CR Scholars 2: Ian C Jarvie

Ian Jarvie was one of the anthropology students at the London School of  Economics who drifted into Popper’s orbit and decided to stay. He has done some good work in partnership with Joe Agassi and he is one of the Popperian quiet achievers like Peter Munz, producing a steady stream of  publications that break new ground and demonstrate over and over the fertility of  critical rationalism. He was also a prime  mover in starting the journal Philosophy of the Social Sciences, an excellent journal that functions as an open house that caters for all shades of well-argued opinion.His book Concepts and Society (1972) was the book that I wanted to write, an exciting application of Popper’s “hot off the press” ideas on world 3 objective knowledge.

His work on Popper’s  social turn calls for a radical re-reading of Popper, alonside the non-justificationist “Bartley and Miller” reading and the metaphysical turn prompted by Joe Agassi.

His website has some important unpublished papers including a tribute to Bill Bartley and a paper on the 20 or 30 problems in sociology and politics that Popper helpfully addressed in The Open Society and its Enemies (in your face to people who think Popper was only an eccentric positivist in the philosophy of science).

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3 Responses to CR Scholars 2: Ian C Jarvie

  1. Pingback: Popper poshumously claims prestigious award at Catallaxy Files

  2. Gabriel Andrade says:

    Hi, do you know Jarvie’s views regarding magic? I am aware he rejects Tambiah’s symbolic approach, and is more in favor of Frazer’s intellectualist approach, but I’d like to know more

  3. Bruce Caithness says:


    I found a reference: Jarvie, Ian C., and Agassi, Joseph. 1967. “The Problem of the Rationality of Magic.” British Journal of Anthropology 18:55-74

    If that helps.

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