chapter  IV
14 Pages

Empiricist Reformers

This chapter confines itself to adverse criticism with the object only of showing that the residuary elements of Empricism are fatal to the theories proposed, and so to clear away the rubbish in the path of further progress. It discusses the theory of so-called hypothetico-deductive method, which is advocated by Karl Popper and developed by J. O. Wisdom. The chapter examines the central position which Popper propounds, and on the strength of which he abandons the salient features of Empiricism. The point of departure for Poppers theory is the positivist use of the verification principle to demarcate factually significant from metaphysical, or non-significant, statements. The Baconian doctrine of the origin of scientific hypotheses, as a kind of distillation from innumerable factual observations altogether devoid of theoretical bias, is seen by both Kneale and Popper to be futile in practice and untrue of science.