A Questionável Atribuição de Autoridade Metacientífica aos Veredictos Epistemológicos

Alberto Oliva


We intend to put into question two fundamental principles adopted by critical rationalism. One of them, explicitly proposed by Popper, argues that what is valid in logic is also in psychology. And the other, tacitly espoused, implies that epistemological verdicts have metascientific authority and validity. Regarding the second, we hold the view that to the conclusions arrived at by epistemology should not automatically be conferred metascientific authority and validity. To acquire metascientific import such conclusions also need to be derived from the observation of the actual ways of producing scientific knowledge. The Hume-dependent manner with which Popper rejects induction exemplifies with emblematic strength the tendency to extend the conclusions of epistemology to philosophy of science. On one hand Popper endorses Hume’s argument about the lack of epistemic justification for induction, on the other, disagrees with the humean view that induction is routinely employed and should, therefore, be seen as a human or animal fact. Popper departs from Hume to argue that induction is not even a way of thinking; therefore, it can be employed neither by the layman nor by the scientist. Also in defense of the thesis that induction does not exist, Popper gives primacy to epistemology. More than an epistemological thesis, the theory that decrees that induction is not even a psychological fact requires empirical confirmation. For Popper being right, it is necessary to verify the theory that our minds always operate according to the model from the top down. And psychology not even provides the corroboration of Popper’s thesis.


Induction; epistemic justification; epistemological imperative; psychological fact.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5007/1808-1711.2013v17n2p275

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Principia: an internationnal journal of epistemology
Published by NEL - Epistemology and Logic Research Group
Federal University of Santa Catarina - UFSC
Center of Philosophy and Human Sciences – CFH
Campus Reitor João David Ferreira Lima
Florianópolis, Santa Catarina - Brazil
CEP: 88040-900

 ISSN: 1414-4217
EISSN: 1808-171

e-mail: principia@contato.ufsc.br