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Journal of Philosophical Research

Volume 24, 1999

Struan Jacobs
Pages 445-457

Thoughts on Political Sources of Karl Popper’s Philosophy of Science

How did Karl Popper arrive at his theory of science? Popper believed that Einstein’s general theory of relativity and his attitudes of modesty and self-criticism were all important. This paper challenges details in Popper’s account and suggests an alternative interpretation of the formation of his theory. It is held that his disillusionment with Marxism predated and conditioned his understanding of Einstein, and that the liberalism of J. S. Mill may have exercised an influence . Political ideas and practice paved the way for Popper’s philosophy of science.

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