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Logic and Science, Essay Example

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An example of a scientific hypothesis is as follows: A square always has four sides. This theory can arise from the fact that everything we define as a square has four sides. While it is also true that a square’s four sides are equal, it is not necessary to consider this aspect for our hypothesis. We can also logically follow from our hypothesis that if something doesn’t have four sides, it is not a square. Since both of these perspectives are true in regards to the role of sides in determining a square, support for either statement will count as evidence for the main hypothesis. This is the case with the hypothesis confirmation approach. Under these circumstances, the mere observation of a three-sided object can become confirming evidence that squares have four sides, simply because this three-sided figure is not a square.

Karl Popper developed the method of testing theories by attempting to falsify hypotheses (Mosser, 2011). Through this form of testing, the strength of a hypothesis is found in its ability to survive attempts to prove it false. This means that a hypothesis must be testable and falsifiable if it is to be considered valid. The advent of this perspective took power away from random observations that happen to agree with the hypothesis. In addition, it addressed the issue that arises when we realize that a hypothesis can never truly be confirmed (no matter how many observations are made), due to the fact that the next observation always has a chance of being different. In contrast, Popper’s approach can falsify a hypothesis with a single set of observations. The falsifying method is superior to confirmation in virtually every aspect.

Reference

Mosser, K. (2011). An Introduction to Logic. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

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