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Popper Selections Paperback – February 1, 1985

ISBN-13: 978-0691020310 ISBN-10: 0691020310

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (February 1, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691020310
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691020310
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #559,246 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"These pieces taken from Anglo-Austrian philosopher Sir Karl Popper's brilliantly expounded oeuvre of political, social, and scientific thought should stimulate anyone seriously interested in twentieth-century ideas."--The Washington Post

From the Back Cover

"The introduction is an excellent short summary of Popper's ideas, and the selections themselves are exciting and representative of Popper's wide range of accomplishments."--Burleigh Wilkins, University of California, Santa Barbara

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81 of 82 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is one of my few cherished books - it gives an overview of the thinking of one of the great philosophers of modern times, Karl Popper. Miller's organization and introduction of the material contributes significantly.
I first became interested in Popper for his view on science. In a nutshell, that falsificationism is the best (only?) approach to practicing science. Popper's view taken literally might not make a full arsenal for a working scientist, but the spirit of his idea - that mistaken but provocative theory contributes importantly to the progress of science - is liberating, even exhilirating. Sounds a little strange? Well, try it and see for yourself. Popper is probably the only philosopher of science who has had an impact on how scientists actually think about their work. Others, who may try to strike a more balanced tone, end up writing mush.
From Miller's fine collection we learn that Popper has done much more, including making important contributions to social and political theory. This book will also introduce the reader to one of Popper's personal wellsprings, the pre-Socratic philosophers. In all, this book is an intellectual treasure.
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62 of 62 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is one of my favorites in my bookcase. Popper has a gripping writing style and these essays provide short glimpses into his most important ideas. Probably not for the general reader, but for anyone having an intellectual interest in science and society, this book covers Popper's ideas on the faults of inductive reasoning, his definition of science vs. pseudoscience, his views on intolerant thinking and behavior, and even his idea of 'piecemeal social engineering,' an idea ahead of its time. Throughout this book, Popper emerges as a warm, brilliant thinker, one of the best of the 20th Century. The editors have done a wonderful job compiling these selections, and the book is of fine quality construction and will last for many years on the buyer's bookshelf.
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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Christopher LaMonica on December 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
Brilliant, clearly written, and wonderfully brief essays that span the life works of Karl Popper, organized into four parts: Theory of Knowledge, Philosophy of Science, Metaphysics, and Social Philosophy.

Perhaps best known for his 'Open Society and Its Enemies' (written during WWII while in New Zealand), Popper is clearly an advocate of open and free debate in all academic disciplines. Against solving irrelevant 'puzzles of language' - a habit of philosophers and Ludwig Wittgenstein in particular (Read book on this: 'Wittgenstein's Poker') - Popper is most concerned with solving real world 'problems' that impact human life. 'Our ignorance is sobering and boundless' he suggests but, together, through open-ness we can move toward finding ever-adjusting solutions for a better world.

Like other survivors of WWII (e.g. Isaiah Berlin), Popper is especially concerned with those who advocate 100% solutions to society's woes. One of our clearest advocates of the lessons of the Ancient Greeks, Popper tells us: The 'tradition of critical discussion' was the secret of the ancients. This tradition leads us to the realization that our attempts to find 'truth' are never final; and that criticism and critical discussion are our only means of getting nearer to the truth.

For those interested in: 1) Clear-headed discussions on science and philosophy, and 2) Hearing from a strong advocate of freedom and the 'western tradition' read this book. And bring a pencil.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Doug Anderson VINE VOICE on June 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
Popper's favorite philosophers are the pre-Socratics. He celebrates them for their willingness to entertain/invite/encourage alternative points of view. The pre-Socratics sought to explain the universe ( a goal modern philososphy/science has lost sight of) but no one theory was viewed as absolute, rather each theory was viewed as a proposition that could then be honed/improved/altered by further argument/inquiry. This spirit of inquiry begins to vanish around the time of Plato and Aristotle for their teachings begin to be passed down not as theories that can be improved upon (modified or dismissed) but as knowledge. For Popper reverence for "great men" and "great ideas" only stands in the way of pluralism and progress.
Poppers method is to identify the mistakes made by the "great men" and therefore clear the way for further inquiry. Of all the western philosphers Plato receives the most attention. Popper finds much to admire in Plato but also much that needs amending. In an essay on "subjective" and "objective" knowledge Popper evolves his idea of a third "world" of knowledge. This autonomous third world of knowledge is reminiscent of Plato's theory of ideal forms with one essential difference. For Popper all knowledge is man made and so his third world of knowledge contains not ideals(in Popper's world ideals do not exist) but "problem situations" -- the state of a discussion or the state of a critical argument at the present time and these "states" make up the "objective contents of thought".
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