- Publisher: ROUTLEDGE
- Format: Paperback | 256 pages
- Dimensions: 140mm x 214mm x 18mm | 280g
- Publication date: 1 December 1995
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0415135486
- ISBN 13: 9780415135481
- Edition statement: Revised ed.
- Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
- Sales rank: 581,861
'I want to begin by declaring that I regard scientific knowledge as the most important kind of knowledge we have', writes Sir Karl Popper in the opening essay of this book, which collects his meditations on the real improvements science has wrought in society, in politics and in the arts in the course of the twentieth century. His subjects range from the beginnings of scientific speculation in classical Greece to the destructive effects of twentieth century totalitarianism, from major figures of the Enlightenment such as Kant and Voltaire to the role of science and self-criticism in the arts. The essays offer striking new insights into the mind of one of the greatest twentieth century philosophers.
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"Each of these essays speaks out in Popper's firm, clear, unambiguous voice . . . they are very readable and persuasive."-"Nature "The majority of these pieces were given as lectures in Germany or Austria, and together they expound non-technically on nearly all of Popper's well-known themes.."-"Canadian Philosophial Reviews "Karl Popper is among the most significant champions of the open society."-Helmut Kohl First paperback edition of the 1994 English translation.
Back cover copy
In the course of a life of ninety years Sir Karl can look back on positive changes in the world - the vast reductions in mass poverty, the liberalization of penal systems, the defeat of dictatorships. The search for a better world is never complete, but in spite of two world wars and a long and dangerous cold war, it was not in vain. The essays and lectures collected in this book chart many familiar as well as some less known aspects of Sir Karl's thinking - from his interest in the birth of scientific speculation in classical Greece to the destructive effects on the intellect of totalitarianism in twentieth-century states. His discussions range over problems of politics, the history of philosophy and great figures of the Enlightenment such as Voltaire and Kant, and the relation of science and art (in an address given at the 1979 Salzburg festival). The book offers important new insights into the thought of one of the greatest of living philosophers, and into the role of science in our civilization.