Alberto Oliva
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
We intend to put into question two fundamental principles adopted by critical rationalism. One of them, explicitly proposed by Popper, argues that what is valid in logic is also in psychology. And the other, tacitly espoused, implies that epistemological verdicts have metascientific authority and validity. Regarding the second, we hold the view that to the conclusions arrived at by epistemology should not automatically be conferred metascientific authority and validity. To acquire metascientific import such conclusions also need to be derived from the observation of the actual ways of producing scientific knowledge. The Hume-dependent manner with which Popper rejects induction exemplifies with emblematic strength the tendency to extend the conclusions of epistemology to philosophy of science. On one hand Popper endorses Hume’s argument about the lack of epistemic justification for induction, on the other, disagrees with the humean view that induction is routinely employed and should, therefore, be seen as a human or animal fact. Popper departs from Hume to argue that induction is not even a way of thinking; therefore, it can be employed neither by the layman nor by the scientist. Also in defense of the thesis that induction does not exist, Popper gives primacy to epistemology. More than an epistemological thesis, the theory that decrees that induction is not even a psychological fact requires empirical confirmation. For Popper being right, it is necessary to verify the theory that our minds always operate according to the model from the top down. And psychology not even provides the corroboration of Popper’s thesis.
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DOI 10.5007/1808-1711.2013v17n2p275
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