The concept of falsifiability is central to distinguishing between systems of knowledge and [Page 487]understanding, specifically between scientific theories of understanding the world and those considered nonscientific. The importance of the concept of falsifiability was developed most thoroughly by the philosopher Karl Popper in the treatise Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge. Specifically, falsifiability refers to the notion that a theory or statement can be found to be false; for instance, as the result of an empirical test.
Popper sought to distinguish between various means of understanding the world in an effort to determine what constitutes a scientific approach. Prior to his seminal work, merely the empirical nature of scientific investigation was accepted as the criterion that differentiated it from pseudo- or nonscientific research. ...
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