Last week I suggested two key challenges to resolve if you want to think for yourself:
- How do you tell truth from falsehood?
- How do you know what you can be certain of?
This episode is about how the scientific method can help address the first of these challenges: determining truth. I provide a summary of the philosophy of science and the rules for deciding whether a theory qualifies as scientific.
However, there is a huge problem with the philosophy of science when it comes to addressing the challenge of certainty. The scientific method—as defined by leading philosophers of science—is self-contradictory. It's not even an accurate representation of what practicing scientists do (which is why scientists tend to ignore philosophers and just get on with it). In the episode, I explain how rationality is the necessary foundation of science—more fundamental even than empiricism—and how it provides the certainty that makes the scientific method possible.
- Karl Popper
- This Lecture by Hans-Hermann Hoppe about the philosophy of science provides a deeper discussion of many ideas covered in this episode with reference to economics.
- Image Source: Bruno Gilli/ESO
Listen to Episode 212