Monthly Archives: February 2010

Critical Preferences

What problem is the idea of a “critical preference” intended to solve? (And how does it solve it?) I think the problem is this: We form theories to solve our problems, and we criticize them. Sometimes we decisively refute a … Continue reading

Posted in epistemology | 6 Comments

Popper’s Indeterminism

I read Popper’s The Open Universe for the first time yesterday. What do you think of Popper’s arguments against determinism, especially the metaphysical variety? Although I appreciate Popper’s critique of “scientific” determinism, I confess to assuming that some kind of metaphysical determinism is … Continue reading

Posted in CR scholars, science | 17 Comments

Force and Charity

Rafe champion writes: Welfare is a sticking point for many people of good will who support freedom but believe that they cannot be libertarians because of all the poor people who need assistance. Actually support for deserving poor people could … Continue reading

Posted in open society | 5 Comments

SA in criminology

An excellent paper by Paul Knepper applies Popperian Situational Analysis to criminology. The paper appeared in the Review of Austrian Economics. He provides an introduction to Popper’s ideas about social sciences and the methodology of situational analysis (SA) plus the rationality principle … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Anthony O’Hear on Popper

Prof O’Hear now at the University of Buckingham wrote the Popper entry in the Oxford Companion to Philosophy edited by Ted Honderich. O’Hear has been writing about Popper for along time, his first major book Karl Popper was published in 1980. It was … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Hans-Hermann Hoppe getting Popper wrong

Hans-Hermann Hoppe is a leading figure in the group of Austrian economists who are based at the Mises Institute in the US. At one stage of his life he was influenced by Popper but he moved on and his major influences became … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 35 Comments

Explanation versus justification

Many people conflate explanation and justification. An explanation is a theory about why something happened or why we should do one thing rather than another. A justification is a story about why we are right, or probably right, to adopt … Continue reading

Posted in epistemology | 12 Comments

What Is Liberalism About?

Rafe Champion writes: [Mirowski] offers a list of eleven tenets of neoliberalism. Some of them are very strange. 1. “The starting point of neoliberalism is the admission, contrary to classical liberal doctrine, that their version of the good society will … Continue reading

Posted in open society | Tagged | 2 Comments

Philip Mirowski on Popper and the Mont Pelerin Society

The dustjacket of  Mirowski’s collection of essays The Effortless Economy of Science indicates that he questions a host of theories, including the pictures of science  put forth by Popper, Polanyi and Kuhn. So he is a polymath and a giant killer. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Sir Peter Medawar on scientific method

Deductivism in mathematical literature and inductivism in scientific papers are simply the postures we choose to be seen in when the curtain goes up and the public sees us. The theatrical illusion is shattered if we ask what goes on … Continue reading

Posted in science | Leave a comment