugya presented in Bavli, Berakhot 19b-20a. A detailed reading of the sugya can now be accessed at: http://jtr.lib.virginia.edu/volume4/number2/TR04_02_a01.html What follows briefly summarizes that reading and outlines its broader philosophical and hermeneutical settings. (shrink)
The present essay inserts itself in a more ambitious project, wich aim is to elucidate the empiricist commitments of the more influential twentieth century philosophers of science, including those, like Popper, who presented themselves as critics of empiricism. Such an elucidation might contribut..
Zwischen 1987 und 1994 sandte ich 20 Briefe an Karl Popper. Die meisten betrafen Fragen bezüglich seiner Antiinduktionsbeweise und seiner Wahrscheinlichkeitstheorie, einige die organisatorische und inhaltliche Vorbereitung eines Fachgesprächs mit ihm in Kenly am 22. März 1989 (worauf hier nicht eingegangen werden soll), einige schließlich ganz oder in Teilen nicht-fachliche Angelegenheiten (die im vorliegenden Bericht ebenfalls unberücksichtigt bleiben). Von Karl Popper erhielt ich in diesem Zeitraum 10 Briefe. Der bedeutendste ist sein siebter, bestehend aus drei Teilen, geschrieben am 21., 22. (...) und 23. Oktober 1992, in dem er eine Vorform jener Definition der probabilistischen Unabhängigkeit entwickelte, die er 1994 im neuen Anhang *XX der 10. Auflage seiner Logik der Forschung (LdF) der wissenschaftstheoretischen Forschergemeinde vorstellte. Der berührendste ist sein letzter, geschrieben am 26. Juli 1994, in dem er trotz Erschöpfung mit Humor schildert, wie mühselig der Druck des Anhangs *XX verlaufen ist. Mein Bericht ist zugleich chronologisch und systematisch gegliedert: die ersten, vergleichsweise wenigen Briefe, großteils 1987 geschrieben, handeln von der Induktion; der große Rest, zeitlicher Schwerpunkt 1992, beschäftigt sich mit der Wahrscheinlichkeitstheorie. Das Kapitel 1 über Induktion ist in vier Abschnitte unterteilt: 1.1 Das Popper/Miller-Argument: eine Nachkonstruktion, 1.2 Karl Poppers Brief vom 25.8.1987: Deduktive Stützung, 1.3 Karl Poppers Brief vom 29.9.1987: Nochmals zur deduktiven Stützung, 1.4 Echt induktive Stützung und Schwächung: zwei eigene Beweise. Das Kapitel 2 über Wahrscheinlichkeit ist ebenfalls in vier Abschnitte unterteilt: 2.1 Ein Mangel an Überschußgesetzen in der Logic of Scientific Discovery, 2.2 Probabilistische Unabhängigkeit, 2.3 Wahrscheinlichkeitstheorie und Wahrscheinlichkeitssemantik, 2.4 Die neue Unabhängigkeitsdefinition im Anhang *XX der LdF. (shrink)
Scientific rationalism has long been considered one of the pillars of true science. It has been one of the criteria academics have used in their efforts to categorise disciplines as scientific. Perhaps scientific rationalism acquired this privileged status because it worked relatively well within the context of the natural sciences, where it seemed to be easy to apply this kind of rationalism to the solution of natural scientific problems. However, with the split in the scientific world between the natural sciences (...) and the social sciences, the role of scientific rationalism, especially in the social sciences, becomes less clear-cut, with the ambiguous status of positivism in the social sciences making scientific rationalism more of a shaky foundation than a pillar of social science. The weaknesses inherent in scientific rationalism are most exposed within the context of anthropology, and particularly in the anthropological study of the supernatural, or supernatural beliefs. This paper will attempt to point out some of the weaknesses of scientific rationalism specifically within the context of the anthropology of the supernatural and religion. By doing so, it is hoped to show, with reference to some phenomenological ideas, that, while scientific rationalism does have its merits within anthropology, a rigid application of rationalism could become a limitation for anthropological studies of those aspects of human life that challenge Western scientific rationalism. The debate around the position of anthropology as a science or non-science is related to the issue of the role of scientific rationalism. This debate is indeed part of the history of anthropology and is as yet unresolved As such, the ideas of several earlier scholars will be referred to in an attempt to contextualise the arguments presented in this paper. Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology , Volume 6, Edition 1 May 2006. (shrink)
In the first part of the paper, the author presents Popper's theory of the objective knowledge and the three worlds in ten theses with a commentary, showing difficulties and vagueness of Popper's theory and trying to clarify it. The second part comprises discussion with a few Popper's theses. The author especially argues against the thesis about autonomy of the third world, and about epistemology limited to examination of only the objects from the third world. In relation to this, the author (...) shows some defects of Popper's argumentation from Objective Knowledge. The conclusion of the article is a different interpretation and an anew formulation of Popper's theory. (shrink)
The paper approaches the topic of what a general philosophy of science could mean today from the perspective of a historical epistemology. Consequently, in a first step, the paper looks at the notion of generality in the sciences, and how it evolved over time, on the example of the life sciences. In the second part of the paper, the urgency of a general philosophy of science is located in the history of philosophy of science. Two attempts at the beginning of (...) the twentieth century are particularly highlighted: that of Karl Popper and that of Martin Heidegger. Both of them concentrate, albeit in widely different form, on the phenomenon of research as an open-ended process. This trend is even more pronounced in Gaston Bachelard’s version of a historical epistemology, whose work is taken as a point of reference for a general historical epistemology of research. The paper concludes with a plea to look, with Georges Canguilhem, at the history of the sciences as a laboratory for epistemology. (shrink)
An explicit philosophy and meta-philosophy of positivism, empiricism and popperianism is provided. Early popperianism is argued to be essentially a form of empiricism, the deviations from empiricism are traced. In contrast, the meta-philosophy and philosophy of an evolutionary naturalistic realism is developed and it is shown how the maximal conflict of this doctrine with all forms of empiricism at the meta-philosophical level both accounts for the form of its development at the philosophical level and its defense against attack from nonrealist (...) quarters. Following an earlier article on realism of similar theme (Synthese 26 (1974), 409) this paper then further explores the ramifications of a thoroughgoing realist position. (shrink)
Why is Critical Rationalism not widely accepted? The perceived need for "good reasons" sourced in inductive verification has always mired Rationalism in a seemingly insoluble infinite regress. Critical Rationalism, on the other hand, cuts the Gordian knot by simply dispensing with any kind of verficatory support. David Miller attributes the "Mainstream's" stubborn resistance to Critical Rationalism to an addiction to so-called "good reasons". This paper suggests causes of this addiction: the craving for propositions that are in some way "forced" on (...) us, our need to prioritise the criticism of propositions and the need to regulate interpersonal actions. The paper goes on to contend that Popperian corroboration is able to remove all and any need for verification. (shrink)
Although Popper rarely examined the “life of the laboratory” , some of his epistemic doctrines reveal important themes about knowledge‐acquisition in the laboratory sciences. In particular, when modern instruments are needed for exploring the subatomic realm, empirical evidence is dispositional in a Popperian sense. Evidence is defined conditionally with respect to a complex system of technological apparatus and theoretical judgments.After summarizing certain elements of Popper's epistemology , the character of observation in the laboratory sciences is explored . A conception of (...) property as capacities is then developed . This conception of property is applicable to empirical studies using modem scientific instruments, as information‐processing systems. (shrink)
‘Post-truth’ has become a buzzword for numerous current crises: the fragmentation of the media landscape, the ongoing debate about ‘fake news’, the loss of trust in science, etc. Although these crises take place in society, it is claimed that the roots of post-truth can be traced back to the history of philosophy. Occasionally, it is asserted that Karl Popper’s critical rationalism gave rise to post-truth: His rejection of verificationism has limited truth claims in the realm of science. Given the absence (...) of infallible evidence and certainty, critical rationalism calls for challenging scientific authority. I argue that post-truth is compatible with critical rationalism from an epistemological point of view, considering that both positions are critical of certainty. However, in critical rationalism, fallibilism, responsibility, and the idea of criticism are combined, and in this respect, it offers a possible way to overcome the problems that are associated with post-truth. This treatment of the problems of post-truth results from the recognition of moral responsibility to take action on the basis of a hypothesis that remains open to revision. (shrink)
In his Empirical Stance, van Fraassen introduces a new version of empiricism and elaborates its relation with science and religion. van Fraassen's empirical stance, characterized by a negative attitude towards metaphysics, is to result in a coherent view alongside his new epistemology called voluntarism - a non-dogmatic approach to rationality. This paper aims to show that its coherency is unstable. Because traces of dogmatism still plague van Fraassen's account of empiricism, and attempts to eliminate them lead to critical rationalism, affecting (...) his encounter with metaphysics. In the end, while stating some cases from the history of science, it will be emphasized that empiricism should not tie its identity with the opposition to metaphysics. (shrink)
De l'épistémologie à la politique, le rationalisme critique de Karl Popper se présente comme une solution théorique à la difficulté que rencontra Kant du lien entre philosophie théorique et philosophie pratique. Ce qui est en jeu ici, c'est la façon particulière que l'oeuvre de Popper a de montrer qu'une théorie de la connaissance peut servir de fondement théorique à une théorie politique et à une théorie de la société sans, pour autant, tomber dans le positivisme ou le scientisme.
Based on an epistemological approach, humanities and natural sciences are two completely different realms that are governed by different rules. From this position, it is usually concluded that these two should not interfere in each other's territory. This idea, which also has supporters in other categorizations such as science and theology, relies mainly on Wittgenstein's doctrines. The purpose of the article is to argue that such an approach ultimately leads to the isolation of different realms of knowledge. We argue why (...) this position is incorrect and has adverse consequences for the development of knowledge in all domains. (shrink)
The recent pandemic is a reminder of several important lessons from Popper's philosophy. My aim in this paper is to address some of these lessons. By making use of Popper's theory of three worlds, I explain how coronavirus has a far-reaching impact on the ecosystem of rationality, and how the viruses that threaten humans could also be a threat to the whole life on Earth. Applying the epistemological distinction between science and technology, I go on to explain the pivotal role (...) of science in preventing further crises. This, I argue, is done by putting technology in the sphere of rationality; through both criticizing technologies and inspiring the invention of clean technologies, and also technologies that serve us as alerting systems. I shall argue that critical rationalism helps us to understand the ‘pandemic problem situation’ in a more informed manner and thus helps us to find out about the vulnerable points of our ecosystem of rationality in a more efficient way. In the latter part of the paper, I shall develop the thesis that while during the recent pandemic, science did it best to warn us about its dangers, the policy-makers, who are technologists of a sort, in many countries did not take those warnings seriously. Even when the crisis turned into a global catastrophe, the three types of technologies (health-care, lock-down, and diagnosis and treatment) were not fully efficient in controlling the pandemic. Drawing on Popper’s ideas I shall argue that in the face of the current emergency, our best chance to improve our situation is to apply the method of piecemeal social engineering to alleviate people’s suffering. (shrink)
Essentialism is one of the common approaches in the philosophy of technology. Based on this approach, technology has an independent essence, and knowing technology requires knowing this essence. The present article aims to criticize essentialism in the philosophy of technology in the framework of critical rationalism. The paper argues that essentialism is inadequate because it leads to irrationalism and determinism and destroys any ground for reform and critical discussion about technology; instead, it recommends sudden and irrational changes. Secondly, it contains (...) some presuppositions and false doctrines about the evolution of technology and its relation to humans. We will also explain that essentialists’ recommendation to take refuge in art or hold a free relationship towards technology is inconclusive in facing technological inconveniences. Instead, local considerations should be taken into account in the modification process, and they should be carried out piecemeal and in a critical context. (shrink)
The extent of harm and suffering caused by the coronavirus pandemic has prompted a debate about whether the epidemic could have been contained, had the gravity of the crisis been predicted earlier. In this paper, the philosophical debate on predictive reasoning is framed by Hume’s problem of induction. Hume argued that it is rationally unjustified to move from the finite observations of past incidences to the predictions of future events. Philosophy has offered two major responses to the problem of induction: (...) the pragmatic induction of Peirce and the critical rationalism of Popper. It is argued that of these two, Popper’s critical rationalism provides a more potent tool for preparing for unanticipated events such as the Covid-19 pandemic. Popper’s notion of risky predictions equips strategic foresight with clear hypotheticals regarding potential crisis scenarios. Peirce’s pragmatic induction, instead, leans on probabilities that are slower to be amended as unexpected events start unfolding. The difference between the two approaches is demonstrated through a case study of the patterns of reasoning within the World Health Organization in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. (shrink)
Development in all of its stages, from organizing the vision and strategy to implementing plans, requires policy-making. We show that the division of labor and specialization of sciences and some philosophical doctrines cause the emergence of technocracy in policies. Technocracy makes development not happen in the direction of public welfare. For this reason, for sustainable development, we need institutions, strategies, and philosophical contexts that provide a democratic ground for the possibility of criticizing and reforming policies.
Any adequate philosophy of technology needs to take a clear stance with regard to the limits of criticizability. While observing the canons of criticizability may appear to be simple, many philosophical approaches (whether towards technology or other topics) abandon comprehensive criticizability by adopting some forms of justificationist or essentialist epistemology. This paper aims to show that criticizability can only be upheld by subscribing to a non-justificationist epistemology and by acknowledging the propositions/standards dichotomy; failing to do so leads to undesirable epistemic (...) consequences. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to shed some light on the Philosophical relationship between humanities and technology. It will be explained that most disciplines in humanities are Janus-faced: they are part science/knowledge and part technology. The thesis of the paper is that the relationship between the technological aspect of humanities and other technologies is positive and synergetic, while the relationship between their scientific aspect and technologies is almost entirely critical and negative. The argument of the paper is not that (...) the scientific aspect of humanities has nothing positive to offer to the development of technologies, but rather to clarify the nature of this assistance. It is also hoped that the paper’s analysis could help to explain how the scientific aspect of humanities can partake in the process of rationalisation of the development of technology. (shrink)
This paper examines the legitimacy of African knowledge system, in the light of Karl Popper’s Critical Rationalism, with a view to assessing whether or not African knowledge system is capable of legitimate science. Popper defended an attitude of Critical Rationalism as a mark of the natural sciences and formulated a suitable characterization of the empirical sciences. However, in African epistemic system, the dichotomy between science and non-science collide. The paper demonstrates that the current state of African knowledge system delineates it (...) as yet non-science and that African epistemic system, though not yet science in the strict sense, is only capable of legitimate science, if African scientists could adopt the critical attitude proper to science and apply Popper’s falsifiability method of testing of ideas. This paper concludes that Popper’s Critical Rationalism can provide credible ground for development of African epistemic worldview. This paper adopts hermeneutical, expository and textual analytical methods. (shrink)
Popper was also a critic of the idea that it was possible – or necessary – to give a positive response to the problem of induction. He was also a critic of many probabilistic theories of induction. He suggested that instead of seeking for a positive way of resolving the problem of induction – or, more generally, of trying to justify our claims that our ideas were true – we should, instead be concerned to make our claims open to criticism. (...) All this, and its strengths and weaknesses, have been much discussed. But it seems to me that not enough attention has been paid to what is distinctive about Popper’s work – and to the question of how it addresses our various problem-situations today. (shrink)
This paper studies the conflict between critical rationalism and critical theory in Karl Popper and Theodor Adorno’s 1961 debate by analyzing their shared rejection of Karl Mannheim’s sociology of knowledge. Despite the divergences in their respective projects of critical social research, Popper and Adorno agree that Mannheim’s sociology of knowledge is uncritical. By investigating their respective assessments of this research program I reveal a deeper similarity between critical rationalism and critical theory. Though both agree on the importance of critique, they (...) are less concerned with the development of critical consciousness as a focus of this project. In this way, Mannheim’s sociology of knowledge, particularly in its formative stages, revolves around a set of problems relatively inaccessible to critical rationalism and critical theory, since it is centrally concerned with identifying and cultivating the possibility of critique in society. In closing, I gesture to the importance of political education in Mannheim’s early work, suggesting that a return to these experimental texts will yield resources for political thought today. (shrink)
K. R. Popper distinguished between two main uses of logic, the demonstrational one, in mathematical proofs, and the derivational one, in the empirical sciences. These two uses are governed by the following methodological constraints: in mathematical proofs one ought to use minimal logical means (logical minimalism), while in the empirical sciences one ought to use the strongest available logic (logical maximalism). In this paper I discuss whether Popper’s critical rationalism is compatible with a revision of logic in the empirical sciences, (...) given the condition of logical maximalism. Apparently, if one ought to use the strongest logic in the empirical sciences, logic would remain immune to criticism and, thus, non-revisable. I will show that critical rationalism is theoretically compatible with a revision of logic in the empirical sciences. However, a question that remains to be clarified by the critical rationalists is what kind of evidence would lead them to revise the system of logic that underlies a physical theory, such as quantum mechanics? Popper’s falsificationist methodology will be compared with the recently advocated extension of the abductive methodology from the empirical sciences to logic by T. Williamson, since both of them arrive at the same conclusion concerning the status of classical logic. (shrink)
A large part of Richard Rorty’s works focus on criticizing the received view about philosophy. He argues, in his historical reconstruction of philosophical activity, that there has always been a misconception about philosophy in the history of philosophy. This misconception assumes that philosophy aims to grasp the ultimate knowledge, so it desperately engages in an attempt to achieve “truth”. In this view, which he calls representationalism and points to it by the metaphor of the mirror of nature, knowledge aims to (...) represent something out of mind, and the duty of philosophy is to put forward a theory about the representation. According to Rorty, based on this popular view philosophy is a foundational discipline that aims to evaluate epistemological claims of other disciplines. Rorty attempts to criticize and reject this Cartesian epistemological agenda for philosophy. Rorty’s approach to philosophy is therapeutic; that is, he tries to resolve philosophical problems rather than solve them. By adopting a historical method, Rorty seeks to show that “philosophy as epistemology” is a result of the dominance of what he calls the metaphor of the mirror of nature. From a critical rationalist perspective, the present article intends to critique Rorty’s views on epistemology. In this paper, Rorty’s historiographical approach is criticized in several ways. First, Rorty offers a one-sided and biased reconstruction of the history of philosophy to fit the abovementioned metaphor. Secondly, he treats history as rigid data from which it is possible to draw doctrinal conclusions. Whereas, as critical rationalists have said time and again, history by itself has no meaning. Moreover, Rorty’s justificationism is criticized. Rorty maintains that knowledge needs to be justified, and since it cannot be justified through representation, it must be justified by the consent of society. In other words, agreement in a group of people can provide an epistemic authority. Thus, both Rorty’s view and foundationalism, despite their differences, share justificationism in epistemology. That is, they both believe that knowledge needs to be justified. On the other hand, as critical rationalists have shown, justification in any shape and form, whether internal or external, is neither possible nor necessary. We also attempt to illustrate how Rorty’s epistemological approach results in confusion between epistemology and psychology; moreover, his epistemological behaviorism still suffers from some sort of justifications. In conclusion, Rorty expresses his criticism of epistemology with the metaphor of the mirror of nature. According to him, foundationalism is the result of the conflation of the Platonic conception of knowledge as something unchangeable, with the Cartesian mind that seeks certainty. However, his ignorance of the main crux of the matter in epistemology causes his own suggestion of epistemological behaviorism to suffer from the same problem, that is justificationism, which now appears in another form, i.e., social consensus. While, as critical rationalists repeated time and again, justification is neither possible nor necessary and not even desirable. They have shown that a non-justificationist approach to knowledge aimed at truth as a regulative idea could be a better approach. (shrink)