Popper, ignorance, and the emptiness of fallibilism

Authored by: Shterna Friedman

Routledge International Handbook of Ignorance Studies

Print publication date:  May  2015
Online publication date:  May  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415718967
eBook ISBN: 9781315867762
Adobe ISBN: 9781317964674


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The starting point of Karl Popper’s philosophy of science is epistemological humility: We are ignorant and prone to error. This much may seem trivially true, but Popper (e.g., 1963: Ch. 1) 1 thought that it had too often been neglected. Such neglect, particularly for philosophers of science, is egregious because it is our ignorance of the world that makes science itself necessary. We need science not only because the world is vast and we are not, but because our senses do not infallibly yield the truth about the parts of the world with which we come into contact.

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