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The Open Society and Its Enemies, Volume Two: Hegel and Marx (The Open Society and its Enemies #2)

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  1,260 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Written in political exile during the Second World War and first published in 1945, 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 c ...more
Paperback, 470 pages
Published July 11th 2003 by Routledge (first published 1945)
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The Republic by PlatoThe Prince by Niccolò MachiavelliHonor and Polygamy by Omar FarhadPolitics by AristotleThe Concept of the Political by Carl Schmitt
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I don't know what I would do without this book.

Popper fled the Nazi takeover of Austria, and set out to write a book that would somehow fight bad ideologies. He succeeded. If only anyone actually read it.

Open Society begins with an attack on Plato. Popper argues that we need to realize that Plato chose Sparta over Athens, and every other vaguely cosmopolitan city. He spends time describing just how controlled, misogynistic, and totalitarian Spartan life really was. Popper then moves on to show
Gabriel Thy
Apr 01, 2009 Gabriel Thy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all serious citizens of the West, especially now that capitalism is under fierce assault.
From Plato to Hegel, the philosopher king is the summit of socialism everywhere, a system in which the "good" thinker knows what is best for all individuals. Karl Popper prefers the free society and counts neo-Platonism among his enemies.

Having been raised in an authoritarian Communist culture in Austria, Popper rejected "historicism" in ascertaining that the growth of human knowledge is a causal factor in the evolution of human history, and since "no society can predict, scientifically, its ow

Not nearly as engaging as Volume I. It might be because the material of Hegel's and Marx's philosophies are necessarily more complex than that of Plato and Aristotle. But I also got the impression that Popper, through a large part of the volume, left the discussion of an "open society" off to the side while he treated his preferred topic of historicism, along with other, less relevant tangents (many having to do with Marx's economic theories). The result was a book that I labored to get through, ...more
Popper birinci ciltte Platon'un Devlet ve Yasalar'ını çözümlüyor ve eleştiriyor. Herakleitos etkisinde kalan Platon onun gibi elit bir zümrenin iktidarını tasarlıyor. Platon'a göre insanlar farklı kalitelerde doğarlar ve devletteki görevleri de bu kalitelere göre belirlenmelidir. Platon üç sınıfa karşılık üç kalitede insan çeşidi tanımlar. Popper bunun ırkçı bir yaklaşım olduğunu söylese de orta çağın soylu-ruhban-köylü ayrımına veya kast sistemine daha çok benzer. Platon'un tasarladığı devlet b ...more
4 1/2 stars. This is a pretty extensive refutation of Marx's (inspired by Hegel's) historicism. "Scientific Marxism is dead," Popper claims, and that's also an apt summary of the work as a whole. I think that he is undoubtedly right in the main in his treatment of Marx, and I'm obviously not going to go through the arguments he proffers against Marx's historicism, but I'll just provide some general remarks and one criticism.

First, although it's clear that Popper abhors historicism, his treatment
Kraig Grady
Aug 08, 2007 Kraig Grady rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: politics, philosophy
I had never heard of Popper until Ligeti used a title of his for his pieces "Clouds and Clouds". So when in a book store, i search it out but ended up buying this one . Now here was a philosopher who didn't need to use big terms to impress you. His language is as simple as he could make it. And he ask the really important question-how open in terms of individual rights does a citizen have within a society. He takes Plato as a starting point and shows how much he was against such an idea and how ...more
Well written, and some interesting insights, but generally disingenuous towards Hegel and Marx, and I think unfairly and quite incorrectly attributes 'methods' to them that are not quite right, but which become convenient anchors for Popper to "deconstruct" them and show their inherrant weaknesses.In this regard he is dishonest and disappointing. But like many conservatives, his criticisms do apply to a certain clique within the left, and no doubt has won him many admirers.
Maggie Koerth Baker
Oct 16, 2007 Maggie Koerth Baker rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who ever wanted a better reason to dislike Plato
Still reading currently. Will definitely have more to say about it when I'm done. Given the time frame this is written in, Popper is talking about issues between liberal democracy and the communism-based totalitarian states. But really, a lot of what he's talking about is also applicable to religion and tribalism-based totalitarianism and is, thus, still pretty relevant today.
Jan Hasecke
Während Popper im ersten Band von "Die offene Gesellschaft und ihre Feinde" Platon mit dem Seziermesser zerlegt und sein totalitäres Denken enthüllt, schlachtet er im zweiten Band zunächst den preußischen Staatsphilosophen Hegel. Ein Fest für jeden, der das Geschwurbel dieses "platten, geistlosen, ekelhaft—widerlichen, unwissenden Scharlatans, der, mit beispielloser Frechheit, Aberwitz und Unsinn zusammenschmierte" (Schopenhauer) noch nie leiden konnte. Danach analysiert er – mit deutlich mehr S ...more
I thought that this book was great (both Volume 1 and 2, although people more frequently refer to Volume 2, likely since it discusses Marxism which seems to be more near and dear to people's hearts). Popper wrote The Open Society during World War II when he thought that Europe might soon be under a totalitarian regime.
Volume 2, dealing with Hegel and Marx, with an in-depth critique of the moral theory of historicism and whether history has any meaning, in light of oracular philosophy and the revolt against reason.
- thinking in the solving problems need logics or an experience?

- are we should trade one way?
- are we all search for many answers at same time?
- is there an answer without a question?
Andrew Endicott
This is the second part (the cover isn't correct, but oh well), and it's equally good. You should read this if you're uninspired to read anything else.
It changed my mind about old good Plato. About Marx and Hegel, my mind had been changed beforehand!
Lukas Szrot
Brilliant, overall. A great exegesis on both Marx and historicist philosophy. A bit uncharitable to Hegel (though not without reason) and somewhat off-base in the criticism of the sociology of knowledge (philosophers and sociologists of knowledge continue in many ways to talk past each other regarding whether epistemology is a somewhat a priori, criterion-oriented discipline or a socially constructed phenomenon. Having a background in both views, I would suggest that both have merit in their own ...more
very plausibly skips over 25 centuries to tie marxism directly into plato.
Feb 26, 2007 ali rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all
Shelves: philosophy
A book to learn more about marxism and democracy
Rafal Pruszynski
I liked this book, though not as much as the first volume. Though that probably has a lot to do with having read much of Plato while having read very little of Hegel and Marx. One thing that bothered me a bit here was how Popper never really gives a very good justification for his morality of interventionism and his take on humanitarianism. He asserts, often enough, that we have moral duties to help those in need, for example, without providing much of a defense for why we should. I do not share ...more
Aaron Crofut
Well, that was a let down. The cranks on Hegel are worth the while, as is the question of the use of history in the last chapter, but everything else...meh. Popper's thoughts on Marx are like a new invention that protects you against spears: not particularly important anymore, because I can't recall the last time I met a legitimate Marxist. Communists, sure, but out and out Marxists? A thing of the past.

Ironically, Popper spends a great deal of time justifying what I see to be the largest threa
Pretty good rant about Hegel, certainly a worthwhile perspective to have read, trying to explain Hegel's lack of accessibility with "Because he was a crazy nutjob who fooled his authoritarian benefactors, or otherwise rationalized their agenda". A bit polemic, sure. But important nonetheless.
Dirk Buken
This book is a classic of political thinking. It offers a compelling answer against all kind of totalitarian ideas.
Before reading I've never noticed that the totalitarian tendencies were founded by Platon. The contempt of Hegel felt by many liberal thinkers i could not understand......however an instinctive refusal of marxism i did feel all the time.

It's a strong plea for liberty and reason. One of the most convincing sentences was, that we are not all equal but all entitled to equal rights.

In his second volume Poper turns his attention to the more modern philosophers Hegel and Marx. Again Poppers book doesn't tell anyone who has read Hegel or Marx things they didn't already know or suspect. What's interesting is the way Popper manages to place these philosophers and men into their time and place in history, They way he clearly sees why their theories fall and his suggestions for a successful way forward for an open society, many of which are common place in western democracies. It ...more
Martin Faktor
I especially liked chapters at the end.
Jaap Bennen
If readers would also read this, in advance or after reading Popper, they would ultimately conclude that this critique is a hatchet job:

[Walter Kaufmann, Beacon Press, Boston 1959, page 88-119, Chapter 7: The Hegel Myth and Its Method]

Popper completely misunderstands Hegel, and if you want a serious criticism of Marx, you should look to Leszek Kołakowski - a far better and more reasonable criticism of the communist logic.
Luís Nunes
This book helped me understand the profoundly authoritarian nature of the philosophies of Plato and his political heirs, Hegel and Marx. I did not realize the risk embedded in the totalitarian understanding of Hegelian State, which had so much influence in the various versions Marxists. But contrary to what the author intended, it did not take me to the arms of liberalism. But, to be on guard against the State.
I would commend this book. I don't follow him in every direction, but I think his critique of historicism, socialism is damning. The first volume is better than the second.

On a stylistic note, for a philosopher, he is quite lucid and often very funny. His stuff on Hegel had me chuckling.
Popper simplesmente pegou nas noções de politica que eu tinha, baralhou e voltou a dar de uma maneira completamente nova. A diferença está nas pequenas coisas e Popper leva tudo ao extremo ao mostrar e apontar os erros de dois dos mais influentes pensadores do século 20.
Yeah, good ol Karl grinds his axe, Hegal is an easy target, ( but, hey wouldn't you put you face in the trough too ? ) so is Marx, on the positive side, a lucid account. A cry from the wilderness.
this book should be read complete, the two volumes.In the first explains Plato as the creator of the totalitarian ideology in politics and their enormous influence posterior.
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Sir Karl Raimund Popper CH, FRS, FBA (28 July 1902 – 17 September 1994) was an Austrian and British philosopher and a professor at the London School of Economics. He is counted among the most influential philosophers of science of the 20th century, and also wrote extensively on social and political philosophy. Popper is known for repudiating the classical observationalist/inductivist account of sc ...more
More about Karl R. Popper...

Other Books in the Series

The Open Society and its Enemies (4 books)
  • The Open Society and Its Enemies
  • The Open Society and Its Enemies, Volume 1 : The Spell of Plato
  • After the Open Society: Selected Social and Political Writings

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