Title 2 – TOK Essay May 2017 KQ 4 : Is it always possible for theories in various Areas of knowledge (AOK) to be tested and falsified?



The Theories with subject matter consisting of Ideas, rather than the empirical data , are only equipped with elementary theorems and statements that , of course , cannot possibly be scientifically tested through empirical observation. Also there exist theories , even in Natural Sciences , with stipulative definitions and conventions , idealizations and Non-observable entities that make claims that are not empirical which basically means that cannot be tested by means of observation or experimentation.

The common types of Non Empirical Theories (atomism, reductionism, causality…) are :

Metaphysical theories that make claims about reality without assuming any particular conceptualisations.

Mathematical and logical theories that deal with defined abstract objects or mental constructs.

Conceptual theories that deal with ways of looking (perspectives) at a certain domain.

Normative theories that deal with what is supposed to be ethically , legally , aesthetically in(admissible).


The same argument of “ the lack of Empirical Evidence” figures very strongly in Atheists versus Believers debate that there has not been any reliable , testable evidence to support the hypothesis that God exists and it is therefore NOT rational to believe that there is a God. Because , if God exists and interacts with us , then God’s interactions must be measurable and detectable in some way but no such interactions have been observed or measured till date. The Atheists further argue that Faith , being personal , private and unmeasurable , is a great excuse to evade the need to bring in evidence in Religion. So do we actually require to test and falsify to establish if God Does Exist?

Well at least in the area of Sciences , just like Democritus’ atomism seemed non-empirical centuries ago but its empirical nature cannot be disputed now- there will be a possibility in the future of either the available technology or the theory itself to advance enough for us to be able to test it.