Volume 62, 2018
Philosophy of Science
Science and Ethical Values in Karl Popper’s Works
Karl Popper believed that his critical rationalism was both a theory of knowledge and an attitude about human life, morality and democracy. Some doubt exists whether Popper managed profoundly to affect the disintegration in Modernity between the physical sciences and the science of reason, and therefore whether he was able to successfully and harmoniously integrate ethics with science. In order to see if Popper considers the intrinsic ethical value of science, or if his moral agnosticism prevents him from doing so, it is necessary to analyze first the fundamental moral creed of Karl Popper, summed up in the following way: “I may be wrong and you may be right, and by an effort, we may get nearer to the truth;” the role given to Ethics in the search for the truth, and that is expressed in the fundamental principles of fallibility, intellectual integrity and approximation to the truth; and finally the Popperian proposal of a new professional ethics for intellectuals, conceived of in a non-authoritative manner the ideas of truth, rationality, intellectual honesty and responsibility, based on twelve epistemological-ethical principles. Popper maintained throughout his life the conviction that scientific knowledge is one of the greatest achievements of human rationality, which allows one to understand something about the world and improve it.