This page is a encyclopedia article.
The page identifier is Op_en2190
|Moderator:Mikko Pohjola (see all)|
|This page is a stub. You may improve it into a full page.|
- Falsification is an attempt to falsify a statement. Falsifiability (or refutability or testability) is the logical possibility that an assertion can be shown false by an observation or a physical experiment. That something is "falsifiable" does not mean it is false; rather, it means that it is capable of being criticized by observational reports. Falsifiability is an important concept in science and the philosophy of science.
- Some philosophers and scientists, most notably Karl Popper, have asserted that a hypothesis, proposition or theory is scientific only if it is falsifiable.
- For example, "all men are mortal" is unfalsifiable, since no finite amount of observation could ever demonstrate its falsehood: that one or more men can live forever. "All men are immortal," by contrast, is falsifiable, by the presentation of just one dead man. However, the unfalsifiable "all men are mortal" can be the logical consequence of a falsifiable theory, such as "all men die before they reach the age of 150 years". Thus, unfalsifiable statements can almost always be put into a falsifiable framework. The falsifiable does not exclude the unfalsifiable, it embraces and exceeds it.
- Not all statements that are falsifiable in principle are so in practice. For example, "it will be raining here in one million years" is theoretically falsifiable, but not practically.<section end=glossary />