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Popper's faith in Reason

I initially wrote the following in a private discussion forum a couple of years ago. I've removed the names and other things to respect privacy. I thought I had gotten Popper out of my system, but alas, I've been revisiting Popper's OSE lately which prompted me to repost this.   In the   Open Society and Its Enemies,   Popper introduces a section, Chapter 5, on Nature and Convention. (pg 55) Natural Laws vs Normative Laws Popper states that it is important to understand the distinction between (a)  natural laws , like the laws of physics, planetary motions, and (b)  Normative Laws , A law in sense (a)—a natural law —is describing a strict, unvarying regularity which either in fact holds in nature (in this case, the law is a true statement) or does not hold (in this case it is false). If we do not know whether a law of nature is true or false, and if we wish to draw attention to our uncertainty, we often call it an ‘hypothesis’. A law of nature is unalterable; there are no e
Recent posts

Libertarianism is Illiberal - Why I am not a Libertarian series

  AKA, Libertarianism has already been tried, it was called Feudalism. This post is part 2 of what I am calling the "Why I am not a Libertarian" series. Part 1 is located  here .  In this post, I am going to argue that libertarianism is not a liberal view. Although the differences between libertarianism and liberalism appear subtle, they are indeed so significant that I feel that the adoption of libertarianism would lead to the undoing of the open society. This is because libertarianism has more in common with feudalism than it does with liberalism. These are bold claims that require explanation. I think the best explanation I have found is in the essay "Illiberal Libertarians: Why Libertarianism Is Not a Liberal View" by Samuel Freeman. The essay can be found HERE . I will follow the essay closely with a few thoughts on my own, but Freeman's essay is worth reading in full.  Like Freeman, I will not be focusing on philosophical liberalism but on liberal institut

Why I am not a Libertarian Series - 1 - The NAP is useless

  It seems most people I interact with online are Libertarians of one form of another. I should begin by stating that I don't reject Libertarianism wholesale, and I will in fact find myself agreeing with many policies they advocate.   With that being said I have often come across weak arguments in defense of Libertarianism and I want to go through some of them. My goal is mostly to clarify to myself why I find Libertarianism unconvincing, to the best of my ability. The plan is to write a few of these short essays explaining things I disagree about Libertarianism or aspects I find unconvincing. I want to start with the Non-Aggression Principle which is something many Libertarians appear to advocate. Some call it the non-coercion principle or some other names I can't think of now. The idea is simple enough and on the initial pass, it seems almost convincing. It really comes down to the idea that the use of force should only be done in a "defensive" manner, and never ini

Popper's "Knowledge without Authority"

  I posted this small summary in a Discord server I participate in. Copying it here, all the excerpts were taken from Karl Popper's "Knowledge Without Authority" 1960. Bold emphasis was added by me. --- Knowledge without Authority (1960) by Karl Popper is one of the most interesting and influential essays. In this lecture, Popper begins by criticizing Empiricism, but more importantly a criticism of "authorities" of knowledge. The problem of the validity of empiricism may be roughly put as follows: is observation the ultimate source of our knowledge of nature? And if not, what are the sources of our knowledge? ... The problem of the source of our knowledge has recently been restated as follows. If we make an assertion, we must justify it; but this means that we must be able to answer the following questions. 'How do you know? What are the sources of your assertion?’ This, the empiricist holds, amounts in its turn to the question, ‘ What observations (or m