- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Princeton University Press; 5th Rev ed. edition (February 1, 1971)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0691019681
- ISBN-13: 978-0691019680
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #231,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Open Society and Its Enemies, Vol. 1: The Spell of Plato 5th Rev ed. Edition
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Frequently Bought Together
'One of the great books of the century' - Alan Ryan, The Times
'Few philosophershave combined such a vast width of knowledge with the capacity to produce important original ideas as he did.' - Anthony Quinton, The Guardian
'This is a work of great interest and significance, stimulating and suggestive throughout. Dr Popper's virtues are manifold. He has a great fertility of ideas. Almost every sentence gives us something to think about.' - G.C. Field, Philosophy --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
'A work of first-class importance which ought to be widely read for its masterly criticism of the enemies of democracy, ancient and modern.'-Bertrand Russell
Top Customer Reviews
"If in this book harsh words are spoken about some of the greatest among the intellectual leaders of mankind, my motive is not...to belittle them. ...we must break with the habit of deference to great men. Great men may make great mistakes..." (from the intro to the 1943 edition)
Karl Popper was fighting the war in his own way. He saw what was essentially the same in Stalin and Hitler: a monstrous confidence. They may have drawn on different philosophies of the state, but it came to the same thing in the end: wholesale murder as a tool of social engineering.
But WWII is over, and we won. Moreover, the Soviet Union has collapsed, and we won again. So what is the fuss? Relax: Marxism is dead, Platonism sounds quaint, and who the hell is Hegel, anyway?
But don't rest easy just yet, free-market man! Every four years we seem to reaffirm our need for a philosopher-king. And while the historicist faith is now all tarted-up with computers, networking, and the Fable of the Bees and re-christened "emergent order", it still leaves us feeling smug and moral in doing nothing but tending our own gardens.
Popper is pithy throughout, but I only started noting things (this time around) at the penultimate chapter of the work, 24:
"... the fight against suffering must be considered a duty, while the right to care for the happiness of others must be considered a privilege confined to the close circle of their friends."(vII, p237)
[on language, and the aim of rationalism] "...Read more ›
Heraclitus set the stage with his claim that "the cosmos, at best, is like a rubbish heap scattered at random." If "everything is in flux" and "you cannot step twice into the same river", then at least we can try to discover the historical or evolutionary laws which will enable us to prophesy the destiny of man.
Plato's claim to greatness is to have discovered such a law: that "all social change is corruption or decay or degeneration," and that the only way to break this cycle of decay is to arrest development and return to the Golden Age, where no change occurs. His belief in perfect and unchanging things, the Platonic Ideas from which all things originate, finds its expression in all fields of inquiry: be it social justice, nature and convention, wisdom and truth, or goodness and beauty.
Behind these lofty ideals, Popper uncovers a discomforting truth: Plato envisioned the ideal Greek polity as a totalitarian nightmare, where the 'race of the guardians' had to be kept pure from any miscegenation and where the role of the rulers was to breed the human cattle according to some esoteric formula (the 'Platonic Number', a number determining the True Period of the human race).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's one of a kind and an important source of laying out philosophies and their place in society. Learn about the "Open Society" and its enemies from this book, and then... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
Admittedly, my predilection was to some degree already in their direction, but, I have gained more knowledge of political philosophy from Popper and Hayek than anyone else. Read morePublished 17 months ago by David H. Eisenberg
This is not really a philosophy book, per se, but it ranks among the indispensable political philosophy texts of the 20th Century. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Jack
Popper writes in this book :
" History has no meaning, I contend... It is up to us to decide what shall be our purpose in life, to determine our ends. Read more
Karl Raimund Popper (1902-1994) was an Austrian-British philosopher and professor at the London School of Economics, best-known as a philosopher of science and of political... Read morePublished on October 10, 2014 by Steven H Propp
The topic is too important to be ignored. I recommend this book. I liked the quick service and fast delivery by this store. Thanks.Published on September 28, 2014 by moises nadal
I read the first volume of "The Open Society and Its Enemies" a while back. It is among the least interesting and least inspired readings of Plato I have ever set my hands on. Read morePublished on September 25, 2014 by Timothy E. Kennelly