It has been argued that Popper's student Imre Lakatos transformed Popper's philosophy using historicism and updated Hegelian historiographic ideas.
Ludwig Wittgenstein was accused of brandishing a poker at Popper during a meeting of the Cambridge Moral Sciences Club, when they argued about whether issues in philosophy were real or just linguistic puzzles. Wittgenstein's friends say he was merely handling a poker, but Popper used the situation to make a joke at Wittgenstein's expense.
Charles Taylor accuses Popper of exploiting his worldwide fame as an epistemologist to diminish the importance of philosophers of the 20th century continental tradition. According to Taylor, Popper's criticisms are completely baseless, but they are received with an attention and respect that Popper's "intrinsic worth hardly merits". William W. Bartley defended Popper against such allegations: "Sir Karl Popper is not really a participant in the contemporary professional philosophical dialogue; quite the contrary, he has ruined that dialogue. If he is on the right track, then the majority of professional philosophers the world over has wasted or is wasting their intellectual careers. The gulf between Popper's way of doing philosophy and that of the bulk of professional philosophers is as great as that between astronomy and astrology."
In 2004, philosopher and psychologist Michel ter Hark (Groningen, The Netherlands) published a book, called Popper, Otto Selz and the rise of evolutionary epistemology, ISBN 0-521-83074-5, in which he claimed that Popper took some of his ideas from his tutor, the German psychologist Otto Selz. Selz himself never published his ideas, partly because of the rise of Nazism which forced him to quit his work in 1933, and the prohibition of referring to Selz' work. Popper, the historian of ideas and his scholarship, is criticized in some academic quarters, for his rejection of Plato, Hegel and Marx.
According to John N. Gray, Popper held that "a theory is scientific only in so far as it is falsifiable, and should be given up as soon as it is falsified." By applying Popper's account of scientific method, Gray's Straw Dogs states that this would have "killed the theories of Darwin and Einstein at birth." When they were first advanced, Gray claims, each of them was "at odds with some available evidence; only later did evidence become available that gave them crucial support." Against this, Gray seeks to establish the irrationalist thesis that "the progress of science comes from acting against reason."
Gray does not, however, give any indication of what available evidence these theories were at odds with, and his appeal to "crucial support" illustrates the very inductivist approach to science that Popper sought to show was logically illegitimate. For, according to Popper, Einstein's theory was at least equally as well corroborated as Newton's upon its initial conception; they both equally well accounted for all the hitherto available evidence. Moreover, since Einstein also explained the empirical refutations of Newton's theory, general relativity was immediately deemed suitable for tentative acceptance on the Popperian account. Indeed, Popper wrote, several decades before Gray's criticism, in reply to a critical essay by Imre Lakatos:It is true that I have used the terms "elimination", and even "rejection" when discussing "refutation". But it is clear from my main discussion that these terms mean, when applied to a scientific theory, that it is eliminated as a contender for the truth- that is, refuted, but not necessarily abandoned. Moreover, I have often pointed out that any such refutation is fallible. It is a typical matter of conjecture and of risk-taking whether or not we accept a refutation and, furthermore, of whether we "abandon" a theory or, say, only modify it, or even stick to it, and try to find some alternative, and methodologically acceptable, way round the problem involved. That I do not conflate even admitted falsity with the need to abandon a theory may be seen from the fact that I have frequently pointed out, that Einstein regarded general relativity as false, yet as a better approximation to the truth than Newton's gravitational theory. He certainly did not "abandon" it. But he worked to the end of his life in an attempt to improve upon it by way of a further generalization.
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Famous quotes containing the word criticism:
“To be just, that is to say, to justify its existence, criticism should be partial, passionate and political, that is to say, written from an exclusive point of view, but a point of view that opens up the widest horizons.”
—Charles Baudelaire (18211867)
“Cubism had been an analysis of the object and an attempt to put it before us in its totality; both as analysis and as synthesis, it was a criticism of appearance. Surrealism transmuted the object, and suddenly a canvas became an apparition: a new figuration, a real transfiguration.”
—Octavio Paz (b. 1914)