The essays in this volume represent an approach to human knowledge that has had a profound influence on many recent thinkers. Popper breaks with a traditional commonsense theory of knowledge that can be traced back to Aristotle. A realist and fallibilist, he argues closely and in simple language that scientific knowledge, once stated in human language, is no longer part of ourselves but a separate entity that grows through critical selection.
One of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century, Sir Karl Popper here examines the problems connected with human freedom, creativity, rationality and the relationship between human beings and their actions. In this illuminating series of papers, Popper suggests a theory of mind-body interaction that relates to evolutionary emergence, human language and what he calls "the three worlds." Rene; Descartes first posited the existence of two worlds--the world of physical bodies and the world of mental states. Popper argues for (...) the existence of "world 3" which comprises the products of our human minds. He examines the interaction between mental states--hopes, needs, plans, ideologies or hypotheses--and the physical states of our brain. Popper forcefully argues against the materialism forwarded by many philosophers which denies the existence of mental states. Instead, he demonstrates that the problem of the interaction between mental and physical states remains unresolved. Knowledge and the Body-Mind Problem is based on Popper's never-before published lectures at Emory University in 1969. Popper has extensively revised the lectures but has retained their accessible format. He has also incorporated some of the discussions which followed the lectures, providing an engaging exchange between the philosopher and his audience. (shrink)
The World of Parmenides is a unique collection of essays that not only explores the complexity of ancient Greek thought, but also reveals Popper's engagement with Presocratic philosophy and the enlightenment he experienced in reading Parmenides. It includes writings on Greek science, philosophy and history and demonstrates Popper's life-long fascination with the presocratic philosophers, in particular Parmenides, Xenophanes and Heraclitus.
A brief historical comment on scientific knowledge as Socratic ignorance -- Some critical comments on the text of this book, particularly on the theory of truth Exposition  -- Problem of Induction (Experience and Hypothesis) -- Two Fundamental Problems of the Theory of Knowledge -- Formulation of the Problem -- The problem of induction and the problem of demarcation -- Deductivtsm and Inductivism -- Comments on how the solutions are reached and preliminary presentation of the solutions -- Rationalism and empiricism-deductivism (...) and inductivism -- The possibility of a deductivist psychology of knowledge -- The Problem of Induction -- The infinite regression (Hume's argument) --The inductivist positions -- The Normal-Statement Positions -- The normal-statement positions: naive inductivism, strict positivism and apriorism -- Critique of strict positivism - twofold transcendence of natural laws -- The transcendental method - presentation of apriorism -- Critique of apriorism -- Kant and Fries -- Supplement to the critique of apriorism. (Psychologism and transcendentalism in Kant and Fries.-On the question of the empirical basis.) -- Probability Positions -- The probability positions - subjective belief in probability -- Statements about the objective probability of events -- Probability as an objective degree of validity of universal empirical statements -- One way of more closely defining the concept of the probability of a hypothesis (primary and secondary probability of hypotheses). The concept of simplicity -- The concept of the corroboration of a hypothesis - positivist, pragmatist and probabilistic interpretations of the concept of corroboration -- The infinite regression of probability statements -- Pseudo-Statement Positions -- The pseudo-statement positions: new formulation of the problem -- Natural laws as "instructions for the formation of statements" -- "True - false" or "useful - useless"? Consistent pragmatism --Difficulties of consistent pragmatism -- Tool and schema as purely pragmatic constructs -- Natural laws as propositional functions -- Conventionalism -- The pseudo-statement positions will temporarily be put away: conventionalism -- The three interpretations of axiomatic systems. (The circle of problems surrounding conventionalism) -- Conventionalist implicit and explicit definitions Propositional function and propositional equation -- Conventionalist propositional equations as tautological general implications -- Can axiomatic-deductive systems also be understood as consequence classes of pure propositional functions (of pseudo-statements)? -- The coordinative definitions of empiricism: synthetic general implications -- Conventionalist and empiricist interpretations, illustrated by the example of applied geometry -- Strictly Universal Statements and Singular Statements -- Implication and general implication -- General implication and the distinction between strictly universal and singular statements -- Universal concept and individual concept-class and element -- Strictly universal statements-the problem of induction and the problem of universals -- Comments on the problem of universals -- Back to the Pseudo-Statement Positions -- Return to the discussion of the pseudo-statement positions -- Symmetry or asymmetry in the evaluation of natural laws? -- The negative evaluation of universal statements. Critique of the strictly symmetrical interpretation of pseudo-statements -- An infinite regression of pseudo-statements -- An apriorist pseudo-statement position -- Interpretation of the critique up to this point; comments on the unity of theory and practice -- A last chance for the pseudo-statement positions -- Pseudo-Statement Positions and the Concept of Meaning -- The concept of meaning and logical positivism -- The concept of meaning and the demarcation problem-the fundamental thesis of inductivism -- Critique of the inductivist dogma of meaning -- Fully decidable and partially decidable empirical statements-the antinomy of the knowability of the world. (Conclusion of the critique of the pseudo-statement positions.) -- The dialectical and the transcendental corroboration of the solution -- Is the problem of induction solved? (shrink)