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Karl Popper's theory on violence - Essay Example

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Karl Popper's theory on violence

He saw how Einstein had been critical f his own theory, constantly trying to pick holes in order to disprove or, as Popper saw it, improve it. This contrasted sharply with the attitude f Marxists and Psychoanalysis's who, it seemed to Popper, created theories and then re-interpreted them to suit any given situation. This first encounter with empirical evidence and its foundation for the proving f theories would lead him to his eventual way f thinking about falsification theory.
Karl Popper argues that scientists should start with a hypothesis, or a statement that is to be tested. The statement should be precise and should state exactly what will happen in particular circumstances. On the basis f the hypothesis it should be possible to deduce predictions about future happenings. According to Popper it matters little how a scientific theory originate, it does not have to come from prior observation and analysis f data.
Popper denies that it is even possible to produce laws that will necessary be found to be true for all time. He argues that, logically, however many times a theory is apparently proved correct because predictions made on the basis f that theory come true, there is always the possibility that at some future date the theory will be proved wrong or falsified.
Popper argued that scientific progress required a ground work f structure and rationalisation where theories that seemed opposed to each other could be evaluated fairly and equally. To this end Popper created a scientific approach, called falsifications. He summed up the theory with the phrase "I may be wrong and you may be right, and by an effort, we may get nearer to the truth."
Instead f constantly trying to find new evidence to support a theory, Popper claimed we should try to falsify them, and thus be able to judge one against another. In other words every possible theory would be able to be rationally and without malice debated about the different positions, and then choose the theory that cannot be falsified, or comes closest to it. The "best" theories could still not be verified or justified, but since they had not been falsified either, they would be preferable to falsified theories. The rationality f holding a particular position would be granted to the extent to which the theory is open to criticism (Norris Turner, 2000).
The most fundamental aspect f Popper's falsification theory, inspired by Socrates, is that we have no way f knowing anything to be solid fact, and even anything we believe to be unshakably true could be, in the future, utterly disproved. Therefore we cannot approach any aspect f scientific debate, without acknowledging this central tenet. Popper argued that this would actually inspire further debate and progress as it allowed us to understand our limitations i.e. we had a base to begin with. He wrote, "We know nothing--that is the first point. Therefore we should be very modest--that is the second. That we should not claim to know when we do not know--that is the third." In many ways this is similar to Descartes effect on philosophy, with his central idea 'I think, therefore I am'. He believed that everything in our lives was really only the way we perceived it, not the way it really is. The only certain thing in existence was the fact that you were thinking, this gave philosophy a foundation to work from; similarly ...Show more


Karl Popper came f age in the aftermath f the World War I. He left school at sixteen and soon found himself captivated with Marxism and its social implications. He turned away from Marxism however when he saw the destruction caused by left-wing demonstrators in Vienna, which led to the deaths f some f the protestors…
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Karl Poppers theory on violence essay example
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