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Summary Sir Karl Popper (1902-1994) was an Austrian-born philosopher who for the most significant period of his career held a position at the London School of Economics.  Popper was a philosopher of science, who also made contributions in epistemology, philosophy of mind and social and political philosophy.  He argued that scientific theories are distinguished from non-scientific theories and pseudo-science by being falsifiable claims about the world.  Popper proposed a "solution" to the problem of induction by arguing that there is no need for induction in the scientific method.  The method of science is to propose conjectural theories which are then submitted to rigorous tests in the attempt to falsify them.  Theories which fail these tests are to be rejected.  Theories which survive attempts to refute them may be accepted tentatively, but are not proven to be true.  At best, they may be highly corroborated.  This "falsificationist" philosophy of science has a more general application beyond the method of the sciences.  The attempt to falsify a theory is an attempt to criticize the theory.  For Popper, criticism lies at the heart of rational thought, which he took to consist in the method of critical discussion and reflection.  The resulting general position is known as "critical rationalism".  Popper extended these ideas as well into the social and political realm.  He introduced the distinction between open and closed societies.  Open societies welcome and foster critical discussion and change whereas closed societies, which are usually tribal societies, are based on unchanging social custom and ritual.
Key works The classic statement of Popper's philosophy of science is The Logic of Scientific Discovery.  Perhaps the best introduction to his work is his collection of essays, Conjectures and Refutations.  Popper's social and political thought may be found in The Poverty of Historicism and The Open Society and its Enemies.  A good anthology of his writings has been edited by David Miller, Popper Selections.  A useful way into Popper's ideas is by way of his intellectual autobiography, Unended Quest, as is Bryan Magee's short book, Popper.  Alan Musgrave's Common Sense, Science and Scepticism presents a broadly Popperian introduction to epistemology.  David Miller's Critical Rationalism presents good discussion of many critical points that have been made against Popper's views.  Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge, edited by Imre Lakatos and Alan Musgrave, contains a number of important papers which bring Popper's views into contact with T.S. Kuhn's theory of science.  Wesley Salmon's 'Rational Prediction' is an important criticism of Popper's solution to the problem of induction.  See also Adolf Grunbaum's paper 'Is the method of bold conjectures and attempted refutations justifiably the method of science?'.
Introductions A good place to start is the entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Thornton 2008.  Alan Chalmers provides an introductory discussion in What is this thing called science?, chapters 4-6.  Gurol Irzik provides an overview in 'Critical Rationalism', and Alan Musgrave presents his interpretation of Popper's solution of the problem of induction in his paper 'How Popper (might have) solved the problem of induction'.
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  1. R. Ackermann (1977). Book Reviews : Unended Ouest. By Karl Popper. Lasalle. Illinois: Open Court Publishing Company. 1976. Pp. 255. $2.95. [REVIEW] Philosophy of the Social Sciences 7 (4):426-428.
  2. Robert John Ackermann (1976). The Philosophy of Karl Popper. University of Massachusetts Press.
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  3. Laird Addis (1968). Historicism and Historical Laws of Development. Inquiry 11 (1-4):155 – 174.
    Philosophers, social thinkers, and social activists continue to puzzle over the notion of an historical law of development. What this paper attempts is: (1) a statement of what might reasonably be understood by the notion of an historical law of development as well as some historical background to the notion, (2) a discussion of the various logical possibilities regarding the status of historical laws of development, (3) an examination of the views of Karl Popper on historical laws of development and (...)
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  4. Adorno, W. Theodor, H. Albert, R. Dahrendorf, J. Habermas, H. Pilot & K. Popper (1976). The Positivist Dispute in German Sociology. Heinemann Educational Books.
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  5. J. Agassi (2010). From Popper's Literary Remains. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 40 (3):552-564.
    This book is largely unpublished material from Popper’s literary remains regarding his The Open Society and Its Enemies that conveys some interesting stories about its publication and initial reception, throws light on its message, and complements it somewhat. It also contains much that Popper hardly discussed elsewhere.
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  6. J. Agassi (1985). Book Reviews : Popper and After: Four Modern Irrationalists. By David Stove. New York: Pergamon Press, 1981. Pp. VIII + 116. $9.50 Paper. [REVIEW] Philosophy of the Social Sciences 15 (3):368-369.
  7. Joseph Agassi, Karl Popper.
    On September 17, 1994, Karl Popper died at the age of 92.He was described as the official opposition of the “ Vienna Circle”, the philosophical club which in the inter-war period was glamorous and which espoused the then popular doctrine of logical positivism, so-called. His relations with that club were friendly-hostile, to use the term with which he liked to characterize the relations between scientific researchers. He is the last of that generation (unless it is Carl G. Hempel, who, however, (...)
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  8. Joseph Agassi, Karl Raimund Popper (1902-1994).
    Karl R. Popper is “the outstanding philosopher of the twentieth century” (Bryan Magee), even “the greatest thinker of the [twentieth] century” (Gellner). He felt affinity with thinkers of the Age of Reason and developed a new version of rationalism: critical rationalism. As a champion of science and of democracy he was the most influential philosopher of the post-WWII era. He was a close follower of Bertrand Russell and of Albert Einstein in that all three advocated problem-oriented fallibilism (during the peak (...)
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  9. Joseph Agassi, Agassi, Verisimilitude, P.
    The idea of verisimilitude is implicit in the writings of Albert Einstein ever since 1905, when he declared the distribution of field energy according to Maxwell's theory an approximation to that according to quantum-radiation theory, and Newtonian kinetic energy an approximation to his relativistic mass-energy. All his life Einstein presented new ideas as yielding older established ones as special cases and first approximations. The news has reached the philosophical community via the writings of Sir Karl Popper half-a-century after Einstein's (...)
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  10. Joseph Agassi (2010). In Wittgenstein's Shadow. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 40 (2):325-339.
    Marc Lange offers a stale anthology that reflects the sad state of affairs in the camp of analytic philosophy. It is representative in a few respects, even in its maltreatment of Russell, Wittgenstein, and Popper. Despite its neglect of Wittgenstein, it shows again that Wittgenstein is the patron saint of the analytic school despite the fact that it does not abide by his theory of metaphysics as inherently meaningless.
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  11. Joseph Agassi (1999). The Notion of the Modern Nation-State: Popper and Nationalism. In I. C. Jarvie & Sandra Pralong (eds.), Popper's Open Society After Fifty Years: The Continuing Relevance of Karl Popper. Routledge.
  12. Joseph Agassi (1998). Knowledge Personal or Social. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 28 (4):522-551.
    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 modem 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 (...)
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  13. Joseph Agassi (1991). Wittgenstein and Physicalism. Grazer Philosophische Studien 41:67-97.
    In the light of a sketch of the history of modem Anti-Metaphysics up from Francis Bacon Wittgenstein's position - the refusal of the possibility of metaphysical assertions - is compared with the views of Mach, of Camap and Neurath and of Popper. Analysing the notions of 'nonsense', 'meaninglessness' and 'Scheinproblem', their interrelations and connections to physicalism three variants of Anti-Metaphysics are distinguished: the Enlightenment view, the positivistMachian view and the linguistic Wittgensteinian view. The present day actuality of these views is (...)
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  14. Joseph Agassi (1986). On Hugo Bergman's Contribution to Epistemology. In Abraham Zvie Bar-On (ed.), On Shmuel Hugo Bergman's Philosophy. Distributed in the U.S.A. By Humanities Press. 47-58.
    Approximationism — science approximates the truth as an ideal — is the view of science implicit in all of Einstein's major works, heralded by Hugo Bergman in Hebrew in 1940 and expressed by Karl Popper in 1954 and 1956. Yet Bergman was not sufficiently clear about it, and even Popper is not - as shown by their not giving up certain remnants of the older views which approximationism replaces, even when these remnants are inconsistent with approximationism. Norare the approximationist theories (...)
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  15. Joseph Agassi (1986). Popper in Basic English. Philosophia 15 (4):409-419.
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  16. Joseph Agassi (1986). III. Refutation a la Popper: A Rejoinder. Philosophia 16 (2):245-247.
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  17. Joseph Agassi (1983). Theoretical Bias in Evidence: A Historical Sketch. Philosophica 31 (1):7-24.
    The studies of theoretical bias in evidence are these days developed by many clever psychologists, social psychologists, and philosophers. It therefore comes as a surprise to realize that most of the material one can find in the up-to -date literature repeats discoveries which are due to the heroes of the present sketch, namely Galileo Galilei, Sir Francis Bacon, and Robert Boyle; William Whewell, Pierre Duhem, and Karl Popper. We may try to raise scholarly standards by familiarizing ourselves with their ideas (...)
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  18. Joseph Agassi (1981). To Save Verisimilitude. Mind 90 (360):576-579.
    JOSEPH AGASSI 1. Sir Karl Popper has offered two different theories of scientific progress, his theory of conjectures and refutations and corroboration, as well as his theory of verisimilitude increase. The former was attacked by some old-fashioned inductivists, yet is triumphant; the latter has been refuted by Tichy and by Miller to Popper’s own satisfaction. Oddly, however, the theory of verisimilitude was developed because of some deficiency in the theory of corroboration, and though in its present precise formulation it was (...)
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  19. Joseph Agassi (1979). Wissenschaft und Metaphysik. Grazer Philosophische Studien 9:97-106.
    The erroneous hostility to metaphysics is justified by the clashes between science and metaphysics plus the inability to allow clashes within science. The defenders of metaphysics as world-views offering intellectual frameworks for science have overlooked this fact. Einstein and Popper have legitimized the inclusion of clashes well within the domain of science. This resolves the difficulty of the allegiance to both. Science offers testable explanations and metaphysics comprehension; both are insufficient and conflict — yet thereby improve. Popper's early rejection of (...)
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  20. Joseph Agassi (1976). The Lakatosian Revolution. In R. S. Cohen, P. K. Feyerabend & M. Wartofsky (eds.), Essays in Memory of Imre Lakatos. Reidel. 9--21.
  21. Joseph Agassi (1973). Rationality and the Tu Quoque Argument. Inquiry 16 (1-4):395 – 406.
    The tu quoque argument is the argument that since in the end rationalism rests on an irrational choice of and commitment to rationality, rationalism is as irrational as any other commitment. Popper's and Polanyi's philosophies of science both accept the argument, and have on that account many similarities; yet Popper manages to remain a rationalist whereas Polanyi decided for an irrationalist version of rationalism. This is more marked in works of their respective followers, W. W. Bartley III and Thomas S. (...)
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  22. Joseph Agassi (1968). The Novelty of Popper's Philosophy of Science. International Philosophical Quarterly 8 (3):442-463.
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  23. Joseph Agassi, Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom: Popper's Popular Critics.
    Two suggestions are at the back of the present talk. First, toleration is obligatory, not criticism. So do not try to make people critically-minded: do not force them in any way to try to offer or accept criticism, to learn to participate effectively in the game of critical discussion. If they refuse, then they are within their right. Also, they will easily ad vance excuses for their refusal; admittedly some of these are unreasonable, but not all. Instead of trying to (...)
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  24. F. Michael Akeroyd (2004). Popper's Evolutionary Epistemology Revamped. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 35 (2):385 - 396.
    In a paper entitled “Revolution in Permanence”, published in the collection “Karl Popper: Philosophy and Problems”, John Worrall (1995) severely criticised several aspects of Karl Popper’s work before commenting that “I have no doubt that, given suffi-cient motivation, a case could be constructed on the basis of such remarks that Popper had a more sophisticated version of theory production......” (p. 102). Part of Worrall’s criticism is directed at a “strawpopper”: in his “Darwinian Model” emphasising the similarities and differences between genetic (...)
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  25. F. Michael Akeroyd (2000). Reply to Psarros: Popper and Chemistry. [REVIEW] Journal for General Philosophy of Science 31 (1):127-131.
    In this article I reply to criticism of my published work by N. Psarros (Journal for the General Philosophy of Science 28: 297–305,1997). I show that I had already answered the first criticism in my published work and not overlooked his supposed refutation. However I offer a plausible argument which he could have used to strengthen his claim. Psarros cites my work on Hopkins in his opening paragraph, but then makes no further reference to it in the text. I indicated (...)
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  26. Semiha Akinci (2004). Popper's Conventionalism. In Philip Catton & Graham Macdonald (eds.), Karl Popper: Critical Appraisals. Routledge.
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  27. Hans Albert (1995). Karl Popper (1902–1994). Journal for General Philosophy of Science 26 (2):207 - 225.
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  28. Lars Albinus (2013). Can Science Cope with More Than One World? A Cross-Reading of Habermas, Popper, and Searle. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 44 (1):3-20.
    The purpose of this article is to critically assess the ‘three-world theory’ as it is presented—with some slight but decisive differences—by Jürgen Habermas and Karl Popper. This theory presents the philosophy of science with a conceptual and material problem, insofar as it claims that science has no single access to all aspects of the world. Although I will try to demonstrate advantages of Popper’s idea of ‘the third world’ of ideas, the shortcomings of his ontological stance become visible from the (...)
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  29. Wilfried Allaerts (1997). The Self and its Biological Function: Contrasts Between Popper and Sartre. Logique Et Analyse 40:189-214.
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  30. Peter Allmark (2003). Popper and Nursing Theory. Nursing Philosophy 4 (1):4-16.
    Science seems to develop by inducing new knowledge from observation. However, it is hard to find a rational justification for induction. Popper offers one attempt to resolve this problem. Nursing theorists have tended to ignore or reject Popper, often on the false belief that he is a logical positivist (and hence hostile to qualitative research). Logical positivism claims that meaningful sentences containing any empirical content should ultimately be reducible to simple, observation statements. Popper refutes positivism by showing that there are (...)
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  31. G. Andersson (2009). Book Review: Catton, P., & Macdonald, G. (Eds.). (2004). Karl Popper: Critical Appraisals. London: Routledge. Pp. Xii + 235. [REVIEW] Philosophy of the Social Sciences 39 (1):115-119.
  32. G. Andersson (2009). Book Review: Keuth, H. (2005). The Philosophy of Karl Popper. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. [REVIEW] Philosophy of the Social Sciences 39 (2):324-332.
  33. Gunnar Andersson (1994). Criticism and the History of Science: Kuhn's, Lakatos's, and Feyrabend's Criticisms of Critical Rationalism. E.J. Brill.
    In "Criticism and the History of Science" Karl Popper's falsificationist conception of science is developed and defended against criticisms raised by Thomas ...
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  34. A. Anglberger, P. Brössel, N. Furlan, F. Greinecker, M. Karlegger, N. Pfeifer, M. Stefan & A. Ungar (2003). Rezension: Was wir Karl R. Popper und seiner Philosophie verdanken. Kriterion 17:23-27.
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  35. O'hear Anthony (1975). Rationality of Action and Theory-Testing in Popper. Mind 84 (1):273-276.
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  36. Karl-Otto Apel (1983). Comments on Farr's Paper (II) Some Critical Remarks on Popper's Hermeneutics. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 13 (2):183-193.
  37. Horacio Arló-Costa & Richmond H. Thomason (2001). Iterative Probability Kinematics. Journal of Philosophical Logic 30 (5):479-524.
    Following the pioneer work of Bruno De Finetti [12], conditional probability spaces (allowing for conditioning with events of measure zero) have been studied since (at least) the 1950's. Perhaps the most salient axiomatizations are Karl Popper's in [31], and Alfred Renyi's in [33]. Nonstandard probability spaces [34] are a well know alternative to this approach. Vann McGee proposed in [30] a result relating both approaches by showing that the standard values of infinitesimal probability functions are representable as Popper functions, and (...)
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  38. Elena Aronova (2007). Karl Popper and Lamarckism. Biological Theory 2 (1):37-51.
  39. M. Artigas (2002). Popper's Biography and Something More. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 32 (3):379-393.
  40. Monica Aufrecht (2012). Popper's Critical Rationalism: A Philosophical Investigation. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 26 (2):223-225.
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  41. R. J. B. (1968). Plato, Popper and Politics. Review of Metaphysics 22 (1):162-162.
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  42. Brian Baigrie (1989). Popper and Progress: A Reply to Campbell. Social Epistemology 3 (1):65 – 69.
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  43. K. Ballestrem & A. McCarthy (1972). Thesen Zur Begründung Einer Kritischen Theorie der Gesellschaft. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 3 (1):49-62.
    Summary In this article the authors seek to broaden the scope of the methodological debates now underway in Germany between proponents of a critical theory of society — principally the late T. W. Adorno and J. Habermas — on the one side and proponents of an analytical theory of social science — principally Karl Popper and Hans Albert — on the other. An attempt is made to formulate and systematize some of the fundamental epistemological and methodological principles which are basic (...)
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  44. A. Baltas & K. Gavroglu (1980). A Modification of Popper's Tetradic Schema and the Special Relativity Theory. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 11 (2):213-237.
    Summary The present paper constitutes an elaboration of a previous work by one of us which, among other things, proposed some modifications of Popper's tetradic schema. Here, in the first part, we consider critically and develop further these modifications and elaborate on methods which prove more satisfactory for the mapping of the problem solving processes in Physics. We also find the opportunity to make some comments on Physics and on its relation to Mathematics. In the second part, there is an (...)
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  45. Renford Bambrough (1967). Plato, Popper and Politics: Some Contributions to a Modern Controversy. New York, Barnes & Noble.
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  46. Greg Bamford (2002). From Analysis/Synthesis to Conjecture/Analysis: A Review of Karl Popper’s Influence on Design Methodology in Architecture. [REVIEW] Design Studies 23 (3):245 - 61.
    The two principal models of design in methodological circles in architecture—analysis/synthesis and conjecture/analysis—have their roots in philosophy of science, in different conceptions of scientific method. This paper explores the philosophical origins of these models and the reasons for rejecting analysis/synthesis in favour of conjecture/analysis, the latter being derived from Karl Popper’s view of scientific method. I discuss a fundamental problem with Popper’s view, however, and indicate a framework for conjecture/analysis to avoid this problem.
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  47. Greg Bamford (1999). What is the Problem of Ad Hoc Hypotheses? Science and Education 8 (4):375 - 86..
    The received view of an ad hochypothesis is that it accounts for only the observation(s) it was designed to account for, and so non-ad hocness is generally held to be necessary or important for an introduced hypothesis or modification to a theory. Attempts by Popper and several others to convincingly explicate this view, however, prove to be unsuccessful or of doubtful value, and familiar and firmer criteria for evaluating the hypotheses or modified theories so classified are characteristically available. These points (...)
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  48. Greg Bamford (1996). Popper and His Commentators on the Discovery of Neptune: A Close Shave for the Law of Gravitation? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 27 (2):207-232.
    Knowledge of residual perturbations in Uranus's orbit led to Neptune's discovery in 1846 rather than the refutation of Newton's law of gravitation. Karl Popper asserts that this case is untypical of science and that the law was at least prima facie falsified. I argue that these assertions are the product of a false, a priori methodological position, 'Weak Popperian Falsificationism' (WPF), and that on the evidence the law was not, and was not considered, prima facie false. Many of Popper's commentators (...)
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  49. Greg Bamford (1993). Popper's Explications of Ad Hocness: Circularity, Empirical Content, and Scientific Practice. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (2):335-355.
    Karl Popper defines an ad hoc hypothesis as one that is introduced to immunize a theory from some (or all) refutation but which cannot be tested independently. He has also attempted to explicate ad hocness in terms of certain other allegedly undesirable properties of hypotheses or of the explanations they would provide, but his account is confused and mistaken. The first such property is circularity, which is undesirable; the second such property is reduction in empirical content, which need not be. (...)
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  50. Greg Bamford (1989). Popper, Refutation and 'Avoidance' of Refutation. Dissertation, The University of Queensland
    Popper's account of refutation is the linchpin of his famous view that the method of science is the method of conjecture and refutation. This thesis critically examines his account of refutation, and in particular the practice he deprecates as avoiding a refutation. I try to explain how he comes to hold the views that he does about these matters; how he seeks to make them plausible; how he has influenced others to accept his mistakes, and how some of the ideas (...)
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