The Open Society and Its Enemies

The Open Society and Its Enemies

V. 1, The Spell of Plato

Book - 1971
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In this series, Popper condemned Plato, Marx, and Hegel as "holists" and "historicists"-- a holist, according to Popper, believes that individuals are formed entirely by their social groups; historicists believe that social groups evolve according to internal principles that it is the intellectual's task to uncover. Popper, by contrast, held that social affairs are unpredictable, and argued vehemently against social engineering. He also sought to shift the focus of political philosophy away from questions about who ought to rule toward questions about how to minimize the damage done by the powerful. The book was an immediate sensation, and--though it has long been criticized for its portrayals of Plato, Marx, and Hegel -- it has remained a landmark on the left and right alike for its defense of freedom and the spirit of critical inquiry.
Publisher: Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, 1971, ©1966
Edition: 5th edition (revised)
Copyright Date: ©1966
ISBN: 9780691019680
Characteristics: xi, 361 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Spell of Plato


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