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Karl Popper’s Critique of Historicism, the Historical School, and the Contemporary Debate

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Part of the Studies in Economic Ethics and Philosophy book series (SEEP)

Abstract

Popper’s name is usually associated with the idea of open society and the deductive hypothetical method. Now, barely three years have passed since Sir Karl’s death, it looks as though the memory about both of these concepts, as well as Popper’s name itself, are almost equally dead. Popper’s philosophy of science as well as his social philosophy are commonly considered things of the past. Such a judgement, though harsh to Popper and his philosophy, does not seem to bother too many Western philosophers, always very sceptical of Popper’s philosophy, and of his own robust self, anyway. What is far more interesting is that similar attitude has been adopted by intellectuals in Central and Eastern Europe, who, apparently at least, have had most reasons to follow his teaching.

Keywords

  • Open Society
  • Social Engineering
  • Social Philosophy
  • Contemporary Debate
  • Methodological Individualism

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

  1. Quoted after George Soros: The Capitalist Threat, The Atlantic Monthly, February (1997), p. 2.

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  2. Cf. John Watkins: Karl Popper. Memoir, The American Scholar, Spring (1997), pp. 205–219. Quotation is from p. 213. Ideas very much similar to Watkins’s are suggested by a reading of Ernst Gombrich’s The Open Society and Its Enemies: Remembering Its Publication Fifty Years Ago, LSE, London 1995.

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  3. Karl R. Popper: The Poverty of Historicism, Economica vol. XI, nos 42 and 43, 1944, and vol. XII, no. 46, 1945. The book was published by Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, in 1957.

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  4. Karl R. Popper: Conjectures and Refutations, London (Routledge and Kegan Paul) 1963, especially papers What is Dialectic?; Prediction and Prophecy in the Social Sciences; Utopia and Violence, and The History of Our Time: An Optimist View.

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Chmielewski, A.J. (2000). Karl Popper’s Critique of Historicism, the Historical School, and the Contemporary Debate. In: Koslowski, P. (eds) The Theory of Capitalism in the German Economic Tradition. Studies in Economic Ethics and Philosophy. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-04084-3_15

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-04084-3_15

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

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