Popper on the Air


I started playing this audio in my house. About 15 seconds in, my 10-year-old son said, "But isn't Popper's idea that scientific theories can't be proven true just a theory, so that it can't be proven true either?"

"Yes, Eamon," I said, "fifteen seconds is about the right length of time needed to dismiss Popper."


  1. Julius Blumfeld8:13 AM

    Eammon is right but that doesn't make Popper wrong !!!


  2. Oh, I'm going to point Tony Hollick from the LeftLibertarian2 group here and watch the fun. He's a bit of a Popper fan boi and slightlyly mentally unstable (redundant, I know...)

  3. Gene, I don't detect a note of sarcasm in your reply to Eamon, do I? :)

  4. I love to get my English Popperian friends worked up. I'm of course grossly exagerating -- Popper should be taken seriously for longer than 15 seconds! -- but I do think Eamon got a key argument against Popper right -- either the claim that justifying a theory is impossible is justified, and self-refuting, or it's not, in which case why can't I just adopt a different standard?

  5. Oh, I agree, Eamon's argument is correct. But I was not aware you were a proponent of Hoppeian style arguments by contradiction--this one is similar to the criticism made by Hoppe of Popper (see e.g. http://www.mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/rae3_1_16.pdf ) and also similar to Hoppe's argumentation ethics which you are a critic of.

  6. I am fine with argument by contradiction -- when it works! See the article by Bob and me in the JLS for why Hoppe's argumentation ethic doesn't work.

  7. A man6:20 PM

    It was actually about a minute, Gene.

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