The Essential Popper

Joseph Agassi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


It is generally agreed that thinking should be trusted or else it should not rank very high. Popper recommended rating thinking very highly without trusting it; do not defend your views: improve upon them. Elaborations on this comprise Popper’s teaching. The whole of his output was in effort to answer critics who could not share his idea that our heritage consists of old noble errors. He tried to use his suggestion (that we should think but not trust our thoughts) as means for explaining our partiality for science and for democracy. Scientific progress is the elimination of errors; democracy is the peaceful overthrow of objectionable government. Finally, following Gottlob Frege Popper assumed that for a statement to have meaning it should be true or false; scientific theories, then, he added, mean what they say; he followed Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell in advocating realism and in admitting that science cannot be free of metaphysical assumptions. Towards the end of his life he developed his own indeterminist and dualist metaphysics.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpringerBriefs in Philosophy
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NameSpringerBriefs in Philosophy
ISSN (Print)2211-4548
ISSN (Electronic)2211-4556


  • Common People
  • Participatory Democracy
  • Real Science
  • Scientific Progress
  • True Meaning


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