Lecture by Andrey Velikanov: Kenneth Biller, Genius (TV series). // The demarcation problem. Verification and falsification. The subjectivity of science

Andrey Velikanov’s Lecture Cycle: Ideas and Forms
29 April 2018


The lecture is based around the philosophic interpretations of scientific theories that can be found in the Genius TV series.

Is there a criterion that distinguishes scientific theories from unscientific? Karl Popper forever changed the idea of the demarcation problem having suggested consistently falsifying scientific theories instead of trying to prove them with as many existent arguments as possible, i.e. to find ways of overturning a theory by putting it to question continuously through experimentation. If a theory is fundamentally incontestable regardless of the circumstances, it means it’s a myth or an ideology. The first scientific theory that satisfied Popper’s criterion became Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.

“Theoretical physics turned into circus. Just as the cubists had an inability to paint decently, so, here lies together the audacity and the inability [the theoretical physicists] want to impose on others. Everything that cannot be investigated experimentally is not a science”.

(Genius TV series, quote from Philipp Lenard’s part, the critic of the Relativity Theory)


Andrey Velikanov is a philosopher, art theorist, and artist. His publications on art and cultural theory include Am I a Trembling Simulacrum, or Do I Have the Right? (NLO, 2007). He has taught at the National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russian State University for the Humanities, UNIC Institute, Wordshop Communications Academy, Moscow 1905 Art Academy, MediaArtLab Open School, Center of Avant-Garde at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, and Free Workshops Art School, and regularly gives talks and takes part in discussions at various venues. He is also a recipient of several media art awards and prizes including Ostranenie (Germany), DADANET (Russia), Art on the Net (Japan), TrashArt (Russia), Southwest Interactive Festival (U.S.A.), and Split (Croatia).


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