Karl Popper, Science and Enlightenment: An Idea to Help Save the World

Ethical Record 123 (1):27-30 (2018)
Nicholas Maxwell
University College London
Natural science, properly understood, provides us with the methodological key to the salvation of humanity. First, we need to acknowledge that the actual aims of science are profoundly problematic, in that they make problematic assumptions about metaphysics, values and the social use of science. Then we need to represent these aims in the form of a hierarchy of aims, which become increasingly unproblematic as one goes up the hierarchy; as result we create a framework of relatively unproblematic aims and methods, high up in the hierarchy, within which much more problematic aims and methods, low down in the hierarchy, may be improved as scientific knowledge improves. Then, we need to generalize this hierarchical, aims-and-methods-improving methodology so that it becomes fruitfully applicable to any worthwhile endeavour with problematic aims. Finally, we need to apply this methodology to the immensely problematic task of making progress towards as good a world as feasible.
Keywords Karl Popper  Enlightenment  Philosophy of Science  Philosophy of Physics  Scientific Method  Reason  Social Progress  Knowledge  Wisdom
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Does Science Provide Us with the Methodological Key to Wisdom?Nicholas Maxwell - 2012 - Philosophia, First Part of 'Arguing for Wisdom in the University' 40 (4):664-673.
Can The World Learn Wisdom.Nicholas Maxwell - 2015 - Philosophy Now (108):32-35.
Popper, Karl: Philosophy of Science.Brendan Shea - 2016 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Popper, Karl: Philosophy of Science.Brendan Shea - 2016 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Practical Certainty and Cosmological Conjectures.Nicholas Maxwell - 2005 - In Michael Rahnfeld (ed.), Is there Certain Knowledge? Leipziger Universitätsverlag.
Sir Karl Popper and His Philosophy of Physics.Max Jammer - 1991 - Foundations of Physics 21 (12):1357-1368.


Added to PP index

Total downloads
48 ( #135,010 of 2,293,879 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
9 ( #55,019 of 2,293,879 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature