Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge

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Psychology Press, 2002 - Philosophy - 582 pages
3 Reviews
Conjectures and Refutations is one of Karl Popper's most wide-ranging and popular works, notable not only for its acute insight into the way scientific knowledge grows, but also for applying those insights to politics and to history. It provides one of the clearest and most accessible statements of the fundamental idea that guided his work: not only our knowledge, but our aims and our standards, grow through an unending process of trial and error. Popper brilliantly demonstrates how knowledge grows by guesses or conjectures and tentative solutions, which must then be subjected to critical tests. Although they may survive any number of tests, our conjectures remain conjectures, they can never be established as true. What makes Conjectures and Refutations such an enduring book is that Popper goes on to apply this bold theory of the growth of knowledge to a fascinating range of important problems, including the role of tradition, the origin of the scientific method, the demarcation between science and metaphysics, the body-mind problem, the way we use language, how we understand history, and the dangers of public opinion. Throughout the book, Popper stresses the importance of our ability to learn from our mistakes. Conjectures and Refutations is essential reading, and a book to be returned to again and again.
 

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Contents

CONJECTURES
43
The Nature of Philosophical Problems and their
87
Three Views Concerning Human Knowledge
130
Towards a Rational Theory of Tradition
161
Back to the Presocratics
183
A Note on Berkeley as Precursor of Mach and Einstein
224
Kants Critique and Cosmology
237
On the Status of Science and of Metaphysics
249
Hegelian Dialectic
435
Dialectic After Hegel
445
Prediction and Prophecy in the Social Sciences
452
Public Opinion and Liberal Principles
467
The Dangers of Public Opinion
470
A Croup of Theses
471
The Liberal Theory of Free Discussion
473
The Forms of Public Opinion
475

Why are the Calculi of Logic and Arithmetic
272
Truth Rationality and the Growth of Scientific
291
The Demarcation Between Science and Metaphysics
341
Introduction
342
My Own View of the Problem
344
Carnaps First Theory of Meaninglessness
349
Carnap and the Language of Science
356
Testability and Meaning
368
Probability and Induction
377
Language and the BodyMind Problem
395
Four Major Functions of Language
397
A Croup of Theses
398
The Machine Argument
399
The Causal Theory of Naming
401
Interaction
402
A Note on the BodyMind Problem
403
SelfReference and Meaning in Ordinary Language
409
What is Dialectic?
419
A Short List of Political Illustrations
476
Utopia and Violence
477
An Optimists View
489
Humanism and Reason
506
Some Technical Notes
517
Probability and the Severity of Tests
522
Verisimilitude
527
Numerical Examples
535
Artificial vs Formalized Languages
537
A Historical Note on Verisimilitude 1964
538
Some Further Hints on Verisimilitude 1 968
541
Further Remarks on the Presocratics especially on Parmenides 1968
545
Unity or Novelty? 1968
556
An Argument due to Mark Twain against Naive Empiricism 1989
557
Index of Mottoes
558
Index of Names
559
Index of Subjects
567
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About the author (2002)

Karl Popper (1902-1994). Philosopher, born in Vienna. One of the most influential and controversial thinkers of the twentieth century.

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