By Karl Popper
Conjectures and Refutations is certainly one of Karl Popper's so much wide-ranging and well known works, impressive not just for its acute perception into the best way clinical wisdom grows, but additionally for using these insights to politics and to historical past. It offers one of many clearest and so much obtainable statements of the elemental concept that guided his paintings: not just our wisdom, yet our goals and our criteria, develop via an never-ending technique of trial and mistake.
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Extra info for Conjectures and refutations: the growth of scientific knowledge
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS THE PLACE and date of the first publication of the papers here collected are mentioned in each case at the bottom of the first page of each chapter. I wish to thank the editors of the various periodicals for giving me permission to include these papers in the present book. I have been helped in various ways with the revision of the text, the reading of the proofs, and the preparation of the index, by Richard Gombrich, Lan Freed and Dr. Julius Freed, J. W. N. Watkins, Dr. William W.
And this is how we can learn from our mistakes. As we learn from our mistakes our knowledge grows, even though we may never know--that is, know for certain. Since our knowledge can grow, there can be no reason here for despair of reason. And since we can never know for certain, there can be no authority here for any claim to authority, for conceit over our knowledge, or for smugness. Those among our theories which turn out to be highly resistant to criticism, and which appear to us at a certain moment of time to be better approximations to truth than other known theories, may be described, together with the reports of their tests, as 'the science' of that time.
Always in a sense in which they are still generally used in England (though perhaps not in America): by a liberal I do not mean a sympathizer with any one political party but simply a man who values individual freedom and who is alive to the dangers inherent in all forms of power and authority. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS THE PLACE and date of the first publication of the papers here collected are mentioned in each case at the bottom of the first page of each chapter. I wish to thank the editors of the various periodicals for giving me permission to include these papers in the present book.