Popper, Karl Raimund

Popper, Karl Raimund
Philosopher of science. Born and educated in Vienna, Popper shared with the logical positivists an interest in the foundations and the methodology of the natural sciences. After a period in New Zealand he moved to the London School of Economics where he became professor of logic and scientific method in 1949. Popper came to fame with his first book, Logik der Forschung (1935, trs. as The Logic of Scientific Discovery, 1959). In it he overturns the traditional attempts to found scientific method in the support that experience gives to suitably formed generalizations and theories. Stressing the difficulty the problem of induction puts in front of any such method, Popper substitutes an epistemology that starts with the bold, imaginative formation of hypotheses. These face the tribunal of experience, which has the power to falsify them, but not to confirm them (see falsifiability, falsification ). A hypothesis that survives the ordeal of attempted refutation can be provisionally accepted as ‘corroborated’, but never assigned a probability.
The approach was extremely popular amongst working scientists, who recognized the value it puts upon imaginative theorizing and patient refutation, and who responded gladly to the liberating thought that it was not a sin but a mark of virtue to put forward a theory that is subsequently refuted. Philosophers have been more cautious, pointing out that something like induction seems to be involved when we rely upon well-corroborated theories. Nobody flies in an aeroplane purely because it is a bold imaginative conjecture that it will stay in the air. However, many thinkers accept in essence his solution to the problem of demarcating proper science from its imitators, namely that the former results in genuinely falsifiable theories whereas the latter do not. Although falsification is more complex than Popper initially allowed, the idea encapsulates many people's objections to such ideologies as psychoanalysis and Marxism.
Popper's social and historical writings include the influential The Open Society and Its Enemies (1945) and The Poverty of Historicism (1957), attacking the view that there are fundamental laws of history that render its progress inevitable. In the first work Popper attacks this belief, which he associates with the illiberal totalitarianism that he finds in Plato, Hegel, and Marx, although it is unclear that his readings of these thinkers do justice to the stringent ethical conditions they place upon the rational political systems that they explore. Popper associates political virtue, like scientific virtue, with the possibility of free enquiry subject to constraints that minimize the chance of accepting bad systems.

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Popper, Karl Raimund — (1902–1994)    Knighted in England in 1965, Popper spent most of his life there or in the English speaking world. He lived in New Zealand, where he taught at the University of Canterbury from 1937 to 1945. He was professor of logic and theory of… …   Historical dictionary of Austria

  • Karl Raimund Popper — Sir Karl Raimund Popper (* 28. Juli 1902 in Wien; † 17. September 1994 in London) war ein österreichisch britischer Philosoph, der mit seinen Arbeiten zu Erkenntnis und Wissenschaftstheorie, zur Sozial und Geschichtsphilosophie sowie zur… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Karl Raimund Popper — Karl Popper Karl R. Popper Philosophe Occidental XXe siècle Naissance : 28 juillet 1902 (Vienne) Décès : 17 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Popper,Sir Karl Raimund — Pop·per (pŏpʹər), Sir Karl Raimund. 1902 1994. British philosopher known for his contributions to the understanding of scientific reasoning and his attacks on historicism. His works include The Logic of Scientific Discovery (1931) and The Open… …   Universalium

  • Popper, Sir Karl Raimund — ▪ 1995       Austrian born British philosopher (b. July 28, 1902, Vienna, Austria Hungary d. Sept. 17, 1994, Croydon, Surrey, England), believed that knowledge particularly scientific knowledge evolves from individual experience and cannot be… …   Universalium

  • Popper, Sir Karl (Raimund) — born July 28, 1902, Vienna, Austria died Sept. 17, 1994, Croydon, Greater London, Eng. Austrian British philosopher of natural and social science. In The Logic of Scientific Discovery (1934), he rejected the traditional conception of induction,… …   Universalium

  • Popper, Sir Karl (Raimund) — (28 jul. 1902, Viena, Austria–17 sept. 1994, Croydon, Greater London, Inglaterra). Filósofo británico de las ciencias naturales y sociales de origen austríaco. En La lógica de la investigación científica (1934), rechazó la concepción tradicional… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Karl Raimund Popper — (1902 1994) Austrian philosopher and political thinker …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Sir Karl Raimund Popper — noun British philosopher (born in Austria) who argued that scientific theories can never be proved to be true, but are tested by attempts to falsify them (1902 1994) • Syn: ↑Popper, ↑Karl Popper • Hypernyms: ↑philosopher …   Useful english dictionary

  • Popper — Popper, Karl Raimund …   Philosophy dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.