The Open Society And Its Enemies By K R Popper

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HISTORICISM AND THE MYTH OF DESTINY

It is widely believed that a truly scientific or philosophical attitude towards politics, and a deeper understanding of social life in general, must be based upon contemplation and interpretation of human history.

While the ordinary man takes the setting of his life and the importance of his personal experiences and petty struggles for granted.

It is said that the social scientist or philosopher has to survey things from a higher plane.

He sees the individual as a pawn, as a somewhat insignificant instrument in the general development of mankind.

And he finds that the really important actors on the Stage of History are either the Great Nations and their Great Leaders, or perhaps the Great Classes, or the Great Ideas.

However this may be, he will try to understand the meaning of the play which is performed on the Historical Stage; he will try to understand the laws of historical development.

If he succeeds in this, he will, of course, be able to predict future developments.

He might then put politics upon a solid basis, and give us practical advice by telling us which political actions are likely to succeed or likely to fail.

This is a brief description of an attitude that I call historicism. It is an old idea, or rather, a loosely connected set of ideas that have become, unfortunately.

So much a part of our spiritual atmosphere that they are usually taken for granted, and hardly ever questioned.

I have tried elsewhere to show that the historicist approach to the social sciences gives poor results. I have also tried to outline a method which, I believe, would yield better results.

AuthorK R Popper
LanguageEnglish
Pages366
PDF Size39.5 MB
CategoryPhilosophy

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The Open Society And Its Enemies Book PDF Free Download

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