The Logic of Scientific Discovery (Routledge Classics) Paperback – 11 Aug. 1977
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- Paperback : 480 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-0415078924
- Product dimensions : 15.6 x 23.39 cm
- Publisher : Routledge; Revised edition (11 Aug. 1977)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: 2,393,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Written back in the '30's when the field was in its infancy, Popper's text sets out and argues the basic tenets of the 'scientific method'. Popper's 'falsifiability' criterion is still the single strongest feature distinguishing the scientific from the unscientific, and that, for me, is what the book is about.
Yes, it begins with falsification. Yes, later authors showed that tested falsifiable hypothesis does not account - by a long way - for the adoption of new theories in science. And yes, the increasingly uncertain nature of experiment and the subjective elements of interpretation make 'falsification' a far more slippery concept than a naive reading of Popper implies. But the great contribution here is the recognition that 'scientific method' can prove the particular, and while that cannot prove the general, it can eliminate the false. On top of that, Popper's historical case studies are well written and thought-provoking, which makes a heavy topic a fair read.
No book on this topic can be the only book to have; different authors cast different lights on the field. But this is one of the pivots, on which the arguments of many a later author turned. A very nearly must-have.