chapter  2
Three Stages of Critical Rationalism
Pages 17

Rationality, according to critical rationalism, is wholly a matter of method; and this rationality in no way rubs off on, or has any effect on, the outcomes of our intellectual activity. What critical rationalism claims is that the only way in which our theories are to be investigated is critically, negatively. The difference is of central importance for the brand of critical rationalism to be advocated, of which it is a fundamental tenet that the main purpose of reason is to enhance critical discussion, not to provide spurious justification. The first stage of critical rationalism is the denial of certainty, that is, the endorsement of an epistemological position usually called fallibilism. The next stage is a methodological stage, concerned not with the status of knowledge but the investigative methods that we use; and the deepest and most interesting stage is again epistemological.