Science’s social framework

Science is a special kind of endeavour. Philosophers have been seeking to specify in what ways it is special for almost four hundred years (at least since Francis Bacon). Karl Popper is known for his attempt to characterise it negatively, as refutable conjectures about the world. But this is not the sum of what he said. What is and is not refutable requires discussion, which is a social process; if conjectures about the world are to be refuted a social framework is needed for their testing. Popper’s negative method requires institutions and traditions. [9]

1 comment

  1. Echoes of Berlin’s “negative freedom”. And of course Popper’s method requires a positive equivalent as well.

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