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From the open society to the closed society: reconsidering Popper on natural and social science

Esfeld, Michael (2022) From the open society to the closed society: reconsidering Popper on natural and social science. [Preprint]

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Abstract

The paper points out the relevance of Popper’s seminal work on The open society and its enemies for the current situation of the handling of the corona crisis. It shows how studies that were employed to justify coercive policies committed two well-known mistakes that were pointed out notably by Popper: (i) they promoted as actual predictions model simulations that set initial parameters in such a way that pessimistic outcomes are produced; (ii) they applied methods of natural science to social science without paying heed to the fact that humans spontaneously adapt their behaviour to new information they receive. The paper then argues, following Popper, that there is no knowledge that enables social engineering with the aim of realizing one particular value such as health protection. The paper concludes with a suggestion how to deal with negative externalities that is based on human freedom.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Esfeld, Michaelmichael.esfeld@unil.ch
Keywords: Corona crisis, closed society, human rights, negative externalities, Popper, open society, social engineering
Subjects: General Issues > Philosophers of Science
General Issues > Science and Society
Depositing User: Michael Esfeld
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2022 03:44
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2022 03:44
Item ID: 20246
Subjects: General Issues > Philosophers of Science
General Issues > Science and Society
Date: 24 February 2022
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/20246

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