HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

The Poverty of Historicism

by Karl R. Popper

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9581622,058 (4.06)4
On its publication in 1957, The Poverty of Historicism was hailed by Arthur Koestler as 'probably the only book published this year which will outlive the century.' A devastating criticism of fixed and predictable laws in history, Popper dedicated the book to all those 'who fell victim to the fascist and communist belief in Inexorable Laws of Historical Destiny.' Short and beautifully written, it has inspired generations of readers, intellectuals and policy makers. One of the most important books on the social sciences since the Second World War, it is a searing insight into the ideas of this great thinker.… (more)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 4 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
High Rhetoric of the Analytic School.

The so-called "anti-dialectical" critique of dialectics is, ironically, undergirded by a dialectical reversal: that so-called "historicist" theories of change are in fact inimical to change (for a change in the process of change destabilizes the historicist theory which can only make historical predictions on the basis of a fixed theory of change [F(n) != F'(n)] (ignoring solutions to this equation)).

We can extend the dialectic one step further. Popper's "non-historicist" theory of change (a theory which does not prescribe any change at all, and which is therefore amenable to all changes (and changes to the process of changes)), i.e. "adjusting the levers with limited practical ends in mind" (e.g. reduction in poverty) can only be responsibly practiced (in non-historicist fashion) at the infinitesimal limit at which change loses its "historicist-ic" quality. A theory of change which permits everything, and, when rigorously employed, produces stasis. This is the reincarnation of Popper's image of the standing-wave billiard ball (from The Logic of Scientific Discovery) which bounces across the table, and which one calculates, against one's own eyes, to not be moving at all. ( )
  Joe.Olipo | Jun 4, 2023 |
Ensayo que incide en la debilidad interna que aqueja a la estructura teórica de esta corriente de pensamiento y que es partir de una premisa tan errónea en su planteamiento como falaz en sus implicaciones: la certeza de que la evolución humana puede ser objeto de predicción mediante el descubrimiento de los ritos, modelos, leyes o tendencias que supuestamente gobernarían su curso.
  katherinevillar | Mar 23, 2020 |
Historicism is a very old movement. Its oldest forms, such as the doctrines of the life-cycles of cities and races, actually precede the primitive teleological view that there are hidden purposes behind the apparently blind decrees of fate. Although this divination of hidden purposes is far removed from the scientific way of thinking it has left unmistakable traces upon even the most modern historicist theories. Every version of historicism expresses the feeling of being swept into the future by irresistible forces.

Modern historicists, however, seem to be unaware of the antiquity of their doctrine. They believe—and what else could their deification of modernism permit?—that their own brand of historicism is the latest and boldest achievement of the human mind, an achievement so staggeringly novel that only a few people are sufficiently advanced to grasp it. They believe, indeed, that it is they who have discovered the problem of change—one of the oldest problems of speculative metaphysics.


This is a great critique of the historicism, which often in the XXth century went hand in hand with totalitarian state. Both communism and Nazism grounded their philosophies at least partially on it. It is especially pleasant to see that the author quotes Friedrich Hayek on both economics and social sciences in general. It is not an easy read, but such philosophical texts rarely are.
( )
  Oleksandr_Zholud | Jan 9, 2019 |
A classic critique of the notion that there are laws of history unfolding as we exist and that they are discoverable by primates like Homo Sapiens. ( )
  georgee53 | May 14, 2018 |
Dedicated to those who lost their lives to Fascism, Popper's treatise examines the failure and inherent oppression of historicism applied. This along with his Open Society and its Enemies are among the most important works of 20th century political philosophy. Today's proponents historicism would do well to read it. ( )
  lucybrown | Sep 27, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Popper, Karl R.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Benthem van den Bergh, G. vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Epigraph
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Ter herinnering aan de talloze mannen en vrouwen van alle geloofsovertuigingen, naties en volken, die het slachtoffer zijn geworden van het fascistische en communistische geloof in de Onverbiddelijke Wetten, die de loop van de geschiedenis zouden bepalen.
Dedication
In memory of the countless men and women of all creeds or nations or races who fell victims to the fascist and communist belief in Inexorable Laws of Human Destiny.
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

On its publication in 1957, The Poverty of Historicism was hailed by Arthur Koestler as 'probably the only book published this year which will outlive the century.' A devastating criticism of fixed and predictable laws in history, Popper dedicated the book to all those 'who fell victim to the fascist and communist belief in Inexorable Laws of Historical Destiny.' Short and beautifully written, it has inspired generations of readers, intellectuals and policy makers. One of the most important books on the social sciences since the Second World War, it is a searing insight into the ideas of this great thinker.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Current Discussions

None

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (4.06)
0.5
1 3
1.5
2
2.5
3 15
3.5 5
4 23
4.5 2
5 30

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 206,061,108 books! | Top bar: Always visible