Munich Personal RePEc Archive

On the Problem of Breathing, Eating, & Drinking Poison: An introduction to problem solving, nobility of purpose under adverse circumstances, and the search for truth with Sir Karl Popper on Prince Edward Island

Funk, Matt (2008): On the Problem of Breathing, Eating, & Drinking Poison: An introduction to problem solving, nobility of purpose under adverse circumstances, and the search for truth with Sir Karl Popper on Prince Edward Island.

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Abstract

This paper introduces Karl Popper's approach to problem solving in the social sciences. These methods fundamentally represent the scientific method of the natural sciences. Popper's problem solving technique is outlined in six steps, including an introductory treatment of his solution to Hume's Problem of Induction. These six steps are then applied in the form of a test and logical deduction of our illustrative theory: Cancer rates on Prince Edward Island have dramatically increased as a result of an extraordinary increase (900% in the past decade) in potato production, and a corollary increase of secondary agricultural inputs, namely an increase of chlorothalonil (trade name: Bravo) applications in less than ten years. We conclude our theory is true and, in order to complete our demonstration of Popper's methods, open this theory to criticism and refutations. APPENDIX A offers a brief review of relevant literature on the philosophy of science, and APPENDIX B offers readers a brief introduction to the fundamentals of relevant island-based methods.

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