Popper's Communitarianism

In Zuzana Parusniková & Robert S. Cohen (eds.), Rethinking Popper (Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science 272). Springer 287--303 (2009)
In this chapter, I argue that Karl Popper was a communitarian philosopher. This will surprise some readers. Liberals often tout Popper as one of their champions. Indeed, there is no doubt that Popper shared much in common with liberals. However, I will argue that Popper rejected a central, though perhaps not essential, pillar of liberal theory, namely, individualism. This claim may seem to contradict Popper's professed methodological individualism. Yet I argue that Popper was a methodological individualist in name only. In fact, methodological individualism faded from Popper's vocabulary as he moved institutions and situational analysis more firmly to centre-stage. Popper's focus on institutions and situations constitutes what I call his communitarianism. If my interpretation is correct, then theorists in the socio logy of scientific knowledge and communitarian epistemology should reconsider their long-standing distrust of Popper's philosophy. Indeed, they may have much to gain by treating Popper as a friend rather than a foe.
Keywords Karl Popper  communitarian epistemology  methodological individualism  liberalism  objectivity
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Jeff Kochan (2015). Objective Styles in Northern Field Science. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 52:1-12.
Jeff Kochan (2013). Subjectivity and Emotion in Scientific Research. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 44 (3):354-362.

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