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The Myth of the Framework: In Defence of Science and Rationality

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In a career spanning sixty years, Sir Karl Popper has made some of the most important contributions to the twentieth century discussion of science and rationality. The Myth of the Framework is a new collection of some of Popper's most important material on this subject.
Sir Karl discusses such issues as the aims of science, the role that it plays in our civilization, the moral responsibility of the scientist, the structure of history, and the perennial choice between reason and revolution. In doing so, he attacks intellectual fashions (like positivism) that exagerrate what science and rationality have done, as well as intellectual fashions (like relativism) that denigrate what science and rationality can do. Scientific knowledge, according to Popper, is one of the most rational and creative of human achievements, but it is also inherently fallible and subject to revision.
In place of intellectual fashions, Popper offers his own critical rationalism - a view that he regards both as a theory of knowlege and as an attitude towards human life, human morals and democracy.
Published in cooperation with the Central European University.

248 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1994

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About the author

Karl Popper

182 books1,389 followers
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 (among others) political theory, quantum mechanics, logic, scientific method and evolutionary theory.

Popper challenged some of the ruling orthodoxies of philosophy: logical positivism, Marxism, determinism and linguistic philosophy. He argued that there are no subject matters but only problems and our desire to solve them. He said that scientific theories cannot be verified but only tentatively refuted, and that the best philosophy is about profound problems, not word meanings. Isaiah Berlin rightly said that Popper produced one of the most devastating refutations of Marxism. Through his ideas Popper promoted a critical ethos, a world in which the give and take of debate is highly esteemed in the precept that we are all infinitely ignorant, that we differ only in the little bits of knowledge that we do have, and that with some co-operative effort we may get nearer to the truth.

Nearly every first-year philosophy student knows that Popper regarded his solutions to the problems of induction and the demarcation of science from pseudo-science as his greatest contributions. He is less known for the problems of verisimilitude, of probability (a life-long love of his), and of the relationship between the mind and body.

Popper was a Fellow of the Royal Society, Fellow of the British Academy, and Membre de I'Institute de France. He was an Honorary member of the Harvard Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, and an Honorary Fellow of the London School of Economics, King's College London, and of Darwin College Cambridge. He was awarded prizes and honours throughout the world, including the Austrian Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold, the Lippincott Award of the American Political Science Association, and the Sonning Prize for merit in work which had furthered European civilization.

Karl Popper was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1965 and invested by her with the Insignia of a Companion of Honour in 1982.

(edited from http://www.tkpw.net/intro_popper/intr...)

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Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,568 reviews55.5k followers
April 24, 2018
The Myth of the Framework: in defence of Scince and Rationality, Karl R. Popper
The Myth of the Framework: In Defence of Science and Rationality is a 1994 book by Karl Popper. The book is a collection of papers "prepared on different occasions as lectures for non-specialist audiences".
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سال 2001 میلادی
عنوان: اسطوره چارچوب (در دفاع از علم و عقلانیت)؛ نویسنده: کارل ریموند پوپر؛ مترجم: علی بابا؛ تهران، طرح نو، 1379؛ در 391 ص؛ شابک: 9645625955؛ چاپ دیگر: 1384؛ شابک: 9644890337؛ موضوع: علوم و فلسفه - عقل - عقل گرایی - سده 20 م
یادداشت مترجم: عقلانیت انقلابهای علمی: گزینش در برابر آموزش، اسطوره ی چارچوب، خرد یا انقلاب، علم تجربی: مسائل، اهداف، مسئولیتها، فلسفه و فیزیک: تاثیر فیزیک نظری و تجربی بر برخی گمانزنیهای متافیزیکی، در باره ی ساختار ماده، مسئولیت اخلاقی دانشمند، رهیافتی کثرت گرایانه به فلسفه ی تاریخ، مدلها، ابزار، و حقیقت: جایگاه اصل عقلانیت در علوم اجتماعی، معرفت شناسی و صنعتی شدن. پایان نقل از مترجم
کارل ریموند پوپر ( از سال 1902 میلادی - تا سال 1994 میلادی) فیلسوف اتریشی الاصل از تاثیرگذارترین اندیشه سازان قرن بیستم میلادی به شمار هستند. پوپر در طول عمر نسبتا طولانی خویش آراء بسیاری را در زمینه های متفاوت مطرح ساخته، که بر شماری از نواندیشان، و صاحبنظران و نیز برنامه ریزان و کارشناسان و مسئولان اجرائی حوزه های گوناگون، تاثیر مستقیم و غیرمستقیم بر جای گذاشته است، کتاب اسطوره ی چارچوب از جمله ی آخرین دستآوردهای فکری و نظری پوپر در دفاع از علم و عقلانیت است. ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Gamal elneel.
524 reviews61 followers
August 5, 2016
نحن لا نستطيع ان نبقى احرارا بصورة مطلقة

لكننا نستطيع ان نجعل سجن عقولنا ارحب واوسع

وان ننقى انفسنا وعقولنا من الانحياز والتوقعات والاساطير السابقة ونتعلم من
التاريخ والمفكرين العظام





November 26, 2021
It's the method, stupid

Speeches and other commentary from Popper on a range of his usual topics, including the dangers of faith in one's ideas and holding to orthodoxy ("the death of knowledge"), the importance of disagreement in furthering scientific progress - and thus the self-defeating nature of the drive towards establishing common frameworks before engaging in critical discussion, the need to avoid fashions and other social pressures in the sciences, and the need for critical rationality, defined as the attitude of readiness to correct one's beliefs.

We need more of this today. Our utter reliance on "experts" in nearly all areas of life has never been greater in this era of war and disease--this over-reliance being a direct cause of many of our problems.
Profile Image for Zach.
64 reviews1 follower
December 16, 2018
A worthwhile read for scientists in any and every field which defines the purpose and value of scientific enquiry. Unfortunately, it can at times be as dry as it is thought-provoking; don't read before bed, and preferably not without having had strong coffee beforehand. The best essays were "Science: Problems, Aims, Responsibilities", "The Moral Responsibility of the Scientist", and "Models, Instruments, and Truth". I picked this book up because Nassim Nicholas Taleb frequently cites Karl Popper, and you can see how Popper's ideas shaped a lot of what Taleb talks about in "Black Swan", including the titular parable of the black swan.
Profile Image for Ahmadollah.
4 reviews1 follower
May 26, 2020
الاختلاف مع الاخر هى اكثر قضايا الانسانية حيوية عبر التاريخ ومع ذلك قليل من الفلاسفة الذى يناقش البحث عن حلول واقعية لها - هذا الكتاب مهم لكل من يريد الجدال - الاقناع والاقناع - والتعايش مع المختلف
Profile Image for Jorge.
103 reviews1 follower
October 7, 2010
Karl Popper é uma das minhas referências filosóficas e ideológicas.
Este livro tem uma colecção de palestras extraodinárias sobre a ciência e a (sua) filosofia. As palestras visam contribuir para um objectivo muito interessante de K.Popper: "uma das principais tarefas da razão humana é tornar o universo em qu vivemos compreensível para nós". Eu gosto especialmente do rigor e da humildade que Karl Popper usa nas suas teses que buscam a verdade sem nos darem a garantia que tal seja possível.
O modo como ele explica o sucesso relativo de cada uma das revoluções científicas é muito interessante. Isto por exemplo é muito notório na explanação sobre a teoria da relatividade de Einstein e no seu embate com a teoria "melhor testada de todos os tempos - a teoria da gravidade de Newton".
Finalmente como segundo Popper são as ideias (boas e más) que governam o mundo é importante que "uma pessoa deva treinar-se constantemente a falar e a escrever numa linguagem clara e simples". Cada pensamente deveria ser formulado do modo mais simples e claro possível. Só com muito trabalho se consegue fazer isso". Não posso estar mais de acordo.
Profile Image for Noureddine ZAOUI.
10 reviews12 followers
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September 10, 2016
عام 2003 قريت كتاب "أسطورة الإطار" متع "كارل بوبر"، بالطبيعة ما كنتش نفهم فش يحكي.. لكن حاجتين تشدو في الذاكرة متعي : انو يعتبر شاهد على عصرو بحكم انو عاش تقريبا اغلب احداث القرن العشرين. و الحاجة الثانية هي انتصارو للعقل والعلم و المنهج..
أما توا كيف نعاود نقراه خارج النوستالجيا هذي بالطبيعة نبدا نضحك على روحي اما عامل جو
Profile Image for Mimi Reem.
11 reviews
May 28, 2013
"The difference with the other is the most vital issues of humanity through history, however few philosophers who discussed the search for solutions and realistic - This is an important book for anyone who wants to debate - persuasion and persuasion - and coexistence with different"
Profile Image for Craig Bolton.
1,195 reviews71 followers
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September 23, 2010
Myth of the Framework: In Defence of Science and Rationality by Karl Popper (1996)
Author 1 book17 followers
July 14, 2022
Contrary to a popular view of Science as ‘observation, recording and measurement’, Popper thinks that it is ‘problem, theory, discussion.’ That is not to say that observation and recording is unimportant, but rather that it happens at a later point in a scientific methodology.

Popper thinks that the idea of the impartial scientist working carefully to observe and record truths is a myth. And it is a pernicious one because it implies the totally false view that scientists undertake their work with objectivity. On the contrary, everyone brings a culture to their work, and scientists are no different. They generally see what their theories presuppose them to see, so theory always precedes observation. It doesn’t arise from it, although observations may lead to tweaks.

People tend to decry presumption, prejudice and arrogance in their scientists but Popper thinks that it can serve a crucially important role in scientific methodology. Passion and willful refusal to accept an alternative viewpoint drive the exhaustive testing which ensures theories acquire credibility.

Popper thinks that science isn’t some dispassionate glance at the world. It always begins with a problem to solve. Scientists form hypotheses, or they accept cultural myths as their hypothesis. It doesn’t matter to Popper how or where the hypothesis comes from. The properly scientific part of their work takes place when they start checking and challenging hypotheses, testing them to end up with the least worst account. That is science!

With that understanding of science, Popper unsurprisingly thinks that there are few differences between science, history and the social sciences. Of course the subject matter differs, and the evidence base differs, but methodologically they are all dealing with problems, and testing rival hypotheses to establish their own views as the best, or least worst, account of matters.

The book opens with a warning against faddish fashions which can infect activities like science. In the same way that people buy the latest style of clothes, they buy into a style of talking and expressing themselves. Unlike clothing fashions, where it is human whim which decides good and bad, science is dealing with objective truths, so fashionable whims can wreck science. Popper spells out what this looks like in his criticisms of the fashionable irrationality of the Copenhagenist views about Quantum Physics. He also attacks the Frankfurt School and their Critical Theory, although it is not so much a matter of evaluating and dismissing their work, as it is a matter of struggling to find enough content and meaning in their work to actually evaluate. In a cutting aside he notes that he sampled some of their work but lay it aside as a ‘mumbo jumbo’ of cultural snobbery and elitism. The Frankfurt school are essentially the ‘opium of the intellectuals’ (p81).

The myth of the framework is a reference to relativism. It is the idea that different academic disciplines, and varying cultures are all working within their own special frameworks, and no one can critique anyone else, unless they are within a common framework to do so. Popper thinks that that is nonsense as anyone can communicate with anyone else if there is enough goodwill. So the demand for a common framework is just a false way of trying to insulate your own ideas from other people’s critique.

Yes goodwill is important but I wonder if Popper’s keenness to reject relativism has pushed him a step too far in his repudiation of the need for a common framework. Ultimately, the ability to talk to each other is only possible if people buy into enough rationalism to accept that words have implications and that some forms of implications are acceptable (logical) and some are not (ie irrational). How can you argue with people to test a scientific hypothesis if they are perfectly content to have contradictions in their thinking, and take the charge of irrationalism as a compliment?

Overall this is an old book of reprinted essays and lectures. It is a well written and argued defence of Popper’s vision of Scientific Methodology, which should be accessible to readers of any background.
Profile Image for Ahmad Hamdy.
280 reviews131 followers
June 15, 2020
دوغمائية) هي حالة من الجمود الفكري، حيث يتعصب فيها الشخص لأفكارهِ الخاصة لدرجة رفضهِ الاطلاع على الأفكار المخالفة، وإن ظهرت لهُ الدلائل التي تثبت لهُ أن أفكارهِ خاطئة، سيحاربها بكل ما أوتي من قوة، ويصارع من أجل إثبات صحة أفكارهِ وآرائهِ، وتعتبر حالة شديدة من التعصب للأفكار والمبادئ والقناعات، لدرجة معاداة كل ما يختلف عنها. وهي تعدّ حالة من التزمّت لفكرة معينة من قبل مجموعة دون قبول النقاش فيها أو الإتيان بأي دليل يناقضها لأجل مناقشته


والإطار الأسطورة قد تشكله اللغة، أو الثقافة أو الدين… أو هذه الأمور مجتمعة أي “التكوين” بتعبير الناقد الفرنسي “لوسيان غولدمان”


ولتقريب مفهوم أسطورة الإطار، وفهم “السلطة” التي يفرضها على المتأطرين داخله يسوق “ك.بوبر” قصة أوردها هيرودوت في كتابه “التاريخ” عن ملك الفرس داريوس الأول، وقد أفلح بنظرنا، في ذلك لأن القصة أصابت في مقتل الهدف الذي أوردها من أجله.

وملخص القصة أن الإغريق جميعهم ألفوا وتعودوا في تداولهم/إطارهم إكرام موتاهم عن طريق تحريقهم، وأي شيء آخر غير هذا يظل مستبعدا ومجانبا للعقل والصواب بالنسبة إليهم، والكالاتيين رسخ لديهم وفق إطارهم أن إكرام الميت يتم بأكله.

وأراد داريوس الأول أن يقلب الأدوار، فطلب من الإغريق الذين يحرقون موتاهم أكلهم، وطلب من الكالاتيين الآكلين آباءهم بعد الموت تحريقهم، فكان أن استبشع كل فريق الطلب المرفوع إليه واستهجنه واستصغره واعتبره إيغالا في الهمجية والتخلف، وينهض استغراب الفريقين كليهما طلب داريوس على بدعيته وغرابته عن إطاره.

التفكير العقلاني
يفتتح كارل بوبر قوله في الفصل المعنون "بأسطورة الإطار"بخاطرة لأفلاطون وهو يقول"لا توجد أرضية مشتركة بين هؤلاء اللذين يعتقدون هذا، وأولئك اللذين لا يعتقدون، بل إنهم من منظور آرائهم لابد بالضرورة أن يزدري كل فريق منهما الآخر" حيث يعتقد بوبر أن هناك انتشار واسع للدفاع عن اللاعقلانية والتسليم بالمبادئ اللاعقلانية. وهي أحد الجوانب المزعجة جدا من جوانب الحياة العقلية لعصرنا الراهن، وتعد أيضا النسباوية أحد العناصر المكونة للاعقلانية المحدثة، والنسباوية حسب بوبر هي القائلة بأن مبدأ الصدق أو الحقيقة يرجع إلى خلفيتنا العقلية، أي أن الحقيقة تنسب دائما إلى خلفية معينة، فالحقيقة تختلف من إطار إلى آخر ومنه نستنتج المبدأ القائل لاستحالة التفاهم بين ثقافات مختلفة أو أجيال متفاوتة، وحتى الحقب التاريخية المختلفة، حتى من داخل العلم والفيزياء، ويأتي بوبر ليناقش في هذا المبحث مشكلة النسباوية، وأن ما يسميه أسطورة الإطار يكمن خلفها، بشرح ما معنى هذه الأسطورة ثم نقدها.
Profile Image for Omar Moustafa.
67 reviews16 followers
September 27, 2021
" المنهج العلمي عند كارل بوبر "
كارل بوبر ينتقد المنطق العلمي لفرانسيس بيكون والذي ينص علي أن الاستقراء مبني علي الملاحظة فقط وتطهير العقول من أي انحياز مسبق والتخلص من أي فكرة أو نظرية مسبقة
فالملاحظة فقط من دون الاستناد علي الافكار المسبقة تجعل العقل خاويا فيقول كارل بوبر أن التطهير من أي فكرة يجعل العقل يجرب عدة مرات فينحاز الي فكرته أكثر دون الوعي او المقارنة بالافكار المسبقة .
فالشخص الذي يعتمد علي الملاحظة فقط وهو متمسك بعقيدة بدائية مثلا اي ايدولوجية ما او كدين فكل ملاحظته لن تصب سوي في تثبيت هذا المعتقد
ويستعمل بوبر "معيار القابلية للتفنيد أو التكذيب" في البحث العلمي
فيري أن الفرق بين الملاحظة والنظرية لا يعد شيء ما لم تكون النظرية قابلة للاختبار والتكذيب ، وما لم يكن الاتفاق قد تم التوصل إليه كنتيجة لمحاولات شديدة لاختبار النظرية علي أن اختبار النظرية يعني محاولة لإيجاد نقاط الضعف فيها فتكون هذه النظرية قابلة للإختبار .
فالنقد ومحاولة التكذيب يساعدان في استبعاد النظريات الأضعف ويكونان تأييدا علي النظريات الراهنة والتي استطاعت الصمود للاختبارات العسيرة
فيبدا البحث العلمي بفرضية أو (حل لمشكلة ما في نظرية مسبقة ) ثم تخضع للاختبارات العنيفة ومحاولات التكذيب ففي حالة انها خضعت للتكذيب تستبعد وفي حالة الصمود تبقي ، مثلا تنبؤات نظرية اينشتاين "النسبية" او اختبارات نظرية التطور كالأدلة المادية الحفرية او الجينية، فتصبح في هذه الحالة نظرية تجريبية.
Profile Image for Christopher Elliott.
116 reviews7 followers
July 5, 2021
This read more like David Deutsch's books than any other Popper book I've read.

"When speaking here of human knowledge, I shall usually have this objective sense of the word ‘knowledge’ in mind."

"The tentative acceptance of a theory or a conjecture means hardly more than that it is considered worthy of further criticism."

"For to understand a problem means to understand why it is not easily soluble – why the more obvious solutions do not work."

"Observations or experiments can be accepted as supporting a theory (or a hypothesis, or a scientific assertion) only if these observations or experiments are severe tests of the theory – or, in other words, only if they result from serious attempts to refute the theory, and especially from trying to find faults where these might be expected in the light of all our knowledge, including our knowledge of competing theories."

It's comforting to know even Deutsch "stood on the shoulders of giants".
Profile Image for Nick Jones.
32 reviews5 followers
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September 5, 2021
The “Myth” from the title, is the widely held belief that it is not possible for two people to have a fruitful conversation unless they first agree on ground rules and basic fundamental ideas. Popper argues that in fact, real progress is ONLY possible between people with wildly different tolerances and beliefs. The only thing that is required for progress is an agreement that “I may be wrong, you may be right, and by an effort we might get nearer the truth”. He gives the extreme example of someone from a culture where they cannibalize their dead, speaking with someone horrified by the idea. They both believe in their absolute righteousness as does everyone they have ever known. But whereas a pair of cannibals or two New Yorkers could offer each other no insight on the matter, these two are uniquely capable of deepening each other’s understanding.
Profile Image for الشناوي محمد جبر.
1,155 reviews252 followers
November 17, 2019
أولئك المزودون بإيمان مفرط بأفكارهم غير مهيئين لإحراز كشوفات.
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إحدي المهام الأساسية للعقل البشري هي أن يجعل الكون الذي نحيا فيه مفهوما لنا. وتلك هي مهمة العلم.
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يمكن القول إن الإنسان لا يبدو حيوانا عاقلا أكثر منه حيوانا أيديولوجيا.
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الفكرة القائلة أننا نستطيع أن نطهر عقولنا كما نشاء من الانحيازات وبالتالي نتخلص من كل الألإكار أو النظريات المسبقة - السابقة علي البحث العلمي والممهدة له - فكرة سازجة وخاطئة.
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إنن انعمل دائما بنظريات، حتي وإن كنا علي غير وعي بهذا.
Profile Image for Ioana.
287 reviews12 followers
August 10, 2021
A collection of Essays, including the clarification of the positivist question, which relentlessly followed Popper. A good debunking of the myth of the framework and its replacing with a need to discuss/debate everything, even if our starting points are very different, because coming closer to a common understanding is not possible otherwise. An essay on Bacon and his claim that we acquire knowledge through direct observation and Popper’s counterclaim that knowledge starts with questions, theories, and problems.
Profile Image for Ricardo.
197 reviews
April 27, 2021
Compilation of essays from Popper where the most know is the one who gives name to the book.
In these essays Popper addresses the role of science, its purposes and its methods in our society and its evolution.
Through his simple and concise language he deconstructs some ruling opinions while justifying his own.
Being a series of short essays this works as a good introduction to Popper's works and to his way of thinking.
1 review
March 16, 2022
Karl was referenced a lot in Nassim Talib, so I gave it a try. I don't read a lot of books in his style. It was very dense and had a lot of references that were matter of fact about arguments and industry positions. It was often difficult to unpack. At other times it helped me give thought to his arguments. I don't doubt that this is a fantastic book. Some exposure to the topics covered would probably make it more enjoyable.
January 29, 2021
Sem muito a dizer. Popper apresenta com simplicidade e maestria a forma de se ver e fazer ciência, incluindo o progresso dessa visão na história. Não é uma leitura fácil, pelo que merece a nossa máxima atenção e pesquisa.
Achei particularmente difícil a leitura da palestra "Filosofia e Física", pelos termos e conhecimento físicos alheios a mim. E confesso que provavelmente não retive o máximo de conhecimento desta leitura por falta de conhecimentos e ignorância em certos aspetos.
Quando me sentir mais apto, confiante e sábio, provavelmente voltarei a este livro, pois sei que tem muito mais a oferecer. Mas vale muito a pena e recomendo aos corajosos!
Profile Image for Francisco Pascoal.
Author 6 books3 followers
July 18, 2020
The rational thought of Popper is magnificent. Highly advised book for any scientist and/or Philosopher.
7 reviews1 follower
March 12, 2022
This is a fundamental book for our democracy and a book that can show the path through the dark times we are in today. Popper can be hard to follow but this is one of his easier reads
Profile Image for William Dinneen.
100 reviews
July 10, 2022
Great book. I love the collection of essays approach. It give a more comprehensive ideas of the various facets of Poppers core idea of critical rationalism. I want to read more of Sir Karl.
Profile Image for Jorg Doku.
29 reviews24 followers
January 14, 2023
Great read, especially after having finished "The Beginning of Infinity" by David Deutsch a while back.
Profile Image for Vincenzo Politi.
156 reviews129 followers
October 10, 2016
Same old, same old. This book does not add too much to the Popper's system and it feels rather derivative from his other books.
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