Foundations of Science

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 275-286

First online:

Falsificationism Falsified

  • Sven Ove HanssonAffiliated withDepartment of Philosophy and the History of Technology, Royal Institute of Technology Email author 

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A conceptual analysis of falsificationism is performed, in which the central falsificationist thesis is divided into several components. Furthermore, an empirical study of falsification in science is reported, based on the 70 scientific contributions that were published as articles in Nature in 2000. Only one of these articles conformed to the falsificationist recipe for successful science, namely the falsification of a hypothesis that is more accessible to falsification than to verification. It is argued that falsificationism relies on an incorrect view of the nature of scientific inquiry and that it is, therefore, not a tenable research methodology.


falsification falsificationism verification hypothesis testing explorative research Karl Popper