Objective Knowledge: Popper's Biological Approach

Dr. Faizal N Muhammad
2020 Asian Mirror  
Popper put forward a three world theory to encompass subjective knowledge and objective knowledge as well. Popper without denying the personal or subjective knowledge further argues that this should be studied from a biological or evolutionary point of view. All knowledge grows by the method of variation and selection found in living organisms. Human knowledge is adaptive and increases by conjectures and refutations. This approach from the standpoint of biology unifies Popper's whole
more » ... 's whole philosophy. The way in which Popper's philosophy of biology contributes to the integration of thought can be seen in the new expression of the main problem of epistemology. All knowledge grows by the method of variation and selection found in living organisms. Human knowledge is adaptive and increases by conjecture (blind variation of untested, new theories) and refutation (selective retention). This is evolutionary epistemology. The new approach from the standpoint of biology is not incremental, i.e., it unifies Popper's whole philosophy. The way in which Popper's philosophy of biology contributes to the integration of thought can be seen in the new expression of the main problem of epistemology. According to Popper, the main task of the theory of knowledge is to understand it as continuous with animal knowledge, and to understand also its discontinuity, if any, from animal knowledge. Moreover, Popper stated that the origin and the evolution of knowledge might be said to coincide with the origin and evolution of life, and to be closely linked with the origin and evolution of the planet earth. Evolution theory links knowledge, and with it human beings, with the cosmos, and so the problem of knowledge becomes a problem of cosmology. Thus, Popper significantly generalizes the earlier approach, i.e., experience is theory-impregnated and structure-impregnated. Thus, the direct outcome of Popper's philosophy of biology is a theory of knowledge called evolutionary epistemology. It is the outcome of Popper's understanding and analysis of the process by which knowledge, be it human or animal grows. Regarding this view, the term 'knowledge' alludes to the objective end products of certain 2
doi:10.21276/am.2020.7.1.an2 fatcat:arrfcvdhyfabvhshws6nbmhidq