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Karl Popper, science and enlightenment: an idea to help save the world

Maxwell, N; (2018) Karl Popper, science and enlightenment: an idea to help save the world. Ethical Record , 123 (1) pp. 27-30. Green open access

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Abstract

Natural science, properly understood, provides us with the methodological key to the salvation of humanity. First, we need to acknowledge that the actual aims of science are profoundly problematic, in that they make problematic assumptions about metaphysics, values and the social use of science. Then we need to represent these aims in the form of a hierarchy of aims, which become increasingly unproblematic as one goes up the hierarchy; as result we create a framework of relatively unproblematic aims and methods, high up in the hierarchy, within which much more problematic aims and methods, low down in the hierarchy, may be improved as scientific knowledge improves. Then, we need to generalize this hierarchical, aims-and-methods-improving methodology so that it becomes fruitfully applicable to any worthwhile endeavour with problematic aims. Finally, we need to apply this methodology to the immensely problematic task of making progress towards as good a world as feasible.

Type: Article
Title: Karl Popper, science and enlightenment: an idea to help save the world
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://conwayhall.org.uk/ethical-society/members-...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Science and Technology Studies
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10046046
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