5 Pragmatism, Falsificationism and Meehl's critique Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in 5 Pragmatism, Falsificationism and Meehl's critique Deck (19)
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1

In what way is the doctrine of Instrumentalism self-refuting?

If theory of Instrumentalism is read according to principle of Instrumentalism – that theory is neither true nor false – then must accept that the theory of Instrumentalism is neither true or false. If you claim it's true, then you're adopting a Realist position, thus falsifying Instrumentalism. DON'T AGREE WITH ANY OF THIS.

2

What is Pragmatism?

The doctrine that conceptual and methodological problems should be dealt with by practical means adapted to the existing circumstances.

3

In what way is Pragmatism a theoretical short-cut?

Instead of engaging in difficult task of explaining the phenomena of psychology, Pragmatist settles for what works. If they end up developing a model that works, they SHOULD be asking, ‘Why does it work?’ – but they often just stop there: ‘it works, that’s good enough’.

4

Name three problems with pragmatism

1) The logic of the situation is ignored
2) ideas may be plainly false but still have practical benefit
3) advancement of scientific knowledge is placed secondary to practical interest

5

In what way can an operational definition be ontologically neutral?

It says nothing about the REALITY of the concept (e.g. guilt)

6

The Verifiability Principle is the criterion for determining whether a statement is __________ __________ or not.

The Verifiability Principle is the criterion for determining whether a statement is metaphysical nonsense or not.

7

Was Karl Popper a Logical Positivist?

No, but he attended their meetings, didn't like what he heard and thought the Verifiability Principle was nonsense.

8

What is the 'problem of induction' according to Popper?

Problem of induction – conclusion is not entailed by premises. (These swans are white -> all swans are white) Thus the arguments of Science are not logically secure.

9

Why did Popper assert that statements such as 'all swans are white' are problematic for Logical Positivists?

A statement such as ‘all swans are white cannot be verified’. By the LPs’ own criteria, it’s meaningless metaphysical nonsense. Can’t go out and observe an infinite number of swan. LP turns these important statements into meaningless nonsense. Science trades in making statements of a general kind – about EVERY swan, not just this swan.

10

What is the name of the argument underlying Popper's Falsificationism?

The modus tollens

11

What is the formula for the modus tollens?

If T, then P
not P
Therefore, not T

12

How could you use the modus tollens to prove all swans aren't white?

If all swans are white, then the next swan will be white.

The next swan isn’t white

Therefore, not all swans are white.

13

Why is the modus tollens superior to induction as a basis for science?

It's a valid argument.

14

How does Popper suggest a theory be tested?

By attempting to falsify the theory. Scientists must attempt to render their hypotheses false.

15

The Logical Positivists thought Science should begin with ____________.

Popper thought Science should begin with ____________.

The Logical Positivists thought Science should begin with observation.

Popper thought Science should begin with conjecture.

16

What is Meehl's (1978) critique of falsificationism?

The premise of the modus tollens (e.g. if Hypothesis A [Ha] then P) in practice assumes more than just Ha. Each hypothesis is based on a range of assumptions, which are also tested by the modus tollens. So falsifications do not uniquely support or undermine a single hypothesis.

17

What is Holism?

The doctrine that hypotheses are not tested one at a time, but only in large sets. Measurement also implies hypotheses about the validity of the measures.

So falsifications do not undermine one particular statement. Nor do confirmations uniquely support a particular set of statements.

18

What are three advantages of being a Jet (Sondheim, 1957)?

1) You're never alone
2) You're never disconnected
3) When company's expected, you're well protected

19

According to Meehl (1978), falsifications do not uniquely ___________ or ___________ a single hypothesis.

According to Meehl (1978), falsifications do not uniquely support or undermine a single hypothesis.