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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


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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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 Edw," MPRA Paper 14483, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 03 Apr 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:14483

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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Crazy title
      by Kevin Denny in Geary Behaviour Centre on 2009-04-14 12:43:00

    More about this item


    scientific method; karl popper; truth; falsity; probability theory; the problem of induction; industrial agriculture; prince edward island; insularity; manufacture of consent; the tragedy of the commons;

    JEL classification:

    • B0 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - General
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology

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