Karl Raimund Popper

Karl Raimund Popper

Born: 1902. Died: 1994.


Born in Vienna (then Austria-Hungary) in 1902 to middle-class parents of Jewish origins, Karl Popper was educated at the University of Vienna. He took a Ph.D. in philosophy in 1928, and taught in secondary school from 1930 to 1936. In 1937, the rise of Nazism and the threat of the Anschluss led Popper to emigrate to New Zealand, where he became lecturer in philosophy at Canterbury University College New Zealand (at Christchurch). In 1946, he moved to England to become reader in logic and scientific method at the London School of Economics, where he was appointed professor in 1949. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1965, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1976. He retired from academic life in 1969, though he remained intellectually active until his death in 1994. He was invested with the Insignia of a Companion of Honour in 1982.

Popper won many awards and honors in his field, including the Lippincott Award of the American Political Science Association, the Sonning Prize, and fellowships in the Royal Society, British Academy, London School of Economics, King's College London, and Darwin College Cambridge. Austria awarded him the Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold.

Major Books of Karl Raimund Popper

- A World of Propensities, 1990
- All Life is Problem Solving, 1994
- Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge, 1963
- Die Zukunft ist offen (The Future is Open), with Konrad Lorenz, 1985
- In Search of a Better World, 1984
- Knowledge and the Mind-Body Problem: In Defence of Interaction, edited by Mark Amadeus Notturno, 1994
- The Lesson of This Century, 1992
- The Logic of Scientific Discovery, 1935
- The Myth of the Framework: In Defence of Science and Rationality, edited by Mark Amadeus Notturno, 1994
- Objective Knowledge: An Evolutionary Approach, 1972
- The Open Society and Its Enemies, Volumes 1 and 2, 1945
- The Open Universe: An Argument for Indeterminism, 1956-57
- The Poverty of Historicism, 1936
- Quantum Theory and the Schism in Physics, 1956-57
- Realism and the Aim of Science, 1956-57
- The Self and Its Brain: An Argument for Interactionism, with Sir John C. Eccles, 1977
- The Two Fundamental Problems of the Theory of Knowledge, 1930-33
- Unended Quest; An Intellectual Autobiography, 1976
- The World of Parmenides, Essays on the Presocratic Enlightenment, edited by Arne F. Petersen and Jorgen Mejer, 1998

Major Articles of Karl Raimund Popper

- 1978, Natural Selection and the Emergence of Mind, Dialectica,(republished in Evolutionary Epistemology, Rationality, and the Sociology of Knowledge, 1984)


Quotes from Karl Raimund Popper

- "All criticism consists in pointing out some contradictions or discrepancies, and scientific progress consists largely in the elimination of contradictions wherever we find them." (from "The Open Society and Its Enemies", 1945)

- "[Democracy] makes possible the reform of institutions without using violence." (from "The Open Society and Its Enemies", 1945)

- "It is his intuition, his mystical insight into the nature of things, rather than his reasoning which makes a great scientist." (from "The Open Society and Its Enemies", 1945)

- "Nationalism appeals to our tribal instincts, to passion and to prejudice, and to our nostalgic desire to be relieved from the strain of individual responsibility which it attempts to replace by a collective or group responsibility." (from "The Open Society and Its Enemies", 1945)

- "One can sometimes extract a valuable suggestion even from an absurd philosophical theory." (from "The Open Society and Its Enemies", 1945)

- "Plato ... could boast a total of at least nine tyrants among his onetime pupils and associates." (from "The Open Society and Its Enemies", 1945)

- "The present is the future of the past." (from "The Open Society and Its Enemies", 1945)

- "Rational thought is not non-intuitive; it is, rather, intuition submitted to tests and checks (as opposed to intuition run wild)." (from "The Open Society and Its Enemies", 1945)

- "There is no history of mankind, there is only an indefinite number of histories of all kinds of aspects of human life. And one of these is the history of political power. This is elevated into the history of the world. But ... the history of power politics is nothing but the history of international crime and mass murder. ... This history is taught in schools, and some of the greatest criminals are extolled as its heroes." (from "The Open Society and Its Enemies", 1945)

- "We can discover the fact that we had a prejudice only after having got rid of it." (from "The Open Society and Its Enemies", 1945)

- "We may distinguish two main types of government. The first type consists of governments of which we can get rid without bloodshed-for example, by way of general elections. ... The second type consists of governments which the ruled cannot get rid of except by way of a successful revolution-that is to say, in most cases, not at all." (from "The Open Society and Its Enemies", 1945)

- "What we need ... is to moralize politics, and not to politicize morals." (from "The Open Society and Its Enemies", 1945)

- "Ignorance is not a simple lack of knowledge but an active aversion to knowledge, the refusal to know, issuing from cowardice, pride or laziness of mind." (from an article by Ryszard Kapuscinski)


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