Karl Popper

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Karl Raimund Popper (28 July 1902, Vienna – 17 September 1994, London) was an Austrian-British philosopher and professor at the London School of Economics.

Opponent of application of grand social theories to political practice, which he held would inevitably lead to totalitarianism, Popper is noted for his proposition that any theory must be capable of falsification if it is to be accepted as a valid theory; an opponent of the Logical Positivism for which his hometown of Vienna is famous, Popper developed the concept of “Objective Knowledge”, socially transmitted through institutions, practices and social experience as the foundation of knowledge, as opposed to the individualistic approach of many others concerned with the problems of epistemology and the methodology of science.

Educated at the University of Vienna, Popper emigrated to New Zealand in 1937, teaching at the University of New Zealand in Christchurch and then to England in 1945, where he was granted British citizenship and lived for the remainder of his life. He lectured in Philosophy at University College Cambridge (1937-1945) and in 1969 was appointed an Emeritus Professor at the London School of Economics. He has held a variety of positions and lectured at Universities throughout Europe and America.

Popper’s The Open Society and its Enemies (1945) launched scathing attacks on totalitarian ideology of both Left (in the first volume) and Right (in the second volume published later), and succeeded in making enemies for him in just about every direction. Nevertheless, over time, his insistence that social problems are best solved by piecemeal social engineering rather than grand world-transforming crusades, came to descriptive of what most people were doing, and he gained a wider audience from the early 1960s.

Popper wrote extensively on the history and philosophy of science, his Objective Knowledge: An Evolutionary Approach (1972) popularised the concept of “falsifiability” as a criterion of validity of a theory, and developed an epistemology which endeavoured to overcome the subjectivism of the dominant Logical Positivist currents. (Source)

Works[edit]

Monographs[edit]

  • Das Elend des Historizismus [1936], 1957. First presented as private reading at a meeting in Brussels, 1936; first published as a series of articles in Econometrica, 1944-1945. (German)
    • Misère de l'historicisme, Paris: Plon, 1956. (French)
    • The Poverty of Historicism, Routledge, 1957, xiv+166 pp; 2nd ed., 1961. (English)
    • La miseria del historicismo, trans. Pedro Schwartz, Madrid: Taurus, 1961; Madrid: Alianza Editorial, 1972; 1999; 2006, PDF. (Spanish)
    • A Miseria do historicismo, São Paulo: Cultrix, 1980. (Brazilian Portuguese)
    • A historicizmus nyomorúsága, forew. János Kelemen, trans. Tamás Kelemen, Budapest: Akadémiai, 1989. (Hungarian)
    • Bída historicismu, Prague, 1994. (Czech)
    • Zlydennist istorytsyzmu [Злиденність історицизму], trans. Vasyl Lisovy, Kyiv: Abrys, 1994, 192 pp. (Ukrainian)
    • Mizeria istoricismului, trans. Dan Suciu and Adela Zamfir, Bucharest: All, 1996. (Romanian)
    • Historicismens elendighed, Gyldendal, 1996, 228 pp. (Danish)
    • Nishtetata na istoritsizma [Нищетата на историцизма], trans. Kancho Kozhuharov, Sofia: Riva [Рива], 2000. (Bulgarian)
    • Historitsismi viletsus, trans. Hillar Tali, Tallinn: Olion, 2000, 200 pp. (Estonian)
    • Historicismens elände, trans. Ola Lindberg, Göteborg: Daidalos, 2002, 160 pp. (Swedish)
  • The Open Society and its Enemies, 2 vols., London: Routledge, 1945, 268 & 352 pp; 2nd ed., 1952; 3rd ed., 1957, xi+322 & v+391 pp; 4th ed., 1962; 5th ed., rev., Routledge, 1966; 7th ed., pref. Václav Havel, note E.H. Gombrich, Routledge, 2002, 920 pp. (English)
    • De vrije samenleving en haar vijanden, 2 vols., trans. Justus Meijer, Bussum: F.G. Kroonder, 1950. (Dutch)
    • Die offene Gesellschaft und ihre Feinde, 2 vols., trans. P. K. Feyerabend, Bern: Francke, 1958; repr., Munich: Francke, 1975. (German)
    • La società aperta e i suoi nemici, 2 vols., trans. Renato Pavetto, Rome: Armando, 1973; 2nd ed., 1981, 485 & 548 pp. (Italian)
    • A sociedade aberta e seus inimigos, 2 vols., trans. Milton Amado, Belo Horizonte: Itatiaia, and Sao Paulo: USP, 1974, 394 & 416 pp. (Brazilian Portuguese)
    • Avoin yhteiskunta ja sen viholliset, trans. Paavo Löppönen, Helsinki: Otava, 1974. (Finnish)
    • La société ouverte et ses ennemis, 2 vols., Paris: Seuil, 1979. (French)
    • I anoichti koinonia kai oi echthroi tis [Η ανοιχτή κοινωνία και οι εχθροί της], vol. 1, trans. Ειρήνη Παπαδάκη, Athens, 1980; repr., Athens, 1991, 577 pp. (Greek)
    • Det öppna samhället och dess fiender, trans. Andrew Casson (v1) and Bo Ekström (v2), Stockholm: Akademilitt, 1980-1981, 355 & 446 pp. (Swedish)
    • Otkrytoye obshchestvo i yego vragi [Открытое общество и его враги], 2 vols., trans. V.N. Sadovsky, et al., Moscow: Kulturnaya initsiativa, and Feniks, 1992, 446 & 525 pp. (Russian)
    • Societatea deschisă și dușmanii ei, 2 vols., trans. Drăgan Stoianovici, Bucharest: Humanitas, 1992; 2nd ed., rev., 2 vols., 2005, vol. 1; new ed., 2017, 783 pp. (Romanian)
    • Społeczeństwo otwarte i jego wrogowie, 2 vols., trans. Halina Krahelska, Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, 1993, 367 & 422 pp. (Polish)
    • A sociedade aberta e os seus inimigos, 2 vols., trans. Anabela Sottomayor, Catarina Labisa, and Teresa Curvelo, Lisbon: Fragmentos, 1993, 339 & 381 pp. (Portuguese)
    • Otvorenoto obshtestvo i negovite vragove [Отвореното общество и неговите врагове], trans. Kamen Lozev, afterw. Bogdan Bogdanov, Sofia: Open Society Foundation & Zlatorog, 1993-1994. (Bulgarian)
    • Otevřená společnost a její nepřátelé, 2 vols., trans. Miloš Calda, Prague: Oikoymenh, 1994, 354 pp. (Czech)
    • Vidkryte suspilstvo ta yoho vorohy [Відкрите суспільство та його вороги], trans. Alexander Kovalenko (v1) and Alexander Butenko (v2), Kyiv: Osnovy, 1994, 444 & 494 pp. (Ukrainian)
    • Otvoreno društvo i njegovi neprijatelji, 2 vols., 1998, 494 pp. (Bosnian)
    • Açık Toplum ve Düşmanları, 2 vols., trans. Mete Tunçay and Harun Rızatepe, Ankara: Liberte, 2000?, vol. 2. (Turkish)
    • A nyitott társadalom és ellenségei, trans. Péter Szári, Budapest: Balassi, 2001. (Hungarian)
    • Det åbne samfund og dets fjender, 2 vols., Spektrum, 2001, 413 & 447 pp. (Danish)
    • La sociedad abierta y sus enemigos, 2 vols., trans. Eduardo Loedel Rodríguez, Paidos, 2006, 809 pp. (Spanish)
    • De open samenleving en haar vijanden, trans. H. Daalder and S. Van Luchene, Rotterdam: Lemniscaat, 2007. (Dutch)
    • Shoqëria e hapur dhe armiqtë e saj, 2 vols., Fan. S. Noli, 2009-2012, 294 & 434 pp. (Albanian)
    • Avatud ühiskond ja selle vaenlased, Eesti keele Sihtasutus (EKSA), 2010-2011, 587 & 653 pp. (Estonian)
  • Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge, London: Routledge, 1962, xii+412 pp; repr., Routledge, 2002. A collection of 21 of Popper's papers on the philosophy of science. Review: Levison (Science). (English)
  • "Autobiography by Karl Popper", in The Philosophy of Karl Popper, La Salle, IL: Open Court Publishing, 1974; repr. as Unended Quest: An Intellectual Autobiography, London: Fontana, 1976; new ed., Routledge, 1992; 5th ed., Routledge, 2002. (English)
    • Ausgangspunkte. Meine intellektuelle Entwicklung, trans. Friedrich Griese and Karl Popper, Hamburg: Hoffmann und Campe, 1979. (German)
    • En intellektuell självbiografi, trans. Svante Hansson, Lund: Doxa, 1988, 279 pp. (Swedish)
    • Věčné hledání. Intelektuální autobiografie, Prague, 1995. (Czech)
    • Szüntelen keresés. Intellektuális önéletrajz, trans. Gábor Pintér and Vera Pintérné Lederer, Budapest: Áron László Könyvkiadó és Kereskedelmi, 1998. (Hungarian)
    • Bezkraynoto trsene: Avtobiografiyata na edin intelektualets [Безкрайното търсене: Автобиографията на един интелектуалец], Sofia: Zlatorog [Златорогъ], 1998. (Bulgarian)
  • Realism and the Aim of Science [1956-57], ed. W.W. Bartley III, London: Hutchinson, 1983; repr., Routledge, 1996. (English)
  • Auf der Suche nach einer besseren Welt: Vorträge und Aufsätze aus dreißig Jahren, Munich/Zurich: Piper, 1984; 2nd ed., 1987. (German)
    • In Search of a Better World, trans. Laura J. Bennett, London: Routledge, 1994. (English)
    • În căutarea unei lumi mai bune, trans. Anca Rădulescu, Bucharest: Humanitas, 1998. (Romanian)
    • B tŭrsene na po-dobŭr svyat: Lektsii i eseta ot triĭset godini [B търсене на по-добър свят: Лекции и есета от трийсет години], trans. Kamen Lozev, Sofia: Kals & Kosmopolit, 2003. (Bulgarian)

Lectures[edit]

  • A World of Propensities, Bristol: Thoemmes, 1990, ix+51 pp. Expanded versions of two lectures given in 1988 and 1989. (English)
  • Knowledge and the Body-Mind Problem: In Defense of Interaction, ed. Mark Amadeus Notturno, London: Routledge, 1995. Based on lectures delivered by the author at Emory University in 1969. (English)
    • Cunoaşterea şi problema raportului corp-minte. O pledoarie pentru interacţionism, trans. Florin Lobonţ, Bucharest: Trei, 1997. (Romanian)
    • Test és elme. Az interakció védelmében, trans. Zsuzsa Káldy, Budapest: Typotex Elektronikus, 1998; 2nd ed., exp., Budapest: Typotex, 2009. (Hungarian)
    • Wissen und das Leib-Seele-Problem: eine Verteidigung der Interaktionstheorie, trans. & ed. Hans-Joachim Niemann, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2012. (German)

Selected essays[edit]

  • Alles Leben ist Problemlösen, Munich: Piper, 1994. A collection of speeches and shorter writings. (German)
    • Život je řešení problémů: o poznání, dějinách a politice, Prague, 1998. (Czech)
    • All Life is Problem Solving, trans. Patrick Camiller, London: Routledge, 1999, 171 pp. (English)
    • Tseliyat zhivot e reshavane na problemi [Целият живот е решаване на проблеми], trans. & afterw. Kamen Lozev, Sofia: Kals & Kosmopolit, 2005. (Bulgarian)
  • Frühe Schriften, ed. Troels Eggers Hansen, 2006. Includes Popper's writings and publications from before the Logic, including his previously unpublished thesis, dissertation and journal articles published that relate to the Wiener Schulreform. (German)
  • After the Open Society, eds. Jeremy Shearmur and Piers Norris Turner, 2008. Contains Popper's previously unpublished or uncollected writings on political and social themes. (English)

Bibliography[edit]

Interviews[edit]

  • with Konrad Lorenz, Die Zukunft ist offen, 1985. (German)

Literature[edit]

  • Malachi Haim Hacohen, Karl Popper: The Formative Years, 1902-1945: Politics and Philosophy in Interwar Vienna, Cambridge University Press, 2000. Review: Caldwell. (English)
  • Stephen Thornton, "Karl Popper", Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1997; rev., 2018. (English)

Links[edit]