Is the Network Theory Tautologic?
Amongst many divergencies, there is at least one point in which Wittgenstein and Popper not only agree but use the same rhetoric example. When explaining tautologies, Wittgenstein writes “For example, I know nothing about the weather when I know that it is either raining or not raining”1. Popper, elaborating on falsifiability, rather than verifiability, as a criterion of demarcation for admitting a system as empirical or scientific writes: “Thus, the statement “It will rain or not rain here tomorrow” will not be regarded as empirical, simply because it cannot be refuted; whereas the statement “It will rain here tomorrow” will be regarded as empirical”2. Those who know well all the writings of Niels K. Jerne, cannot avoid to recall the last sentence in the Introduction to the 1977 Annual Report from the Basel Institute for Immunology: “... immunology may turn out to be like meterology: we know all the basic elements, but we cannot foretell the weather tomorrow in Basel”3.
KeywordsNetwork Theory Internal Recognition Antibody Repertoire Idiotypic Network Antibody Diversity
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