Popper and the Social Sciences

Rafe discussed “Popper’s legacy in economics and the social sciences”.

The most important principle of this sort is that disagreements should be resolved rationally. That means we do not assume which idea is right, especially not based on attributes of its source, but instead seek the truth, and try to correct errors in the current ideas.

This principle underlies property (which disallows theft), capitalism (with its voluntary trade), libertarianism (that hates initiation of force), democracy (which uses political discussion and criticism to create agreement), and so on.

Popper made great contributions to the issue of what rationality is, and how to create knowledge rationally. He understood that reason is not about holding beliefs justifiably, but rather holding than fallibly: open to criticism and change. He spoke of letting ideas die in our place, and doing one’s best to improve rival ideas, and self-criticism, and how to help each other across frameworks. His work in this area is his biggest contribution to the social sciences, though not his only.

About Elliot

http://fallibleideas.com/ http://curi.us/
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