Vortex Popper : conjectures & refutations, limits of human knowledge
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navigation, contact, access: click ►▼, link & ••• — February 12, 2017
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how to contact us
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Leif Smith
303-778-0880
Explorers Foundation, Inc.
PO Box 9100
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USA
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Explorers Foundation ••• home page
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efBegin ••• top level for all outlines
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Vortices ••• list of all vortices
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Threads ••• traces of conversations
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freeorder ••• the concept & vision
 
explorersfoundation.org/popper.html — a vortex is a region of Explorers Foundation research and investment.
 
Our knowledge grows best when we understand its limits. It all happens at the edges. -ls
 
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Karl Popper's influence on Explorers Foundation
 
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The Explorers Foundation is about limits and conjectural leaps beyond them, each leap subject to test by logic and critical thought and intuition, physical reality, or market response. Those systems within which negative responses are allowed to terminate a conjecture have the ability to develop into complex adaptive orders which are good for those who are them, use them, or inhabit them.
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A key to thriving exploration is error correction operating at a grain size that is sustainable, whether what is being conserved be mental capacity, or social, political, or economic capital.
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After describing a test of an aspect of Einstein’s theories, failure of which would have resulted in a conclusive refutation, Popper states the essence of his concept of science. Note that it is about the recognition of and voluntary adherence to a kind of limit, or boundary, which we agree not to cross. That agreement, marking out a range of human activity that we call ‘science’, has consequences for explorers. -ls
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From Karl R. Popper’s Conjectures and Refutations, chapter 1, a lecture given in 1953:
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These considerations led me in the winter of 1919-20 to conclusions which I may now reformulate as follows:
(1) It is easy to obtain confirmations, or verifications, for nearly every theory—if we look for confirmations.
(2) Confirmations should count only if they are the result of risky predictions; that is to say, if, unenlightened by the theory in question, we should have expected an event which was incompatible with the theory—an event which would have refuted the theory.
(3) Every ‘good’ scientific theory is a prohibition: it forbids certain things to happen. The more a theory forbids, the better it is.
(4) A theory which is not refutable by any conceivable event is non-scientific. Irrefutability is not a virtue of a theory (as people often think) but a vice.
(5) Every genuine test of a theory is an attempt to falsify it, or to refute it. Testability is falsifiability; but there are degrees of testability: some theories are more testable, more exposed to refutation, than others; they take, as it were, greater risks.
(6) Confirming evidence should not count except when it is the result of a genuine test of the theory; and this means that it can be presented as a serious but unsuccessful attempt to falsify the theory. (I now speak of such cases as ‘corroborating evidence’.)
(7) Some genuinely testable theories, when found to be false, are still upheld by their admirers—for example by introducing ad hoc some auxiliary assumption, or by re-interpreting the theory ad hoc in such a way that it escapes refutation. Such a procedure is always possible, but it rescues the theory from refutation only at the price of destroying,or at least lowering, its scientific status. One can sum up all this by saying that the criterion of the scientific status of a theory is its falsifiability, or refutability, or testability.
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Philosophy and the Real World ••• by Brian Magee, on Karl Popper, published by Open Court
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"Getting to Know Popper", by Brian Magee ••• — found on Rafe Champion's site ••• (proof of the value of this)
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Writings on Karl Popper ••• collected by Rafe Champion — things it would take a lot of searching to find
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Jeremy Shearmur's review of Rafe Champion's Reason and Imagination: Philosophical writings on the works of Karl Popper and William Bartley, Sydney, 2000 •••
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"The broad message that Champion offers can be put like this  although I am conscious that I cannot do so with Champion's flair.  Popper provides a view of knowledge that resolves an old problem.  It was that rationalists typically held the view that if a position was rational, it must be capable of justification.  This, however, easily generates a regress.  For if you justify things logically - by deducing them from something else - you are then stuck with the problem of how to justify that.  As a result, some rationalists were led into a quest for knowledge that was supposed to be self-justifying (hence, concerns about our experience of red patches, or ideas such as 'I think therefore I am' which were allegedly undeniable).  This led philosophers into lots of fascinating discussion, as anyone who has studies the history of philosophy at university will tell you.  But the problem is that even if one can find statements that, in some sense, can't be denied, or experiences that we can be certain that we are having, they would not help us to justify substantive knowledge claims, because such certainty can only be obtained at the cost of near-triviality.  As a result, the demands of rationalists that knowledge claims should be justified in fact served to strengthen the case of the enemies of rationalism - for they would typically be able to show that any claim to have justified substantive claims to knowledge was, in fact, bogus."
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The significance of the work of Karl R. Popper : Philosophy and the Real World, by Brian Magee. — The best written introduction to Popper. -ls
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Contra Popper (Leo Strauss, Eric Veogelin)
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Strauss and Karl Popper
Strauss actively rejected Karl Popper's views as illogical. He agreed with a letter of response to his request of Eric Voegelin to look into the issue. In the response, Voegelin wrote that studying Popper's views was a waste of precious time, and "an annoyance". Specifically about "Open Society and Its Enemies and Popper's understanding of Plato's The Republic, after giving some examples, Voegelin wrote:
Popper is philosophically so uncultured, so fully a primitive ideological brawler, that he is not able even approximately to reproduce correctly the contents of one page of Plato. Reading is of no use to him; he is too lacking in knowledge to understand what the author says.
Strauss proceeded to show this letter to Kurt Riezler who used his influence in order to oppose Popper's appointment at the University of Chicago.[36]
.oOo.