In I. I. Jarvie, K. Milford & D. Miller (eds.), Karl Popper: A Centenary Assessment. Volume 1: Life and Times, Values in a World of Facts. Ashgate (2006)

Nicholas Maxwell
University College London
Popper first developed his theory of scientific method – falsificationism – in his The Logic of Scientific Discovery, then generalized it to form critical rationalism, which he subsequently applied to social and political problems in The Open Society and Its Enemies. All this can be regarded as constituting a major development of the 18th century Enlightenment programme of learning from scientific progress how to achieve social progress towards a better world. Falsificationism is, however, defective. It misrepresents the real, problematic aims of science. We need a new conception of scientific method, a meta-methodology which provides a framework for the improvement of the aims and methods of science as scientific knowledge improves. This aim-oriented empiricist idea can be generalized to form a conception of rationality – aim-oriented rationality – which helps us improve problematic aims and methods whatever we may be doing. In this way, Popper’s version of the Enlightenment programme can be much improved, indeed transformed.
Keywords Karl Popper  Falsificationism  Critical rationalism  The Enlightenment  Scientific progress  Social progress
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
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

Karl Popper on the Philosophy Of Dynamism in Science.Friday N. Ndubuisi - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 40:67-82.
Lakatos' Modification of Popper's Falsificationism.Mo Liu - 2005 - Dissertation, University of Edinburgh
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.


Added to PP index

Total views
511 ( #11,564 of 2,378,584 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
51 ( #13,740 of 2,378,584 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes