Ian Jarvie on the reception of Popper

From “Popper on the Differences between the Natural and the Social Sciences” in In Pursuit of Truth, Paul Levinson (ed), 1982.

Popper always sough to communicate with other philosophers, but he underestimated the neurotic element there would be in the reception of his highly boat-rocking ideas. A rationalist expecting rational responses, his ideas had the unintended consequence that people found them a threat and dealt with them by foisting interpretations on them, trying to pigeonhole Popper as part of some  wider entity that was thought to be under control – as, for example, debates internal to  logical positivism, a doctrine thought to have been superseded by Wittgenstein. Carnap abetted this tactic [with this paper “Testability and Meaning”]. The other interpretation was to dismiss him as some sort of renegade or crank, talented perhaps but flawed (insufficiently professional? [and not a good “club man”]). Hence consign his contribution to marginal status at the edge of the professional debate.” page 101

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