Popper quote checking

Previously I have checked quotes from “Ayn Rand Answers” by Robert Mayhew. In this post I’m checking quotes from Karl Popper’s book The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume II (OSE).

The first quote is the motto of the volume:

To the debacle of liberal science can be traced the moral schism of the modern world which so tragically divides enlightened men. 

—WALTER LIPPMANN.

The original quote can be found in The Good Society Chapter XI, Section 1:

To the debacle of liberal science can be traced the moral schism of the modern world which so tragically divides enlightened men.

This quote is accurate.

The next quote comes from Chapter 11, Section II of OSE:

The chief danger to our philosophy, apart from laziness and woolliness, is scholasticism, .. which is treating what is vague as if it were precise. 

The original quote can be found in Philosophical Papers by F. P. Ramsey, edited by D H Mellor, Chapter 1:

The chief danger to our philosophy, apart from laziness and woolliness, is scholasticism, the essence of which is treating what is vague as if it were precise and trying to fit it into an exact logical category.

Popper has omitted the end of the sentence and put a full stop at the end but the quote is correct otherwise.

In Chapter 11, Section II of OSE Popper writes the following quote from Plato To-Day by R. H. S. Grossman:

‘… if we do not know precisely the meanings of the words we use, we cannot discuss anything profitably. Most of the futile arguments on which we all waste time are largely due to the fact that we each have our own vague meanings for the words we use and assume that our opponents are using them in the same senses. If we defined our terms to start with we could have far more profitable discussions. Again, we have only to read the daily papers to observe that propaganda (the modern counterpart of rhetoric) depends largely for its success on confusing the meaning of the terms. If politicians were compelled by law to define any term they wished to use, they would lose most of their popular appeal, their speeches would be shorter, and many of their disagreements would be found to be purely verbal.’

The original quote reads:

This method of analysts — the attempt to define precisely the meanings of common words— is the great contribution of Socrates to modem philosophy, for if we do not know precisely the meanings of the words we use, we cannot discuss anything profitably Most of the futile arguments on which we all waste time are largely due to the fact that we each have our own vague meanings for the words we use and assume that our opponents are using them in the same senses If we defined our terms to start with, we could have far more profitable discussions Again, we have only to read the daily papers to observe that propaganda (the modem counterpart of rhetoric) depends largely for its success on confusing the meaning of the terms If politicians were compelled by law to define any term they wished to use, they would lose most of their popular appeal, their speeches would be shorter, and many of their disagreements would be found to be purely verbal.

This quote is also accurate.

Popper quotes accurately in these examples.

About conjecturesandrefutations
My name is Alan Forrester. I am interested in science and philosophy: especially David Deutsch, Ayn Rand, Karl Popper and William Godwin.

One Response to Popper quote checking

  1. Pingback: Checking Szasz quotes | Conjectures and Refutations

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