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Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge (Routledge Classics) Paperback – 2 May 2002
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'Popper holds that truth is not manifest, but extremely elusive, he believes that men need above all things, open-mindedness, imagination, and a constant willingness to be corrected.' – Maurice Cranston, Listener
About the Author
Karl Popper (1902-1994). Philosopher, born in Vienna. One of the most influential and controversial thinkers of the twentieth century.
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Top Customer Reviews
In his late teens Popper decided Marxism, psychoanalysis and individual psychology were 'three theories, though posing as sciences, had in fact more in common with primitive myths than with science; that they resembled astrology rather than astronomy'. Yet for their adherents these myths appeared to have an explanatory power which Popper attributed to their desire to look for confirmations. Such 'confirming evidence should not count except when it is the result of a genuine test of the theory'. In sum, 'the criterion of the scientific status of a theory is its falsifiability or refutability or testability'. Marxists sought to avoid the latter by re-interpreting theory when practice had falsified it.Read more ›
Considering the whole book, it is first of all a treatise on philosophy of science, but we find here the general philosophy of Popper, facing the main problems in the theory of knowledge: science, metaphysics, history of philosophy, language, the body-mind question, humanism and reason, and politics. He did apply his theory of knowledge from the Presocratics to the Vienna Circle and the modern "linguistic turn" in the XXth century, studying Hume, Kant, Berkeley, Hegel, Copernic, Newton, Einstein... It is always the same method that appears, of trying and error, or conjectures and refutations (the title), through testing theories, that leads to elimination or corroboration. Corroboration means approaching "truth" according to the theory of Tarski, Popper's reference here. We never reach an absolute certainty, but only temporary results, until the next problems appear, and calling new tests for the scientists and so on...
Then, the problematic of the author do help us to give answers to a lot of questions in physics, astronomy, empirical sciences, social sciences, politics and in general philosophy. Upon his logical foundations and his critical rationalism, with his criterion of demarcation: refutation, Popper defended a real and objective knowledge, a free research in science and democracy in politics.
(See also "Objective Knowledge" for his evolutionary theory of knowledge).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A lot less daunting than you might think. Readable, and obviously a great book to quote from considering Mr Poppers importance in the history of the philosophy of science.Published on 29 Dec. 2014 by Lisa