Этические корни эпистемологии Карла Поппера

Re: Этические корни эпистемологии Карла Поппера

by Евгений Волков -
Number of replies: 0
Luc Castelein поделился ссылкой.

I have the book with this title from Mariano Artigas. This is only part of the book, but I think some people here will be interested:

The Ethical Roots of Karl Popper's Epistemology. Grupo Ciencia, Razón y Fe (CRYF). Universidad de Navarra

Epistemology and metaphysics. The origins of Popper's epistemology, the 1919 experiences, the circumstances, the crisis, the consequences. The meaning and scope of fallibilism, fallibilism and conjecturalism, fallibilism and skepticism, the reasons for fallibilism, critical rationalism. A realist ep...

Комментарии: (3)
Luc Castelein

Luc Castelein I agree with the author that it's basically the other way around: "Popper's philosophy is usually considered as an epistemology which, when applied to social and political problems, leads to the open society. But the entire thing can also be considered in the reverse sense, i. e. that Popper's ethics provides the clue to adequately understand and interpret his entire philosophy, including his epistemology."... "Popper's philosophy becomes crystal clear when we look at it through ethical glasses. We can then realize that falsificationism is rooted in an ethical soil. Indeed, Popper's main concern when working on epistemological problems was to show that we should adopt a rational or humanist attitude which necessarily includes the recognition of the limits of our knowledge and the need of using the «trial and error elimination» method. Then, we can also understand why Popper's falsificationism and fallibilism and rationalism are mainly attitudes, not doctrines; otherwise, we could become prisoners of unending discussions about naive or sophisticated or methodological falsificationism, or even worse, we could think that Popper's claims only represent some minor footnotes to the epistemological discussions of his time. Even the notion of the open society cannot be adequately understood unless we include in it serious ethical elements which should not be reduced to some kind of social organization."...."

"If we forget those ethical reasons or if we attribute to them only a minor relevance, then Popper will appear as a kind of child prodigy who, at a very early age, was preoccupied by the problems related with the scientific character of theories, and who happily compared the different status that possess in this respect Marxism and psychoanalysis on the one hand, and Einstein's relativity on the other. Sure, he would have been helped by his experiences in the three ambits, according to his own testimony. However, some important things do not fit in this scheme. It would be hardly intelligible, for instance, why Popper says that the Marxist experience made of him a fallibilist and most conscious of the difference between dogmatic and critical thinking; and it would be even more difficult to assimilate the assertion that follows immediately afterwards in which, referring to his encounter with Marxism, he says:

"Compared with this encounter, the somewhat similar pattern of my encounters with Alfred Adler's 'individual psychology' and with Freudian psychoanalysis -which were more or less contemporaneous (it all happened in 1919) -were of minor importance" *(35).".....

"All this fits well with the relevance of the Marxist experience and of its ethical components. It is interesting to note that, in both cases, Popper refers mainly to attitudes, and that when he explains his anti-Marxist reaction he says:

"I realized the dogmatic character of the creed, and its incredible intellectual arrogance. It was a terrible thing to arrogate to oneself a kind of knowledge which made it a duty to risk the lives of other people for an uncritically accepted dogma, or for a dream which might turn out not to be realizable. It was particularly bad for an intellectual, for one who could read and think. It was awfully depressing to have fallen into such a trap" *(37).

It seems rather obvious that the main problem here was an irresponsible attitude related to important ethical consequences. This sufficed to make of Popper a fallibilist, strongly suspicious of pseudo-scientific creeds: the Marxist pseudo-scientific prediction of a necessary course of history was very dangerous, and the first condition that Popper would require in the future to any allegedly scientific theory was that it should be held with an attitude of intellectual modesty, namely an attitude that recognizes the magnitude of our ignorance and never forgets that our theories are always tentative and partial trials to progress. Scientific certainty had showed itself deceptive and should be replaced by an attitude of learning through our unavoidable mistakes. Now, mistakes would begin to be considered not as an evil, but as the way which prepares real progress.

In the last analysis, the origin of Popper's fallibilism depends, in a great extent, on the feeling of personal responsibility. Some people had relied on him (on communism through him), and he had uncritically contributed to their misfortune. He had lacked a critical attitude towards a doctrine that, when carefully analyzed, turned out to be a pseudo-scientific moral trap. All this explains also why Popper, during his entire life, stressed strongly the moral responsibility of intellectuals. He saw many human troubles as caused by chains of people who rely on one or several intellectuals, and saw that these chains too often are moral chains. Fallibilism appeared, above all, as an ethical duty."

Luc Castelein

Luc Castelein He also refers to Hubert Kiesewetter, who had the same view...

Alex Naraniecki

Alex Naraniecki Yes, this is nothing new. This aspect of the centrality of the notion of responsibility permeated his later writing particularly in German, and his German lectures.


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