The required methodology for scientific discovery and study has long been a source of debate among scientists, philosophers, and science scholars. Scholars disagree ideologically on the best approach for determining scientific facts. The vital divide in the empirical investigation has been broadly classified as one between deductive and inductive methods. Current advances in philosophy of science dissertation revolve around the reasons that could improve scientific progress, the issue of scientific inquiry methods, the question of validity and reality, and the question of the rationality of scientific observations. The most important in this discourse is the methodological problem of scientific research. In fact, various ideologies have developed in reacting to the challenges of the proper scientific methodology.
Poppers influence on the philosophy of science is his effort to examine the philosophical problem of induction. Karl Popper disputes the validity, necessity, and existence of any inductive perceptive (Popper, 1977). He argues that there is a no logical link between cause and an effect, and that one cannot draw a logically valid assumption from few observable cases to all cases. Popper confirms that inductive conclusion is not rationally justifiable. Popper rejects the ideologies of induction as “superfluous, and that it must attain rational inconsistencies” (Popper, 1977). He argues that the principle creates the infinite regress. Popper differs with the fact that the crucial implicit link originates from the custom of seeing two items together in the past.
If the habits create induction, then, the origin of habits is not explainable. Scientists like Humen denotes that practice roots from repetition, Popper contends and disagrees that practices proceed repetition (Kraft, 2004). To Popper, practice exists before the beginning of repetition. Consequently, repetition cannot cause habits. Popper opposes that habits originate from anticipation, before repetition. He notes that it is natural to expect uniformity and regularity of nature even before the experience of repetition. Accordingly, induction does not base on habit as Hume believe, but on expectation previous the observation. The expectation is already a theory, which implies that the theory comes from consideration, and not the vice versa. Popper discards the original inductive theory in science and introduces his methodology, the ‘hypothetico-deductive methodology’ (Anele, 1997). Popper reiterates that the model employed by scientists is not the inductive method but the possible- deductive method.
Popper rejects the traditional inductive model and says that it is not the actual methodology of science (Anele, 1997). Therefore, he replaces with what he claims to be the real method of science. According to Popper, the hypothetico-deductive method begins with a problem, then a theory as a tentative explanation or solution to the problem, experimentation or observation is then carried out to (or “intending to”) falsifying the theory (Kraft, 2004). The theory could be rejected or it could be ‘corroborated’ by several examinations, in which cases it is acceptable and used continuously. Popper insists that observation does not come before theory as it is in the traditional inductive methodology. On the contrary, theory comes before consideration (Popper, 1977). Also, according to Popper, if one can start with pure observation alone without anything like a theory, then it is meaningless and nonsensical.
In Popper’s methodology, only philosophical systems capable of being refuted by tests are scientific. Such systems are falsifiable by systematic experimentation. Therefore, for Popper, falsifiability, and testability mean the same thing, since every positive test of a theory is an attempt to falsify it. Logically, the characterization of such falsifiable or testable systems involves the attempt to spell out the logical relations holding between a theory and the class of what Popper called ‘basic statements (Popper 1977).
Going by Popper’s reproach of the inductive ideal of science, one would appreciate his idea because deductive arguments are logically and rationally correct. In deductive logic, for instance: The conclusion of the argument is on the premises. The evidence is necessary, naturally, and logically correct. It is contrary to the example of the inductive argument in logic. One vital aspect of the inductive argument is that a ‘gap’ exists or an inductive leap from the premises to the conclusion of an argument. The end of an inductive argument only precedes the facilities with a degree of probability. For instance, one cannot precisely affirm that Popper’s hypothetico-deductive theory successfully unraveled the problem of induction in science.
Popper’s logical asymmetry between falsification and verification, one can argue, is apprehensive with technical errors. The inconsistency in the analysis reveals that Popper convicts induction with the right hand and clinches it with the left. The asymmetry between falsifiability and verifiability originates from the logical outlook of universal accounts, but Popper discloses that they can suffer a challenge with singular declarations of the classical logic. To Popper, the falsity argument of unlimited accounts is the only firmly deductive type of inference that proceeds, as it were, in the ‘inductive direction’; that is, from singular to universal statements (Popper, 1977). Therefore, it is antithetical to Popper’s rejection of the inductive model.
Again, there it is a fact that every logical initiative has a metaphysical basis. The inductive type of science possesses metaphysical basis. The inductive reasoning establishes the spiritual foundation of modern science (Anele, 1997). There is supra-empirical in which no experiment and empirical analysis can prove. The theory is probability model of inquiry. Therefore, one cannot eliminate the elements of inductive processes in empirical science. Contrary to the argument of Popper, science employs the inductive technique which is even oblique in the Popper’s hypothetico-deductive method. Popper’s admission to the significance of metaphysics to empirical science correlates to the acknowledgment of induction.
It is critical to note that induction is in Popper’s hypothetico-deductive philosophies. Even Popper’s corroboration and falsifiability reveal inductively. It is, therefore, on this foundation one can argue for the complementarity of both deductive and inductive approaches in scientific research since induction enables scientists to forecast the result of a scientific test (Kraft, 2004). No doubt, the forecast is one of the vital elements of science. Prediction is the best method of induction. Therefore it is important to conclude that inductive method cannot be completely abandoned in science. Hence one can reiterate that both inductive and deductive perceptive are the basic practices of scientific research and discoveries. It is evident from the preceding that Popper’s idea of corroboration of scientific theories is not similar to the notions of falsehood and scientific philosophies from other scientists. The scenario holds because the concepts of true and false are free from following thoughts, in their physical senses. But one and the same philosophies may have different corroboration elements all of which can be accurate at the same time.
Anele D. (1997),“The Architectonics of Karl Popper’s Falsificationist Methodology”, in The Nigerian Journal Of Philosophy, Vol. 15 Nos. 1 & 2.
Kraft V. (2004), “Popper and the Vienna Circle” in Paul A. Shilpp, the Philosophy of Karl Popper, Illinois: Open Court
Popper K. (1977), the Logic of Scientific Discovery, London: Hutchison.