Karl Raimund Popper was born in Vienna (Austria) in 1902 and died in London in 1994. He witnessed virtually the entire 20th century and was also one of his greatest critics. Philosopher by profession and professor of vocation, he has always been considered one of the most brilliant contemporary minds. Karl Popper's phrases are good proof of this.
Popper was called the father of critical rationalism. He dedicated his life to questioning modern reason. With great success, his contemporaries gave him a nickname with which he is still remembered: "The champion of common sense". He honored that nickname.
"True ignorance is not the absence of knowledge, but the fact of refusing to acquire it."
He spoke out against scientific method, Marxism, Semitism, metaphysics and everything that shaped the sphere of thought in the 20th century. More than in his native land, he was exalted in England, he was distinguished with the title of knight. We leave a ion of the best quotes Karl Popper so that you know part of his thinking.
7 phrases by Karl Popper
1. heaven and hell
Popper says: "Those who promise us heaven on earth have never produced anything but hell."
It is a severe criticism against idealism, with its zeal for total perfection or total wholeness. In collective life, the search for perfect realities led to the most radical manifestations of fascism. In individual life, the desire for the ideal only leads to frustration. So Popper would be right when he insinuates that heaven and hell are two sides of the same coin.
2. Processes and not things
Sometimes we think of the world, of reality and of ourselves as if everything were static and did not change. Even inanimate objects are always changing. Therefore, one of Karl Popper's phrases says "The world is not made of things, but by processes".
With this statement, he reminds us that nothing is the same one second to the next. That everything is constantly changing. Therefore, reality as such is incomprehensible and we could only capture moments or parts of it.
3. How reason works
For this Viennese philosopher, the main quality of reason is its openness. Based on this premise, she does not hesitate to say: "Reason is not all-powerful, she is a tenacious, opinionated, cautious, critical, relentless worker, willing to listen and discuss, risky".
In this sentence he emphasizes the uncertainty and mobility that accompanies reason. Implicitly, it will launch itself against the absolutes of reason. Rather, it emphasizes the edges of exploration and search that exist in this function of thought.
In the face of equality, an issue that was at the center of modern thought the 18th to the 20th century, Popper notes the following: “Equality before the law is not a fact, but a political demand based on a moral decision. And it is totally independent of the theory - probably false - that all men are born equal ”.
This is one of Karl Popper's phrases in which he highlights equality as a political and moral value, and not as a natural reality. Likewise, it grants the status of demand and decision, which places equality as a result of culture and personal evolution. At the same time, it postulates inequality as the natural condition of men.
5. Freedom and security
Freedom and security are two concepts that are always in tension when exercising power. Many debates refer to the dichotomy between the two. The paradox is that total freedom puts stability at risk, while security reduces freedom. An example of the latter can be seen when facing certain threats in societies, the “curfew” is installed.
In this regard, Karl Popper says: "We have to make plans for freedom, not just security, for the only reason that only freedom can make security secure". With that, the debate in favor of freedom dies. He postulates that only within the framework of freedom can real security be achieved.
The opening of society is directly linked to free thinking and moral autonomy. These are Popper's words on this point: "Open society is one in which men have learned to be somewhat critical of taboos and to base decisions on the authority of their own intelligence".
It is interesting to note that Popper does not reject taboos in the absolute sense. That is why he claims to learn to be critical of them "to a certain extent". This philosopher was convinced that reason should not be used to criticize what was outside of science. On the other hand, it emphasizes the idea that human decisions must obey their own intelligence and not an external authority.
This is a wonderful reflection by Popper that points out what makes science different other types of knowledge: ”The history of science, like that of all human ideas, is a story of irresponsible dreams, obstinations and errors. However, science is one of the few activities humanas - perhaps the only one - in which errors are systematically criticized and often corrected over time. "
The approach is very interesting, if we take into account that the history of humanity is full of currents of thought that pretended to be carriers of the absolute truth. Both religions, as well as some political ideologies, have often been shown to be free errors. Science is superior to them, precisely because it is highly critical of itself.
Karl Popper had one of the greatest virtues that a thinker can count on: he was intellectually honest. It showed a genuine desire to postulate reasoning and ideas that would allow a precise approach to reality. His influence was remarkable and left an indelible mark on the history of philosophy.