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Tarihselciliğin Sefaleti

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  1,064 ratings  ·  56 reviews
Bilim ve toplum felsefesi alanlarının büyük filozofu Karl Popper'ın "Tarihselciliğin Sefaleti" adlı eseri, her iki felsefe disiplininin de problemlerini kendi kavşağında buluşturan çarpıcı bir kitaptır. Filozofun, gerek "Açık Toplum ve Düşmanları" gerekse "Bilimsel Keşfin Mantığı" adlı eserleri, daha esaslı bir probleme ışık tutmak üzere bu kitapta bir araya gelmişlerdir.
Paperback, 3. Baskı, 190 pages
Published December 5th 2017 by Eksi Kitaplar (first published 1957)
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Christian Anderson
Sep 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Popper criticizes 'historicism', particularly its holism, its belief in trends as the proper topic of scientific analysis, and its propensity towards prophesy and utopian engineering. The first two sections of the book offer a mosaic portrait of historicism. Popper then articulates a 'piecemeal' scientific approach in contrast to the all-or-nothing approach of the historicists. His claims are empirical but have a normative undertone in their criticism of utopian engineering.

Popper's piecemeal
Esteban del Mal
Mar 07, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Brian, Buck, MFSO, Richard
I'm going to rub my two brain cells together this weekend and see if I can't write something meaningful about this thing.
Oct 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this little book, Karl Popper worked out his earlier thoughts on the phenomenon of - what he called - historicism. This book was originally written in 1935 and revised multiple times before Popper published the final edition in 1957. In the meanwhile, Popper published his magnum opus, The Open Society and Its Enemies (1944), in which he describes the origins of the idea of historicist philosophy - he traces it back to Plato, and via Aristotle and Hegel to Marx.

I had already read The Open
Methodologically, this book is a very important work. Outlining the method of the social sciences, Popper criticizes Historicism at length, and makes some good arguments. That said, he doesn't have much of a grasp on what history is, nor and overly good handle on Marxist theory. His opinions on history are laughable, and his idea of methodological individualism is so problematically ideological to almost appear as absurd that he couldn't consider the alternative. His section on institutions goes ...more
Feb 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a remarkable little book with many interesting points, keen insights and worthy ideas. Popper writes with the clarity of thought and preciseness of meaning one would more expect of Russell.

Few of these main ideas are new to me (many of them are those I've previously defended in my own writing and dialogues), but Popper gives powerful, original and complex arguments for them.

A warning for some left-leaning readers that this book makes clear from the beginning Popper's distrust of
Feb 02, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I 19ve always kinda liked Karl Popper from the very tiny bits of superficial information I had on him from philosophy school books, so I didn 19t expect this to be so utterly hard to get. In the first part of the book, Karl Popper exposes the two main historicist views, pro-naturalist (claiming society has rules similar to those of physics) and anti-naturalist. The second part is the critique itself, structured to attack one view and then the other. One very prominent argument is that, given the ...more
Oct 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a powerful critique of the popular method in the social sciences that attempts to find universal laws of history that can be used to predict how the course of society will develop. It's somewhat short, but Popper is succinct, clear, and convincing. Although I'm still not sure I agree with his position on the complete deductive nature of science, which works its way into several of his positions, it's not really a necessary point to agree with in accepting the larger arguments (which I ...more
Sep 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short yet considerably dense treatise on the futility of uncovering laws of historical development as one would find laws of nature. I cannot say I understand everything Popper is getting at, which would require a closer second reading in addition to reading some of his other works, namely The Logic of Scientific Discovery and The Open Society and its Enemies. But I can say that what I do get from Popper is an attempt to topple grand "theories of history" generally touted by Marxists and even ...more
Daniel Carr
Jan 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great read for anyone (rightly) suspicious of the claims of social sciences in having predictive power. Popper makes the point, in an erudite (if elaborate) manner, that the future is not able to be predicted using observations from the past.

Historicism is the concept that history is subject to an intrinsic march towards a final outcome. Popper examines this notion in a robust manner to find it lacking - he makes the argument that there are no 'laws of history' that can allow one to
Oleksandr Zholud
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Lukas Szrot
Jan 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was once said (though I cannot recall by whom) that scientists need philosophers of science like birds need ornithologists. As a sociologist with some background in philosophy, Popper gives me cause to disagree. Many of the arguments in this book are explicated in greater detail in the tome "The Open Society and Its Enemies," but this little book distills many of the essentials as they apply to the actual methodology and practice of the social sciences. Popper's vision of sociology is a bit ...more
David Greenberg
Dec 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: political-theory
Karl Popper in The Poverty of Historicism, provides a fruitful analysis into a group of traditions he calls "historicism." Simply put, these are individuals who provide society at large a specific means of understanding our society and our role in history through a particular social law.
Based on my personal exploration of these particular world-views, his characterization are accurate (albeit simplified). Critics of his characterization should read his other (longer) books to gain understanding
Richard Thompson
Mar 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
I think that Karl Popper is brilliant. I loved The Logic of Scientific Discovery and The World of Parmenides, but I thought that in this book, he was a little off his mark. I agree with his basic thesis that grand theories of history don't work and if logically followed, such theories are more likely to lead to suffering than to solve human problems. But he seems to protest a bit too much. He spends much the book setting up straw men and then knocking them down. I am not so sure that someone who ...more
Earl Mcgowen
Dec 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this will be my favorite Popper book. In the darkest night, I have definitely been on a quest to unearth myself, and Popper and other critical rationalists have been of great importance by keeping me from betraying myself. I have to admit that I used to read sociology, economy, and theology from somewhat of a historicist method. It is hard not to divorce oneself of the broad sweeps of history. The Open Society and its Enemies warns against Platonic essentialism and Hegelian Geist in such ...more
In which Karl Popper describe a method of analysing history that he calls 'historicism', proposes some reasons why it might be deemed good, and then attacks it. The arguments are clear and often (not always) very convincing when I follow it. But the book is not very easy to follow. Probably because (1) he often makes complicated arguments in a very abstract way without examples or other means to help readers understand (2) 'historicism' which he attacks IMO are not defined clearly. For example, ...more
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, science
I found this generally compelling if slightly disorganized, even with Popper's caveats about why he was approaching certain topics outside of the nominal order declared at the outset. It certainly appears from the footnotes and references that a clearer picture of several of the arguments would emerge in a reading of The Logic of Scientific Discovery and/or The Open Society and Its Enemies, at least one of which is waiting on the shelf for me. The shorter length of this volume made some of the ...more
Yaru Lin
Mar 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Both the historicist and the Utopian believe that they can find out what the true aims or ends of 'society' are; for example, by determining its historical tendencies, or by diagnosing 'the needs of their time'. Thus they are apt to adopt some kind of historicist moral theory."

"The way out of this dilemma, of course, is to be clear about the necessity of adopting a point of view; to state this point of view plainly, and always to remain conscious that it is one among many, and that even if it
Jul 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this short work Karl Popper attempts to debunk historicism and to demonstrate that social science would benefit from a small dose of scientific rationalism. Rather than ignoring a theoretical structure for history, for example, it is necessary to set the methodology firmly in a scientific context. Whether he succeeded or not is moot, since I know of no historian of merit who has adopted his proposals...
Jun 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
I read this book because I had previously read After Virtue by Alasdair MacIntyre. MacIntyre incorporates Popper's argument against prediction of the future course of human events into his own critique of the social sciences.

Popper's philosophy of science, applied to the social sciences in this book, is interesting. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around some parts of it, but it was an enjoyable, intelligent read.
David Antoš
Didn't overwhelm as the debate is largely over. Some arguments felt inconclusive. Being in apparent love with economics - which I surely approve :-) - he doesn't address well the biggest pain of social sciences (in my perception) of impossibility to isolate effects of some phenomenon / intervention. That allows libertarians, Keynesians and free market economists all keep using the recent economic crisis as a proof of their (mutually incompatible) teachings.
Published shortly after the end of World War Two, Popper dedicated the Poverty of Historicism to all those who fell "victim to the fascist and communist belief in Inexorable Laws of Historical Destiny." That so little about the Poverty of Historicism strikes me as remotely controversial is a testament to the generally conservative intellectual currents of the postwar era - of which Popper's lucid critique of "historicism" was a significant part.
May 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Popper crams more useful logic into these 150 pages than in the entire corpus of LSAT preparation material. Popper proves his scientific legitimacy through clarifying his terms from his vast erudition. This book requires the reader's attention, but it's rewarding, especially in the validity of his main points. I definitely need to enter "The Open Society."
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like many of Popper's publications, this is a careful refutation of the premise that social sciences respond to the scientific method. The degree to which this is now viewed as obvious is largely a measure of Popper's success. Finely written and closely reasoned, the key point is that history cannot be controlled to the degree that the causes of effects can be identified.
Mar 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Ivan Vuković
Jun 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Well written, concise, logical instead of rhetorical, clear and rational, just the way I like it!

I think Popper really did a good job comparing social and natural sciences and showing that historicism is largely based on a great misunderstanding of method of natural sciences.
Fried Potato
Popper builds a house, then starts to point all its flaws and demolishing it while saying "you see that guy? he LOVES this house". With the debris he builds another house, that is not so bad designed as the first one, but still has really bad foundations.
Francisco Tapiador
Feb 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
Popper reveals here the far reaching implications of negating the possibility of a scientific approach to social sciences. Must read if someone try to persuade you that History cannot be analyzed by formal tools, i.e., scientifically.
Apr 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would suggest that Popper's critiques will always be relevant but with so much ideological idiocy driving American politics (or politics in general?) it seems timely resurrect some of Popper's more political works.
Michael Wurth
Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Complex, but fascinating.

Great book for a deeper understanding of the historicist mindset along with their strengths and weaknesses. Recommended for those with background in philosophy and social sciences.
Camilo Rodríguez
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good exposition of the flaws of historicism, both in its pro-naturalistic and anti-naturalistic claims. Very clearly exposed and methodologically sound. Although it has more than half a century, its topics are now more relevant than ever.
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Sir Karl Raimund Popper, FRS, rose from a modest background as an assistant cabinet maker and school teacher to become one of the most influential theorists and leading philosophers. Popper commanded international audiences and conversation with him was an intellectual adventure—even if a little rough—animated by a myriad of philosophical problems. He contributed to a field of thought encompassing ...more
“The discovery of instances which confirm a theory means very little if we have not tried, and failed, to discover refutations. For if we are uncritical we shall always find what we want: we shall look for, and find, confirmation, and we shall look away from, and not see, whatever might be dangerous to our pet theories. In this way it is only too easy to obtain what appears to be overwhelming evidence in favour of a theory which, if approached critically, would have been refuted.” 18 likes
“We all have an unscientific weakness for being always in the right, and this weakness seems to be particularly common among professional and amateur politicians. But the only way to apply something like scientific method in politics is to proceed on the assumption that there can be no political move which has no drawbacks, no undesirable consequences. To look out for these mistakes, to find them, to bring them into the open, to analyse them, and to learn from them, this is what a scientific politician as well as a political scientist must do. Scientific method in politics means that the great art of convincing ourselves that we have not made any mistakes, of ignoring them, of hiding them, and of blaming others from them, is replaced by the greater art of accepting the responsibility for them, of trying to learn from them, and of applying this knowledge so that we may avoid them in future.” 6 likes
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