How to Distinguish Science from Non Science

Dario Antiseri


The questions in this article concern the demarcation between scientific theories and non scientific theories. The problem is not only an epistemological one, but it implies also ethical and social consequences. For example, is it acceptable for an European Country to allow the practice of non traditonal medicines which are not yet considered officially as scientific ? According to Karl Popper, the author discusses the following points: 

1. Is there a logical asymmetry between the verification and the falsification of a theory ? 

2. The criterion of falsifiability demarcates science from non-science. 

3. There is no automatic method to find new theories 

4. The facts of science are discovered by scientists through theories. 

5. The scientific method is only one and it consists in these three steps: problems-theories - refutations. The article's core is that the rational physician is the one who kills ( falsifies) his own diagnosis instead of his own patients. 


Key words: Scientific knowledge - Epistemology - Ethics 

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