Personal life[ edit ] Family and training[ edit ] Karl Popper was born in Vienna then in Austria-Hungary in to upper middle-class parents. Continuing to attend university as a guest student, he started an apprenticeship as a cabinetmaker, which he completed as a journeyman. He was dreaming at that time of starting a daycare facility for children, for which he assumed the ability to make furniture might be useful. Inhe did his matura by way of a second chance education and finally joined the University as an ordinary student.
Democracy as the only ethically-defensible regime Democracy is, for Popper, the only ethically defensible kind of regime. In his view, the state exists for its individual citizens.
Moreover, according to the "humanitarian theory of justice," which he endorses, its principal purpose should be to protect their freedom. This means that justice pertains to individual persons.
For Popper, democracy is, by definition, that type of government by which the rulers can 1 By "freedom," Popper does not mean a policy of strict non- interventionism, or "laissez-faire," on the part of the state, since he recognizes that individuals may not be able to defend their freedom if, for example, they have not had the necessary education, or do not possess the economic means.
The Spell of Plato Princeton, N.
Princeton University Press,pp. Tyranny is the type 3 of government in which the ruled cannot get rid of their rulers without bloodshed. Tyranny is evil since it violates the humanitarian theory of justice.
Democracy is good since it allows those affected by injustice the opportunity to remove the rulers who perpetrate it. Popper's view of democracy is radical and uncompromising. It leaves the decision when to dismiss the rulers absolutely and categorically in the hands of the ruled.
Unlike many who have reflected on problems of democracy, the Framers of the American Constitution, for example, Popper does not show much concern about the possibility that the people might make bad decisions.
He does not even shy away from the possibility that the people may democratically choose tyranny. Such a choice would not, in his view, discredit democracy. It would only show that there are no foolproof human institutions.
The High Tide of Prophesy: Hegel and Marx Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press,p. He does not, for example, view Socrates's execution by a democratic polis or Hitler's coming to power in a democracy as arguments against democracy.
Again, they only show that there are no foolproof institutions. Nor, I believe, is there anything in Popper's political writings that would justify denying any citizen, no matter how lowly and ignorant, an equal voice in determining whether the rulers should stay in power or go.
Democracy as the most efficacious regime Some people defend democracy on ethical grounds, only to qualify their commitment on practical grounds.
His arguments for this point of view are similar to his explanation of the efficacy of scientific method.
Growth of knowledge in science, in Popper's view, is not due to obedience to authorities or adherence to established routines. Scientific knowledge grows through a process in which every scientist's hypotheses, criticisms, and experimental results stand on an equal par with those of all other scientists.
The scientist with a distinguished reputation may one day find his pet theory overturned by the experimental results of a novice. Conversely, the novice may make a discovery that revolutionizes his entire discipline. They are, moreover, consistent with his individualistic premises.
Open Society II, pp. Cambridge University Press,esp. This, of course, provided that the discovery 5stands up to the tests and critical scrutiny of the scientific community.
Progress in science does not occur through patient gathering of facts, which trickle together inductively into theories. It takes place, rather, by a process of bold guessing at the truth and elimination of errors. Severe tests and criticisms control the freedom to guess boldly. In science, there is nothing wrong with being wrong.
No harm is done by entertaining an hypothesis that later turn out to be false. Yet, no progress, no learning can take place when hypotheses are suppressed. Both individual learning and growth of knowledge in science take place through trial and error. Without errors, there can be neither learning, nor growth of knowledge.
Thus, stifling guessing and criticism hinders the growth and improvement of knowledge. All human knowledge is fallible.Karl Poppers Idea Of Democracy Philosophy Essay. Print Reference this.
Disclaimer: according to Popper, we can trace the emergence of a scientific method. Democracy and the Open Society. One of Popper’s most striking contributions to contemporary political thought maybe found in his conception of democracy and of what he defines as.
PoPPER aNd HayEk: oN dEMoCRaCy aNd oPEN SoCIETy Mark amadeus Notturno karl Popper and Friedrich von Hayek are widely regarded as two of the 20th century’s greatest proponents of democracy and open society, and many people—with some reason1—regard their ideas about them as .
Karl Popper () was one of the most influential philosophers of science of the 20th century. He made significant contributions to debates concerning general scientific methodology and theory choice, the demarcation of science from non-science, the nature of probability and quantum mechanics, and the methodology of the social sciences.
From the beginning, democracy has fought against totalitarianism, Popper argued. In Athens, the birthplace of democracy, it faced a challenge from one of its most famous sons: Plato. Editor’s Note: In The Economist invited the philosopher Karl Popper to write an article on democracy.
It appeared in the issue of April 23rd that year and made the case for a two-party system.
It appeared in the issue of April 23rd that year and made the case for a two-party system. Karl Popper () was one of the most provocative philosophers and thinkers of the twentieth century.
Born in Vienna, he grew up in a city witnessing great intellectual ferment and cultural excitement.