Karl Raimund Popper citáty

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Karl Raimund Popper

Dátum narodenia: 28. júl 1902
Dátum úmrtia: 17. september 1994

Sir Karl Raimund Popper bol filozof rakúskeho pôvodu, v roku 1937 emigroval na Nový Zéland a od roku 1945 žil v Londýne. Bol významným predstaviteľom moderného liberalizmu, teórie vedy a filozofie. Jeho vedecká činnosť je zastúpená aj na poli logiky, fyziky, biológie, sociológie a politológie. Je považovaný za zakladateľa kritického racionalizmu. Wikipedia

Citáty Karl Raimund Popper

„If we are uncritical we shall always find what we want: we shall look for, and find, confirmations, and we shall look away from, and not see, whatever might be dangerous to our pet theories.“

—  Karl Popper, kniha The Poverty of Historicism

The Poverty of Historicism (1957) Ch. 29 The Unity of Method
Kontext: If we are uncritical we shall always find what we want: we shall look for, and find, confirmations, and we shall look away from, and not see, whatever might be dangerous to our pet theories. In this way it is only too easy to obtain what appears to be overwhelming evidence in favor of a theory which, if approached critically, would have been refuted.

„A principle of induction would be a statement with the help of which we could put inductive inferences into a logically acceptable form.“

—  Karl Popper, kniha The Logic of Scientific Discovery

Zdroj: The Logic of Scientific Discovery (1934), Ch. 1 "A Survey of Some Fundamental Problems", Section I: The Problem of Induction
Kontext: A principle of induction would be a statement with the help of which we could put inductive inferences into a logically acceptable form. In the eyes of the upholders of inductive logic, a principle of induction is of supreme importance for scientific method: "… this principle", says Reichenbach, "determines the truth of scientific theories. To eliminate it from science would mean nothing less than to deprive science of the power to decide the truth or falsity of its theories. Without it, clearly, science would no longer have the right to distinguish its theories from the fanciful and arbitrary creations of the poet's mind."
Now this principle of induction cannot be a purely logical truth like a tautology or an analytic statement. Indeed, if there were such a thing as a purely logical principle of induction, there would be no problem of induction; for in this case, all inductive inferences would have to be regarded as purely logical or tautological transformations, just like inferences in inductive logic. Thus the principle of induction must be a synthetic statement; that is, a statement whose negation is not self-contradictory but logically possible. So the question arises why such a principle should be accepted at all, and how we can justify its acceptance on rational grounds.

„By reluctance to criticize some of it, we may help to destroy it all.“

—  Karl Popper, kniha The Open Society and Its Enemies

Preface to the First Edition
The Open Society and Its Enemies (1945)
Kontext: If in this book harsh words are spoken about some of the greatest among the intellectual leaders of mankind, my motive is not, I hope, the wish to belittle them. It springs rather from my conviction that, if our civilization is to survive, we must break with the habit of deference to great men. Great men may make great mistakes; and as the book tries to show, some of the greatest leaders of the past supported the perennial attack on freedom and reason. Their influence, too rarely challenged, continues to mislead those on whose defence civilization depends, and to divide them. The responsibility of this tragic and possibly fatal division becomes ours if we hesitate to be outspoken in our criticism of what admittedly is a part of our intellectual heritage. By reluctance to criticize some of it, we may help to destroy it all.

„It is our duty to help those who need help; but it cannot be our duty to make others happy,“

—  Karl Popper, kniha The Open Society and Its Enemies

Vol. 2, Ch. 24 "Oracular Philosophy and the Revolt against Reason"
The Open Society and Its Enemies (1945)
Kontext: ... the attempt to make heaven on earth invariably produces hell. It leads to intolerance. It leads to religious wars, and to the saving of souls through the inquisition. And it is, I believe, based on a complete misunderstanding of our moral duties. It is our duty to help those who need help; but it cannot be our duty to make others happy, since this does not depend on us, and since it would only too often mean intruding on the privacy of those towards whom we have such amiable intentions.

„Why do I think that we, the intellectuals, are able to help?“

—  Karl Popper

In Search of a Better World (1984)
Kontext: Why do I think that we, the intellectuals, are able to help? Simply because we, the intellectuals, have done the most terrible harm for thousands of years. Mass murder in the name of an idea, a doctrine, a theory, a religion — that is all our doing, our invention: the invention of the intellectuals. If only we would stop setting man against man — often with the best intentions — much would be gained. Nobody can say that it is impossible for us to stop doing this.

„What a monument of human smallness is this idea of the philosopher king. What a contrast between it and the simplicity of humaneness of Socrates, who warned the statesmen against the danger of being dazzled by his own power, excellence, and wisdom, and who tried to teach him what matters most — that we are all frail human beings.“

—  Karl Popper, kniha The Open Society and Its Enemies

Vol. 1, Ch 8 "The Philosopher King"
The Open Society and Its Enemies (1945)
Kontext: What a monument of human smallness is this idea of the philosopher king. What a contrast between it and the simplicity of humaneness of Socrates, who warned the statesmen against the danger of being dazzled by his own power, excellence, and wisdom, and who tried to teach him what matters most — that we are all frail human beings. What a decline from this world of irony and reason and truthfulness down to Plato's kingdom of the sage whose magical powers raise him high above ordinary men; although not quite high enough to forgo the use of lies, or to neglect the sorry trade of every shaman — the selling of spells, of breeding spells, in exchange for power over his fellow-men.

„The so-called paradox of freedom is the argument that freedom in the sense of absence of any constraining control must lead to very great restraint, since it makes the bully free to enslave the meek.“

—  Karl Popper, kniha The Open Society and Its Enemies

Vol. 1, Notes to the Chapters: Ch. 7, Note 4
The Open Society and Its Enemies (1945)
Kontext: The so-called paradox of freedom is the argument that freedom in the sense of absence of any constraining control must lead to very great restraint, since it makes the bully free to enslave the meek. The idea is, in a slightly different form, and with very different tendency, clearly expressed in Plato.
Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. — In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.

„Our aim as scientists is objective truth; more truth, more interesting truth, more intelligible truth. We cannot reasonably aim at certainty.“

—  Karl Popper

In Search of a Better World (1984)
Kontext: Our aim as scientists is objective truth; more truth, more interesting truth, more intelligible truth. We cannot reasonably aim at certainty. Once we realize that human knowledge is fallible, we realize also that we can never be completely certain that we have not made a mistake.

„I see now more clearly than ever before that even our greatest troubles spring from something that is as admirable and sound as it is dangerous — from our impatience to better the lot of our fellows.“

—  Karl Popper, kniha The Open Society and Its Enemies

Preface to the Second Edition.
The Open Society and Its Enemies (1945)
Kontext: I see now more clearly than ever before that even our greatest troubles spring from something that is as admirable and sound as it is dangerous — from our impatience to better the lot of our fellows. For these troubles are the by-products of what is perhaps the greatest of all moral and spiritual revolutions of history, a movement which began three centuries ago. It is the longing of uncounted unknown men to free themselves and their minds from the tutelage of authority and prejudice. It is their attempt to build up an open society which rejects the absolute authority to preserve, to develop, and to establish traditions, old or new, that measure up to their standards of freedom, of humaneness, and of rational criticism. It is their unwillingness to sit back and leave the entire responsibility for ruling the world to human or superhuman authority, and their readiness to share the burden of responsibility for avoidable suffering, and to work for its avoidance. This revolution has created powers of appalling destructiveness; but they may yet be conquered.

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„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 this, I hold, is an offence against every decent conception of mankind.“

—  Karl Popper, kniha The Open Society and Its Enemies

Vol 2, Ch. 25 "Has History any Meaning?" Variant: There is no history of mankind, there are only many 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.
The Open Society and Its Enemies (1945)
Kontext: 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 this, I hold, is an offence against every decent conception of mankind. It is hardly better than to treat the history of embezzlement or of robbery or of poisoning as the history of mankind. For the history of power politics is nothing but the history of international crime and mass murder (including it is true, some of the attempts to suppress them). This history is taught in schools, and some of the greatest criminals are extolled as heroes.

„But science is one of the very few human activities — perhaps the only one — in which errors are systematically criticized and fairly often, in time, corrected.“

—  Karl Popper, kniha Conjectures and Refutations

Zdroj: Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge (1963), Ch. 1 "Science : Conjectures and Refutations"
Kontext: The history of science, like the history of all human ideas, is a history of irresponsible dreams, of obstinacy, and of error. But science is one of the very few human activities — perhaps the only one — in which errors are systematically criticized and fairly often, in time, corrected. This is why we can say that, in science, we often learn from our mistakes, and why we can speak clearly and sensibly about making progress there.

„Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.“

—  Karl Popper, kniha The Open Society and Its Enemies

Vol. 1, Notes to the Chapters: Ch. 7, Note 4
The Open Society and Its Enemies (1945)
Kontext: The so-called paradox of freedom is the argument that freedom in the sense of absence of any constraining control must lead to very great restraint, since it makes the bully free to enslave the meek. The idea is, in a slightly different form, and with very different tendency, clearly expressed in Plato.
Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. — In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.

„He seeks not to convince but to arouse — to challenge others to form free opinions.“

—  Karl Popper

On Freedom (1958)
Kontext: The true Enlightenment thinker, the true rationalist, never wants to talk anyone into anything. No, he does not even want to convince; all the time he is aware that he may be wrong. Above all, he values the intellectual independence of others too highly to want to convince them in important matters. He would much rather invite contradiction, preferably in the form of rational and disciplined criticism. He seeks not to convince but to arouse — to challenge others to form free opinions.

„When I speak of reason or rationalism, all I mean is the conviction that we can learn through criticism of our mistakes and errors, especially through criticism by others, and eventually also through self-criticism.“

—  Karl Popper

"On Freedom" in All Life is Problem Solving (1999)
Kontext: When I speak of reason or rationalism, all I mean is the conviction that we can learn through criticism of our mistakes and errors, especially through criticism by others, and eventually also through self-criticism. A rationalist is simply someone for whom it is more important to learn than to be proved right; someone who is willing to learn from others — not by simply taking over another's opinions, but by gladly allowing others to criticize his ideas and by gladly criticizing the ideas of others. The emphasis here is on the idea of criticism or, to be more precise, critical discussion. The genuine rationalist does not think that he or anyone else is in possession of the truth; nor does he think that mere criticism as such helps us achieve new ideas. But he does think that, in the sphere of ideas, only critical discussion can help us sort the wheat from the chaff. He is well aware that acceptance or rejection of an idea is never a purely rational matter; but he thinks that only critical discussion can give us the maturity to see an idea from more and more sides and to make a correct judgement of it.

„You cannot have a rational discussion with a man who prefers shooting you to being convinced by you.“

—  Karl Popper

Utopia and Violence (1947)
Kontext: There are many difficulties impeding the rapid spread of reasonableness. One of the main difficulties is that it always takes two to make a discussion reasonable. Each of the parties must be ready to learn from the other. You cannot have a rational discussion with a man who prefers shooting you to being convinced by you.

„There is an almost universal tendency, perhaps an inborn tendency, to suspect the good faith of a man who holds opinions that differ from our own opinions.“

—  Karl Popper

"The Importance of Critical Discussion" in On the Barricades: Religion and Free Inquiry in Conflict (1989) by Robert Basil
Kontext: There is an almost universal tendency, perhaps an inborn tendency, to suspect the good faith of a man who holds opinions that differ from our own opinions. … It obviously endangers the freedom and the objectivity of our discussion if we attack a person instead of attacking an opinion or, more precisely, a theory.

„Nazism and Fascism are thoroughly beaten, but I must admit that their defeat does not mean that barbarism and brutality have been defeated.“

—  Karl Popper

Utopia and Violence (1947)
Kontext: Not only do I hate violence, but I firmly believe that the fight against it is not hopeless. I realize that the task is difficult. I realize that, only too often in the course of history, it has happened that what appeared at first to be a great success in the fight against violence was followed by a defeat. I do not overlook the fact that the new age of violence which was opened by the two World wars is by no means at an end. Nazism and Fascism are thoroughly beaten, but I must admit that their defeat does not mean that barbarism and brutality have been defeated. On the contrary, it is no use closing our eyes to the fact that these hateful ideas achieved something like a victory in defeat. I have to admit that Hitler succeeded in degrading the moral standards of our Western world, and that in the world of today there is more violence and brutal force than would have been tolerated even in the decade after the first World war. And we must face the possibility that our civilization may ultimately be destroyed by those new weapons which Hitlerism wished upon us, perhaps even within the first decade after the second World war; for no doubt the spirit of Hitlerism won its greatest victory over us when, after its defeat, we used the weapons which the threat of Nazism had induced us to develop.

„It is wrong to think that belief in freedom always leads to victory; we must always be prepared for it to lead to defeat. If we choose freedom, then we must be prepared to perish along with it.“

—  Karl Popper

Zdroj: On Freedom (1958)
Kontext: It is wrong to think that belief in freedom always leads to victory; we must always be prepared for it to lead to defeat. If we choose freedom, then we must be prepared to perish along with it. Poland fought for freedom as no other country did. The Czech nation was prepared to fight for its freedom in 1938; it was not lack of courage that sealed its fate. The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 — the work of young people with nothing to lose but their chains — triumphed and then ended in failure. … Democracy and freedom do not guarantee the millennium. No, we do not choose political freedom because it promises us this or that. We choose it because it makes possible the only dignified form of human coexistence, the only form in which we can be fully responsible for ourselves. Whether we realize its possibilities depends on all kinds of things — and above all on ourselves.

„If God had wanted to put everything into the universe from the beginning, He would have created a universe without change, without organisms and evolution, and without man and man's experience of change. But he seems to have thought that a live universe with events unexpected even by Himself would be more interesting than a dead one.“

—  Karl Popper

As quoted in Omnipotence and Other Theological Mistakes by Charles Hartshorne (1984)
Kontext: Appealing to his [Einstein's] way of expressing himself in theological terms, I said: If God had wanted to put everything into the universe from the beginning, He would have created a universe without change, without organisms and evolution, and without man and man's experience of change. But he seems to have thought that a live universe with events unexpected even by Himself would be more interesting than a dead one.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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