The Poverty of Historicism

The Poverty of Historicism On its publication in The Poverty of Historicism was hailed by Arthur Koestler as probably the only book published this year which will outlive the century A devastating criticism of fixed and p

  • Title: The Poverty of Historicism
  • Author: Karl R. Popper
  • ISBN: 9780415278461
  • Page: 421
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Poverty of Historicism

    On its publication in 1957, The Poverty of Historicism was hailed by Arthur Koestler as probably the only book published this year which will outlive the century A devastating criticism of fixed and predictable laws in history, Popper dedicated the book to all those who fell victim to the fascist and communist belief in Inexorable Laws of Historical Destiny Short andOn its publication in 1957, The Poverty of Historicism was hailed by Arthur Koestler as probably the only book published this year which will outlive the century A devastating criticism of fixed and predictable laws in history, Popper dedicated the book to all those who fell victim to the fascist and communist belief in Inexorable Laws of Historical Destiny Short and beautifully written, it has inspired generations of readers, intellectuals and policy makers One of the most important books on the social sciences since the Second World War, it is a searing insight into the ideas of this great thinker.

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    One thought on “The Poverty of Historicism

    1. Hadrian

      In memory of the countless men and women of all creeds and nations who fell victims to the Fascist and Communist belief in the Inexorable Laws of Human Destiny.-DedicationPopper's topic here is more than a question of historiography. He views this problem of interpreting history as a moral imperative, one which must be discussed in order to prevent the spread of a more dangerous alternative. Popper attacks 'historicism' as a view which attempts to place all of history within a single law, wherea [...]

    2. Ryan

      I was hoping a lot more from this. Popper jumps around so much building up and knocking down aspects of historicism that it becomes to keep track of one from the other, and everything in between. The first chapter was supposed to avoid that, but in piling so many contrary points of view under the heading "historicism", it's not especially helpful.I am one of the last people (I hope) that could be called a historicist, but certain ideas he labels as such seem far more valid than his arguments aga [...]

    3. Ahmad Abdul Rahim

      Aku menyusuli pembacaan aku terhadap buku Poverty of Historicism dengan buku Against Method, nukilan Feyerabend. Dan itu itu ternyata membenarkan beberapa persoalan-persoalan dan bantahan aku yang berbangkit sekitar pembacaan buku Popper ini.Popper adalah, sebelum apa-apa designatori yang lain, seorang ahli falsafah sains (philosopher of science). Mungkin terdapat bayang-bayang seorang ahli falsafah politik di dalam penulisan beliau yang terdahulu, yang paling ketara antaranya adalah di dalam Op [...]

    4. Fahad Alqurain

      كان بالإمكان اختصار الكتاب في عشرين صفحة الفكرة مكررة من اول الكتاب الى اخره

    5. Sarah Alabdullah

      الكتاب عبارة عن شرح وتفنيد لدعاوي المذهب التاريخاني من وجهة نظر الفيلسوف والمؤرخ كارل بوبر الذي اهتم كثيراً بفلسفة البحث العلمي. المذهب التاريخاني هو مذهب يُتَبع في معالجة العلوم الاجتماعية، يهدف الى التنبؤ بالحوادث التاريخية عن طريق محاولة اكتشاف قوانين أو أنماط يسير الت [...]

    6. Xander

      In this little book, Karl Popper worked out his earlier thoughts on the phenomenon of - what he called - historicism. This book was originally written in 1935 and revised multiple times before Popper published the final edition in 1957. In the meanwhile, Popper published his magnum opus, The Open Society and Its Enemies (1944), in which he describes the origins of the idea of historicist philosophy - he traces it back to Plato, and via Aristotle and Hegel to Marx.I had already read The Open Soci [...]

    7. Tom

      Methodologically, this book is a very important work. Outlining the method of the social sciences, Popper criticizes Historicism at length, and makes some good arguments. That said, he doesn't have much of a grasp on what history is, nor and overly good handle on Marxist theory. His opinions on history are laughable, and his idea of methodological individualism is so problematically ideological to almost appear as absurd that he couldn't consider the alternative. His section on institutions goes [...]

    8. Blake

      This was a remarkable little book with many interesting points, keen insights and worthy ideas. Popper writes with the clarity of thought and preciseness of meaning one would more expect of Russell.Few of these main ideas are new to me (many of them are those I've previously defended in my own writing and dialogues), but Popper gives powerful, original and complex arguments for them.A warning for some left-leaning readers that this book makes clear from the beginning Popper's distrust of communi [...]

    9. Esteban del Mal

      I'm going to rub my two brain cells together this weekend and see if I can't write something meaningful about this thing.

    10. Shidiq Thoha

      Satu abad setelah Popper mengajukan kritik pada Historisisme, apakah ilmu-ilmu sosial telah keluar dari kenaifannya dengan melepaskan kutukan "objektivitas ilmiah". Rasanya tidak. Ilmu sosiologi berkembang menjadi teknik sosial (social engineering), ilmu psikologi sangat positifistik dan meminjam istilah Popper, tunduk pada imperialisme ilmu-ilmu alam. Pada beberapa sisi, Popper meminjam Kant untuk masalah ini, seperti hakikat objek tak pernah akan bisa diketahui secara pasti. Historisisme adala [...]

    11. Arturo Herrero

      1. El curso de la historia humana está fuertemente influido por el crecimiento de los conocimientos humanos.2. No podemos predecir, por métodos racionales o científicos, el crecimiento futuro de nuestros conocimientos científicos.3. No podemos, por tanto, predecir el curso futuro de la historia humana.4. Esto significa que hemos de rechazar la posibilidad de una historia teórica, es decir, de una ciencia histórica y social de la misma naturaleza que la física teórica. No puede haber una [...]

    12. Alex

      I found this generally compelling if slightly disorganized, even with Popper's caveats about why he was approaching certain topics outside of the nominal order declared at the outset. It certainly appears from the footnotes and references that a clearer picture of several of the arguments would emerge in a reading of The Logic of Scientific Discovery and/or The Open Society and Its Enemies, at least one of which is waiting on the shelf for me. The shorter length of this volume made some of the c [...]

    13. Alger

      Like many of Popper's publications, this is a careful refutation of the premise that social sciences respond to the scientific method. The degree to which this is now viewed as obvious is largely a measure of Popper's success. Finely written and closely reasoned, the key point is that history cannot be controlled to the degree that the causes of effects can be identified.

    14. Vicente

      Encuentro el libro desorganizado, muy repetitivo, lleno de ideas ya desarrolladas en sus otros libros, incluso párrafos enteros copiados Me esperaba más.

    15. Tom

      This is a powerful critique of the popular method in the social sciences that attempts to find universal laws of history that can be used to predict how the course of society will develop. It's somewhat short, but Popper is succinct, clear, and convincing. Although I'm still not sure I agree with his position on the complete deductive nature of science, which works its way into several of his positions, it's not really a necessary point to agree with in accepting the larger arguments (which I do [...]

    16. Mia

      I 19ve always kinda liked Karl Popper from the very tiny bits of superficial information I had on him from philosophy school books, so I didn 19t expect this to be so utterly hard to get. In the first part of the book, Karl Popper exposes the two main historicist views, pro-naturalist (claiming society has rules similar to those of physics) and anti-naturalist. The second part is the critique itself, structured to attack one view and then the other. One very prominent argument is that, given the [...]

    17. Dan

      A short yet considerably dense treatise on the futility of uncovering laws of historical development as one would find laws of nature. I cannot say I understand everything Popper is getting at, which would require a closer second reading in addition to reading some of his other works, namely The Logic of Scientific Discovery and The Open Society and its Enemies. But I can say that what I do get from Popper is an attempt to topple grand "theories of history" generally touted by Marxists and even [...]

    18. Daniel Carr

      A great read for anyone (rightly) suspicious of the claims of social sciences in having predictive power. Popper makes the point, in an erudite (if elaborate) manner, that the future is not able to be predicted using observations from the past.Historicism is the concept that history is subject to an intrinsic march towards a final outcome. Popper examines this notion in a robust manner to find it lacking - he makes the argument that there are no 'laws of history' that can allow one to extrapolat [...]

    19. Oleksandr Zholud

      Historicism is a very old movement. Its oldest forms, such as the doctrines of the life-cycles of cities and races, actually precede the primitive teleological view that there are hidden purposes behind the apparently blind decrees of fate. Although this divination of hidden purposes is far removed from the scientific way of thinking it has left unmistakable traces upon even the most modern historicist theories. Every version of historicism expresses the feeling of being swept into the future by [...]

    20. Lukas Szrot

      It was once said (though I cannot recall by whom) that scientists need philosophers of science like birds need ornithologists. As a sociologist with some background in philosophy, Popper gives me cause to disagree. Many of the arguments in this book are explicated in greater detail in the tome "The Open Society and Its Enemies," but this little book distills many of the essentials as they apply to the actual methodology and practice of the social sciences. Popper's vision of sociology is a bit b [...]

    21. David Greenberg

      Karl Popper in The Poverty of Historicism, provides a fruitful analysis into a group of traditions he calls "historicism." Simply put, these are individuals who provide society at large a specific means of understanding our society and our role in history through a particular social law. Based on my personal exploration of these particular world-views, his characterization are accurate (albeit simplified). Critics of his characterization should read his other (longer) books to gain understanding [...]

    22. Rdt

      I think that Karl Popper is brilliant. I loved The Logic of Scientific Discovery and The World of Parmenides, but I thought that in this book, he was a little off his mark. I agree with his basic thesis that grand theories of history don't work and if logically followed, such theories are more likely to lead to suffering than to solve human problems. But he seems to protest a bit too much. He spends much the book setting up straw men and then knocking them down. I am not so sure that someone who [...]

    23. Earl Mcgowen

      I think this will be my favorite Popper book. In the darkest night, I have definitely been on a quest to unearth myself, and Popper and other critical rationalists have been of great importance by keeping me from betraying myself. I have to admit that I used to read sociology, economy, and theology from somewhat of a historicist method. It is hard not to divorce oneself of the broad sweeps of history. The Open Society and its Enemies warns against Platonic essentialism and Hegelian Geist in such [...]

    24. Hamdanil

      In which Karl Popper describe a method of analysing history that he calls 'historicism', proposes some reasons why it might be deemed good, and then attacks it. The arguments are clear and often (not always) very convincing when I follow it. But the book is not very easy to follow. Probably because (1) he often makes complicated arguments in a very abstract way without examples or other means to help readers understand (2) 'historicism' which he attacks IMO are not defined clearly. For example, [...]

    25. Christian Anderson

      Popper criticizes 'historicism', particularly its holism, its belief in trends as the proper topic of scientific analysis, and its propensity towards prophesy and utopian engineering. The first two sections of the book offer a mosaic portrait of historicism. Popper then articulates a 'piecemeal' scientific approach in contrast to the all-or-nothing approach of the historicists. His claims are empirical but have a normative undertone in their criticism of utopian engineering.Popper's piecemeal sc [...]

    26. Yaru Lin

      "Both the historicist and the Utopian believe that they can find out what the true aims or ends of 'society' are; for example, by determining its historical tendencies, or by diagnosing 'the needs of their time'. Thus they are apt to adopt some kind of historicist moral theory.""The way out of this dilemma, of course, is to be clear about the necessity of adopting a point of view; to state this point of view plainly, and always to remain conscious that it is one among many, and that even if it s [...]

    27. Aleksey Timin

      В данной книге Поппер последовательно доказывает несостоятельность историцизма, как учения о "законе" истории, согласно которому существует никоторый заранее заданный маршрут движения истории человечества.Могу порекомендовать любителям геополитики - немного проветрит [...]

    28. Lysergius

      In this short work Karl Popper attempts to debunk historicism and to demonstrate that social science would benefit from a small dose of scientific rationalism. Rather than ignoring a theoretical structure for history, for example, it is necessary to set the methodology firmly in a scientific context. Whether he succeeded or not is moot, since I know of no historian of merit who has adopted his proposals

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