Concepts as mental representations The first of these views maintains that concepts are psychological entities, taking as its starting point the representational theory of the mind RTM. According to RTM, thinking occurs in an internal system of representation.
The arguments in the two essays overlap a great deal. In fact, The Open Society began as a chapter for Poverty. Yet there is a difference in emphasis. The Open Society, a much longer and, according to Popper, a more important work, included in-depth discussion of historicism and the methods of the social sciences.
But it also featured an inquiry into the psychological and historical origins of totalitarianism, which he located in the nexus of a set of appealing but, he argued, false ideas.
Open versus Closed Societies According to Popper, totalitarianism was not unique to the 20th century. But reactionary forces were unnerved by the instability and rapid social change that an open society had unleashed. Socrates was indicted on charges of corrupting the youth and introducing new gods.
In contrast, the individualism, freedom and personal responsibility that open societies necessarily engender leave many feeling isolated and anxious, but this anxiety, Popper said, must be born if we are to enjoy the greater benefits of living in an open society: Popper charged that Plato emerged as the philosophical champion of the closed society and in the process laid the groundwork for totalitarianism.
Betraying the open and critical temper of his mentor Socrates, in his Republic Plato devised an elaborate system that would arrest all political and social change and turn philosophy into an enforcer, rather than a challenger, of authority.
It would also reverse the tide of individualism and egalitarianism that had emerged in democratic Athens, establishing a hierarchical system in which the freedom and rights of the individual would be sacrificed to the collective needs of society.
Spartan society focused almost exclusively on two goals: Toward these ends, the Spartan constitution sought to create a hive-like, martial society that always favored the needs of the collective over the individual and required a near total control over its citizenry.
This included a primitive eugenics, in which newborn infants deemed insufficiently vigorous were tossed into a pit of water. Spartan males judged healthy enough to merit life were separated from their families at a young age and provided an education consisting mainly of military training.
The training produced fearsome warriors who were indifferent to suffering, submissive to authority, and unwaveringly loyal to the city. Fighting for the city was an honor granted solely to the male citizenry, while the degrading toil of cultivating the land was the lot reserved to an enslaved tribe of fellow Greeks, the helots.
Rigid censorship was imposed on the citizenry, as well as laws that strictly limited contact with foreigners. Under this system, Sparta became a dominant military power in ancient Greece, but, unsurprisingly, made no significant contributions to the arts and sciences.
It was no coincidence, he said, that the Nazis and other modern-day totalitarians were also inspired by the Spartans. These ideas were holism, essentialism, and historicism. Holism may be defined as the view that adequate understanding of certain kinds of entities requires understanding them as a whole.
This is often held to be true for biological and social systems, for example, an organism, an ecosystem, an economy, or a culture. For instance, some philosophers argue that human consciousness is an emergent phenomenon whose properties cannot be explained solely by the properties of the physical components nerve cells, neurotransmitters, and so forth that comprise the human brain.
Similarly, those who advocate a holistic approach to social inquiry argue that social entities cannot be reduced to the properties of the individuals that comprise them. That is, they reject methodological individualism and support methodological holism, as Popper called it.
According to Popper, Plato believed that a just society required individuals to sacrifice their needs to the interests of the state.
Popper saw this as profoundly dangerous. In fact, he said, the view that some collective social entity—be it, for example, a city, a state, society, a nation, or a race—has needs that are prior and superior to the needs of actual living persons is a central ethical tenet of all totalitarian systems, whether ancient or modern.
Nazis, for instance, emphasized the needs of the Aryan race to justify their brutal policies, whereas communists in the Soviet Union spoke of class aims and interests as the motor of history to which the individual must bend.
The needs of the race or class superseded the needs of individuals. In contrast, Popper held, members of an open society see the state and other social institutions as human designed, subject to rational scrutiny, and always serving the interests of individuals—and never the other way around. According to Plato, understanding of any kind of thing—for example, a bed, a triangle, a human being, or a city—requires understanding what Plato called its Form.
The Forms are timeless, unchanging and perfect exemplars of sensible things found in our world. Coming to understand a Form, Plato believed, requires rational examination of its essence.Some people end up worse off than others partly because of their bad luck.
For instance, some die young due to a genetic disease, whereas others live long lives. Chemistry and society. For the first two-thirds of the 20th century, chemistry was seen by many as the science of the future.
The potential of chemical products for enriching society appeared to be unlimited. Written in political exile during the Second World War and first published in , Karl Popper's The Open Society and Its Enemies is one of the most influential books of the twentieth century.
Hailed by Bertrand Russell as a 'vigorous and profound defence of democracy', its now legendary attack on the philosophies of Plato, Hegel and Marx exposed the dangers inherent in centrally planned.
Karl Popper: Political Philosophy.
Among philosophers, Karl Popper () is best known for his contributions to the philosophy of science and epistemology. The meaning and concept of philosophy in Islam. Seyyed Hossein Nasr.
In the light of the Qur'an and Hadith in both of which the term hikmah has been used, 1 Muslim authorities belonging to different schools of thought have sought over the ages to define the meaning of hikmah as well as falsafah, a term which entered Arabic through the Greek translations of the second/eighth and third/ninth.
Apology by Plato, part of the Internet Classics Archive.