Philosophy of Science and the Notions of Scientific Progress Found in Popper and Kuhn

On the basis of the two philosophers’ respective philosophies of science, this paper seeks to prove that the approaches of Popper and Kuhn allow us to view that science indeed progresses. Moreover, these said scientific signs of progress consist of, in the case of Popper, new theories of events that have not been elucidated previously, new theories that have replaced old theories which have been successfully falsified, the extension of existing theories, and specific theories that diminished general ones (Hunt 2003). Kuhn, on the other hand, believed that a shift from one paradigm to another is non-cumulative, meaning that the new paradigm does not amass the theories and knowledge of the old one since two paradigms are incommensurable, and scientific progress, therefore, is not the attainment of a fixed scientific goal but is equated with a Darwinian-like passage from one phase to another from “less complex stages to more complex ones” characterized by higher “ accuracy of prediction,” “greater specialization,” “increase in articulation.” and more “problems solved” (Parrini 1999).
Popper’s work is fundamentally hinged on two principles: the demarcation theory and falsificationism. First, Popper makes a distinction between science and non-science. This demarcation method or the distinction of science from the pseudo-sciences is undertaken by the application of another Popper invented term called falsificationism. Falsificationism is simply the subjection of a theory to a refutation test. If a theory is capable of being subjected to such a test, then it is a science. if not, it is non-science. It can be fairly assumed that the significance of this test is to simply put in proper perspective which subject or theory is included or precluded from Popper’s study and not as a judgment of its value or importance.