Popper’s Influence on the Social Sciences

Authored by: Jeremy Shearmur

The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Social Science

Print publication date:  December  2016
Online publication date:  December  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138825758
eBook ISBN: 9781315410098
Adobe ISBN: 9781315410081


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Karl Popper had distinctive views on social philosophy and the philosophy of the social sciences, and also on epistemology and the philosophy of science. Both areas are of importance for the social sciences. Despite the fact that his major appointment was at the London School of Economics, his ideas have not been as influential on the social sciences as one might have expected. Aside from a few figures who wrote directly in the elaboration and defense of his views such as Joseph Agassi, Ian Jarvie, and John Watkins, his influence is also not always easy to identify. 1 There are, I think, three reasons for this. They relate to his philosophy of science, his philosophy of social science, and also to certain sociological factors concerning his career.

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