Knowledge Personal or Social

Joseph Agassi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Karl Popper's methodology can be seen as the situational logic of research. Popper called his method "Epistemology without a Knowing Subject." It was dismissed as metaphysical by those who refuse to give up an ideal knowing subject (a perfect human inductive processor). This article surveys the failure of modern discussions of this ideal, from the earliest (the writings of Sir Francis Bacon) to the latest (Kripke). The knowing subject exits at last, but leaves behind interesting results. The ideal knowing subject embodied ideal rationality, outside culture and history. Giving up this ideal invites us to integrate science with its background, to grade rationality (from magic to science), and to integrate different degrees of rationality under one rule.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)522-551
Number of pages30
JournalPhilosophy of the Social Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1998
Externally publishedYes


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