Karl 's Views On Social Science

Decent Essays

Karl Popper became a popular philosopher in the twentieth century, known for his emphasis on empirical falsification while studying the social sciences. He rejected previously popular views from the prewar era, namely Historicism, which focuses on only historical evidence in the observation of political and social events. In his book, Popper Selections, Popper vehemently opposes ideas such as historicism, collectivism, utopian principles, and the Marxian ideology. Popper’s emphasis on empirical falsification provides us the basis as to why he believes democracy proves to be essential to a state. His emphasis on individualism, piece-meal social engineering, interventionism and sovereignty highlight Popper’s direct opposition to Marx, which …show more content…

He asserts, “there cannot, of course, be any rational discussion in a school of this kind” (Popper 1985). Popper then places emphasis on the importance on the ‘rise of tradition,’ meaning a tradition in places of learning that encourages critical discussion and new ideas, perhaps even rewards them. Not only does Popper maintain that this rise of criticism is important, he also states that those being criticized should be tolerant of dissenting view points and seek to understand the opposition rather than rejecting it. Furthermore, Popper states, “the rationalist tradition, the tradition of critical discussion, represents the only practicable way of expanding our knowledge” (Popper 1985). These ideas of critical discussion and critical rationalism essentially serve as the thesis to Popper’s theory. Popper’s reliance on the testability, falsifiability, scientific methodology and accumulating data and theories serve as the main components of Popperism. The Popperian ideology seems to be directly in opposition to historicism. Popper defines historicism as “an approach to the social sciences which assumes that historical prediction is their principal aim, and which that assumes that this aim is attainable by discovering the ‘rhythms’ or the ‘patterns,’ the ‘laws’ or the ‘trends’ that underlie the evolution of history” (Popper

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