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Realism and the Aim of Science

(From the Postscript to the Logic of Scientific Discovery)

“Scientific theories are distinguished from myths merely in being criticisable, and in being open to modifications in the light of criticism.”
Karl Popper, from the Preface

Realism and the Aim of Science is one of the three volumes of Karl Popper’s Postscript to the Logic of Scientific Discovery. The Postscript is the culmination of Popper’s work in the philosophy of physics and a now famous attack on subjectivist approaches to scientific knowledge.

Realism and the Aim of Science is the first volume of the Postscript. Popper here formulates and explains his non-justificationist theory of knowledge: science aims at true explanatory theories, yet it can never prove, or justify, any theory to be true, not even if it is a true theory. Science must continue to question and criticize all its theories, even those that happen to be true. Realism and the Aim of Science presents Popper’s mature statement on scientific knowledge and offers important insights into his thinking on problems of method within science.

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