Looking through the misreadings of Popper that are collected in my forthcoming book, the following thoughts occurred about the work required for a good critique. Whether not commentators agree with Popper’s views, if they write about him they need to read all of his (relevant) his books that are or were in print up to the time their manuscript was completed. Of course academics should have read his journal articles before they appeared in collections.
- Taking account of his work on the logic of testing as an alternative to the logical positivists/empiricists program of attempted verification which morphed into the quest for “critieria of cognitive meaningfulness” and vindication of inductive probabilities.
2. Recognizing the challenge that he issued to the quest for justified beliefs by shifting from justification to critical preference and from beliefs to consideration of objective, intersubjective or public scientific knowledge. This move or “turn” from knowledge as justified true belief, to conjectural knowledge needs to acknowledged and tested for its fertility, its problem-solving power and its capacity to help scientists and other practical people.
3. Describing the “social” or “rules of the game turn” (Jarvie, 2001), which can be seen as a parallel to the later Wittgenstein, and contrast what Popper and Wittgenstein achieved after having that insight.
Random thoughts to develop the “rules” approach.
Rules of democracy, violence, rules not orders, rules of equalitarian justice, the rules of method
Proposals in the context of the protective state in lieu of the contract or historical purpose approach to social organization.
See what this does for scientific practice, rationality, and politics.
If you don’t agree with his ideas then you need to provide criticisms that were not anticipated and answered in The Logic of Scientific Discovery – for example regarding the need for conventions in scientific practice, the problematic nature of adverse evidence, the case for persisting with problematic theories in case they can be improved or otherwise revived.
New criticisms of Popper’s ideas are welcome but recycling refuted criticisms suggests a need for more reading and is unhelpful for students.