I have often been struck, when talking to scientists, by the influence that Popper seems to have among them. I would go as far as saying that, in many scientific fields, falsificationism has become the official philosophy of science. It’s drummed into the heads of scientists when they’re in graduate school and, with a few exceptions, they never learn anything else about philosophy of science and spend the rest of their career thinking that Popper’s conception of science is still the gold standard. In fact, however, not only is falsificationism not the gold standard, but it never was. Indeed, I think it’s fair to say that, despite the incredible popularity it has achieved, falsificationism was always opposed by most philosophers of science and it’s certainly the case that nowadays virtually all of them reject it. Moreover, philosophers of science have excellent reasons to do so, because there are very strong arguments against falsificationism. In this post, I want to explain why I think falsificationism is false, because I keep running into people, especially scientists but not only, who are surprised to hear that and I figured it would be useful to be able to refer them to something accessible to non-philosophers that explains it.

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