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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index P > Karl Raimund Popper Quotes > Knowledge

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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 Knowledge (5 quotes)

>> Click for 40 Science Quotes by Karl Raimund Popper

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

I think that we shall have to get accustomed to the idea that we must not look upon science as a 'body of knowledge,' but rather as a system of hypotheses; that is to say, as a system of guesses or anticipations which in principle cannot be justified, but with which we work as long as they stand up to tests, and of which we are never justified in saying that we know they are 'true' or 'more or less certain' or even 'probable.'
— Karl Raimund Popper
The Logic of Scientific Discovery (1959), 317.
Science quotes on:  |  Accustom (7)  |  Anticipation (11)  |  Certainty (97)  |  Guess (36)  |  Hypothesis (227)  |  Idea (440)  |  Justification (33)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Principle (228)  |  Probability (83)  |  Test (96)  |  Truth (750)

It is not his possession of knowledge, of irrefutable truth, that makes the man of science, but his persistent and recklessly critical quest for truth.
— Karl Raimund Popper
In The Logic of Scientific Discovery (1959, 1972), 281.
Science quotes on:  |  Critical (34)  |  Irrefutable (3)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Persistent (4)  |  Possession (37)  |  Quest (24)  |  Recklessly (2)  |  Truth (750)

Our knowledge can only be finite, while our ignorance must necessarily be infinite.
— Karl Raimund Popper
Essy, 'On the Sources of Knowledge and of Ignorance', in Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge (1962), 28.
Science quotes on:  |  Finite (22)  |  Ignorance (190)  |  Infinite (88)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Necessarily (13)

The growth of our knowledge is the result of a process closely resembling what Darwin called 'natural selection'; that is, the natural selection of hypotheses: our knowledge consists, at every moment, of those hypotheses which have shown their (comparative) fitness by surviving so far in their struggle for existence, a competitive struggle which eliminates those hypotheses which are unfit.
— Karl Raimund Popper
Objective Knowledge: An Evolutionary Approach (1971), 261. In Dean Keith Simonton, Origins of Genius: Darwinian Perspectives on Creativity (1999), 26.
Science quotes on:  |  Hypothesis (227)  |  Knowledge (1128)

The old scientific ideal of episteme of absolutely certain, demonstrable knowledge has proved to be an idol. The demand for scientific objectivity makes it inevitable that every scientific statement must remain tentative for ever. (1959)
— Karl Raimund Popper
The Logic of Scientific Discovery: Logik Der Forschung (2002), 280.
Science quotes on:  |  Certainty (97)  |  Proof (192)  |  Theory (582)


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
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