Systems, inquiry, and the meanings of falsification

Philosophy of Science 40 (2):255-276 (1973)
The purpose of this paper is to show that there are as many formulations of the process of falsification as there are archetypal, philosophical systems of inquiry. This paper explores several systems of inquiry which are based on Churchman's reading of the history of Western epistemology. It is argued that (1) the falsification of scientific theories can never be a purely formal process although it is perpetually open to formal exploration; (2) that contrary to current belief, falsification can never be more certain than confirmation because falsification involves judgments which are no more certain than those involved in confirmation. The supposed asymmetry between confirmation and falsification is severely challenged. Finally, a Feyerabendian and a Hegelian notion of falsification are explicitly developed and contrasted
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DOI 10.1086/288520
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