Karl Popper Quotes

Enjoy the top 194 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Karl Popper.

Karl Popper Quotes

I dont know whether God exists or not ... Some forms of atheism are arrogant and ignorant and should be rejected, but agnosticism—to admit that we dont know and to search—is all right ... When I look at what I call the gift of life, I feel a gratitude which is in tune with some religious ideas of God. However, the moment I even speak of it, I am embarrassed that I may do something wrong to God in talking about God.
— Karl Popper —

Philosophy is a necessary activity because we, all of us, take a great number of things for granted, and many of these assumptions are of a philosophical character; we act on them in private life, in politics, in our work, and in every other sphere of our lives
but while some of these assumptions are no doubt true, it is likely, that more are false and some are harmful. So the critical examination of our presuppositions
which is a philosophical activity
is morally as well as intellectually important.

— Karl Popper

But the secret of intellectual excellence is the spirit of criticism ; it is intellectual independence. And this leads to difficulties which must prove insurmountable for any kind of authoritarianism. The authoritarian will in general select those who obey, who believe, who respond to his influence. But in doing so, he is bound to select mediocrities. For he excludes those who revolt, who doubt, who dare to resist his influence. Never can an authority admit that the intellectually courageous, i.e. those who dare to defy his authority, may be the most valuable type. Of course, the authorities will always remain convinced of their ability to detect initiative. But what they mean by this is only a quick grasp of their intentions, and they will remain for ever incapable of seeing the difference.

— Karl Popper

The war of ideas is a Greek invention. It is one of the most important inventions ever made. Indeed, the possibility of fighting with with words and ideas instead of fighting with swords is the very basis of our civilization, and especially of all its legal and parliamentary institutions.

— Karl Popper

It is often asserted that discussion is only possible between people who have a common language and accept common basic assumptions. I think that this is a mistake. All that is needed is a readiness to learn from one's partner in the discussion, which includes a genuine wish to understand what he intends to say. If this readiness is there, the discussion will be the more fruitful the more the partner's backgrounds differ.

— Karl Popper

There can be no ultimate statements science: there can be no statements in science which can not be tested, and therefore none which cannot in principle be refuted, by falsifying some of the conclusions which can be deduced from them.

— Karl Popper

The best thing that can happen to a human being us to find a problem, to fall in love with that problem, and to live trying to solve that problem, unless another problem even more lovable appears.

— Karl Popper

I don't know whether God exists or not ... Some forms of atheism are arrogant and ignorant and should be rejected, but agnosticism-to admit that we don't know and to search-is all right ... When I look at what I call the gift of life, I feel a gratitude which is in tune with some religious ideas of God. However, the moment I even speak of it, I am embarrassed that I may do something wrong to God in talking about God.

— Karl Popper

The Conspiracy Theory of Society ... [is] a typical result of the secularization of a religious superstition. The belief in the Homeric gods whose conspiracies explain the history of the Trojan War is gone. The gods are abandoned. But their place is filled by powerful men or groups - sinister pressure groups whose wickedness is responsible for all the evils we suffer from - such as the Learned Elders of Zion, or the monopolists, or the capitalists, or the imperialists.

— Karl Popper

It is part of my thesis that all our knowledge grows only through the correcting of our mistakes.

— Karl Popper

I think that we shall have to get accustomed to the idea that we must not look upon science as a 'body of knowledge,' but rather as a system of hypotheses; that is to say, as a system of guesses or anticipations which in principle cannot be justified, but with which we work as long as they stand up to tests, and of which we are never justified in saying that we know they are 'true' or 'more or less certain' or even 'probable.'

— Karl Popper

Plato felt that a complete reconstruction of society's political program was needed.

— Karl Popper

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