Celebrating 18 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “I believe that this Nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index P > Karl Raimund Popper Quotes > Criticism

Thumbnail of Karl Raimund Popper (source)
Karl Raimund Popper
(28 Jul 1902 - 17 Sep 1994)

Austrian-British philosopher of science remembered for his writings on theory of scientific method.


Karl Raimund Popper Quotes on Criticism (8 quotes)

>> Click for 40 Science Quotes by Karl Raimund Popper

>> Click for Karl Raimund Popper Quotes on | Falsification | Idea | Knowledge | Refutation | Science | Scientific Method | Test | Theory | Truth |

'Normal' science, in Kuhn's sense, exists. It is the activity of the non-revolutionary, or more precisely, the not-too-critical professional: of the science student who accepts the ruling dogma of the day... in my view the 'normal' scientist, as Kuhn describes him, is a person one ought to be sorry for... He has been taught in a dogmatic spirit: he is a victim of indoctrination... I can only say that I see a very great danger in it and in the possibility of its becoming normal... a danger to science and, indeed, to our civilization. And this shows why I regard Kuhn's emphasis on the existence of this kind of science as so important.
— Karl Raimund Popper
'Normal Science and its Dangers', in I. Lakatos and A. Musgrave (eds.), Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge (1970), 52-3.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (97)  |  Civilization (155)  |  Criticism (52)  |  Danger (62)  |  Description (72)  |  Dogmatism (9)  |  Emphasis (14)  |  Existence (254)  |  Importance (183)  |  Indoctrination (2)  |  Kind (99)  |  Thomas S. Kuhn (21)  |  Normal (21)  |  Person (114)  |  Possibility (96)  |  Precisely (11)  |  Professional (27)  |  Revolutionary (14)  |  Sense (240)  |  Sorry (16)  |  Spirit (113)  |  Victim (8)

A system such as classical mechanics may be ‘scientific’ to any degree you like; but those who uphold it dogmatically — believing, perhaps, that it is their business to defend such a successful system against criticism as long as it is not conclusively disproved — are adopting the very reverse of that critical attitude which in my view is the proper one for the scientist.
— Karl Raimund Popper
In The Logic of Scientific Discovery (1959, reprint 2002), 28.
Science quotes on:  |  Proof (192)  |  Scientific Method (155)

Almost everyone... seems to be quite sure that the differences between the methodologies of history and of the natural sciences are vast. For, we are assured, it is well known that in the natural sciences we start from observation and proceed by induction to theory. And is it not obvious that in history we proceed very differently? Yes, I agree that we proceed very differently. But we do so in the natural sciences as well.
In both we start from myths—from traditional prejudices, beset with error—and from these we proceed by criticism: by the critical elimination of errors. In both the role of evidence is, in the main, to correct our mistakes, our prejudices, our tentative theories—that is, to play a part in the critical discussion, in the elimination of error. By correcting our mistakes, we raise new problems. And in order to solve these problems, we invent conjectures, that is, tentative theories, which we submit to critical discussion, directed towards the elimination of error.
— Karl Raimund Popper
The Myth of the Framework: In Defence of Science and Rationality (1993), 140.
Science quotes on:  |  Conjecture (22)  |  Correction (28)  |  Criticism (52)  |  Difference (208)  |  Discussion (37)  |  Elimination (17)  |  Error (230)  |  Everyone (20)  |  Evidence (157)  |  History (302)  |  Induction (45)  |  Methodology (8)  |  Mistake (107)  |  Myth (43)  |  Natural Science (62)  |  Observation (418)  |  Prejudice (58)  |  Problem (362)  |  Theory (582)  |  Tradition (43)

My thesis is that what we call 'science' is differentiated from the older myths not by being something distinct from a myth, but by being accompanied by a second-order tradition—that of critically discussing the myth. … In a certain sense, science is myth-making just as religion is.
— Karl Raimund Popper
Conjectures and Refutations: the Growth of Scientific Knowledge (2002), 170-171.
Science quotes on:  |  Criticism (52)  |  Differentiation (17)  |  Myth (43)  |  Science And Religion (267)  |  Thesis (10)

Propose theories which can be criticized. Think about possible decisive falsifying experiments—crucial experiments. But do not give up your theories too easily—not, at any rate, before you have critically examined your criticism.
— Karl Raimund Popper
'The Problem of Demarcation' (1974). Collected in David Miller (ed.) Popper Selections (1985), 126-127.
Science quotes on:  |  Criticism (52)  |  Decisive (9)  |  Ease (29)  |  Examination (60)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Falsification (7)  |  Proposition (47)  |  Theory (582)  |  Thinking (222)

The history of science, like the history of all human ideas, is a history of irresponsible dreams, of obstinacy, and of error. But science is one of the very few human activities—perhaps the only one—in which errors are systematically criticized and fairly often, in time, corrected. This is why we can say that, in science, we often learn from our mistakes, and why we can speak clearly and sensibly about making progress there. In most other fields of human endeavour there is change, but rarely progress ... And in most fields we do not even know how to evaluate change.
— Karl Raimund Popper
From Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge (1963), 216. Reproduced in Karl Popper, Truth, Rationality and the Growth of Scientific Knowledge (1979), 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (97)  |  Clarity (31)  |  Correction (28)  |  Criticism (52)  |  Dream (92)  |  Error (230)  |  History (302)  |  History Of Science (53)  |  Human (445)  |  Idea (440)  |  Irresponsibility (4)  |  Learning (174)  |  Mistake (107)  |  Obstinacy (3)  |  Progress (317)  |  Sense (240)  |  Speaking (38)  |  Systematically (6)

The scientific tradition is distinguished from the pre-scientific tradition by having two layers. Like the latter, it passes on its theories; but it also passes on a critical attitude towards them.
— Karl Raimund Popper
Conjectures and Refutations: the Growth of Scientific Knowledge (2002), 66.
Science quotes on:  |  Attitude (47)  |  Criticism (52)  |  Distinguish (32)  |  Layer (14)  |  Pre-Scientific (2)  |  Science (1699)  |  Tradition (43)

Thus science must begin with myths, and with the criticism of myths; neither with the collection of observations, nor with the invention of experiments, but with the critical discussion of myths, and of magical techniques and practices.
— Karl Raimund Popper
In Conjectures and Refutations: the Growth of Scientific Knowledge (1963, 2002), 66.
Science quotes on:  |  Criticism (52)  |  Myth (43)  |  Science (1699)


See also:
  • 28 Jul - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Popper's birth.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Quotations by: • Albert Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton



who invites your feedback
Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.