Karl R. Popper XX. yüzyılın önemli bir bilim felsefecisidir ve bu alandaki temel savı yanlışlamacılık kuramı olarak bilinmektedir. Fakat düşüncesinin bütün uzanımlarında kendini ele veren ve onun sistemini oluşturan ise esasında eleştirel akılcılık kuramıdır. Tarihsicilik eleştirisi de bunlarla sistematik bağlamda ilintili olarak toplum ve siyaset felsefesi konusundaki görüşlerini ihtiva etmektedir. Birey olarak insanı merkeze alan Popper’ın, tarihsicilik konusundaki düşüncelerini Platon, Aristoteles, Marx ve Hegel gibi büyük sistem kurucu düşünürler üzerinden somutlaştırdığı, bütüncü yapılara karşı birtakım eleştiriler getirdiği görülmektedir. Biz bu makalemizde Popper’ın tarihsicilik eleştirisini özellikle Platon, Aristoteles, Hegel ve Karx’la ilintili eleştirilerini ele alıp tartıştık.
ABSTRACT: Karl R. Popper is an important philosopher of science of 20th Century and is known in this field through his theory of falsification. But the critical theory of rationality is indeed his basic theory and it can be seen in his whole idea. Critique of historicism also contains his views on the social and political philosophy in a systematic context in relation to them. Popper embodied his views about the historicism through human-centered thoughts of philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Marx and Hegel who are effective system builders and he raised a number of criticism against the holistic structures. We discuss in this article Popper's critique of historicism, especially his critics related with Plato, Aristotle, Hegel and Marx.SUMMARY: Karl R. Popper is a multifaceted philosopher renowned for his studies in the areas of philosophy, methodology and epistemology of science and philosophy of politics. Initially being among the philosophers of Vienna Circle, Popper diverges from the thinkers of the Circle in terms of the problems he dealt with. The problem handled by the philosophers of the Vienna Circle was to analyze the meaning of theories and to reveal their linguistic properties; this is because they thought that they could illuminate the scientific structure in this way. While still treating the problem of scientific meaning as a subject of research, Popper, on the other hand, deals with the development of scientific knowledge as the main problem.In addition to philosophy of science, another area that Popper focused on was the philosophy of politics. It is in a way the area where his thoughts about methodology were applied; the fact that he led a relatively long life and that in this life he experienced the First and Second World Wars is mentioned among the main reasons for his interest in the philosophy of politics. Popper attempts to relate the problems of the 20th Century with Aristotle and Plato by going back Marx and Hegel; he views these philosophers as the enemies of the “open society” that he himself uses at the same time. Viewing all totalitarian systems as adversaries of the open society, Popper discusses his thoughts on this issue in his works titled The Open Society and Its Enemies and Poverty of Historicism. The first one deals with interpretation of the results of totalitarian regimes by a person who experienced these events; the second one is a work which expresses philosophical ideas of a thinker that determined today’s problems of philosophy and which handles the problem of methodology in social and empirical sciences; this work also serves as the source for this article of ours titled Karl Popper’s Critique on Historicism and has been an important reference for us whilst discussing the subject especially in terms of methodology.Historicism and historicity are two different concepts that are sometimes interchangeably used in Turkish and this usage often causes confusion; furthermore, there is also a difference between the uses of these two terms in German and English. To put it briefly, historicism refers to the view that the future should be formed with the past, while historicity refers to the view that the nature has a law and this law sustains its impact in every period of history.According to Popper, there are two kinds of modern historicism; the first is the philosophy of history of the right wing, racism or fascism, whereas the other one is the Marxist philosophy of history of the left wing. Both theories base their historical predictions on an interpretation that leads to exploration of the law of the development of history. Racism is viewed as a kind of natural law; the biological superiority of the blood of the selected race explains the past and future development line of history and this is nothing other than the struggle of races for superiority. According to Marx’s philosophy of history, on the other hand, law is financial and the entire history should be interpreted as a war between classes for economic superiority. Historicist does not realize that we select and arrange historical facts, but believes that history itself or the internal laws of human history determine our problems, future and even points of view. Historicism is after exploration of the way that should be trodden by the humanity as a requirement of its destiny; that is, it aims to find the meaning of history. Hegel claims that it is possible to do social engineering by formulating definitive laws for history. Sharing a view close to Weber that social laws continuously change on the bases of place and time and therefore long-term generalizations are not beneficial, Popper is of the opinion that history does not have an objective meaning as understood by Hegel.Popper asserts that scientific interest in social and political issues goes back as much as the interest entertained for cosmology and physical sciences, even that the social sciences at the time of Plato and Aristotle progressed faster than natural sciences, but that this state of affairs reversed with Galileo and Newton. Works of certain scientists wishing to change this trend such as Wilhelm Wundt’s establishment of the first psychology laboratory and similar methods followed by J. S. Mill in social sciences are among reformist movements in this direction. According to Popper, these initiatives are unsuccessful and the relevant scientists are responsible for this. Popper deals with this subject through two ways: pro-naturalist historicism in which the possibility of applicability of physic methods to social sciences; and anti-naturalist historicism which objects to the applicability of these methods to social sciences.Taking an individual as the basis, Popper objects to generalizations and holistic inferences not only in the area of science but also in all his other discussions and views holistic approach as utopianism; as an alternative, he recommends a method that he calls fragmentary. Thinking of historicism as pro-naturalism and anti-naturalism and attempting both to base them on strong arguments and to criticize at the same time, Popper views Plato as a fascist in terms of his attempt to arrive at a model from analysis of the concept of nature and Marx as a utopist from the thought of finding the laws of history and nature. However, it is very clear that he is doing the very thing that criticizes; this is clearly exemplified through his attempt to read the ontology and epistemology of nearly all great leaders of thought, Plato and Aristotle over the historicism that he defines by focusing on them in terms of their political discourse. It is understood that his reading of Plato, Aristotle, Hegel and Marx in terms of political thought and defining them as anti-democracy is an example of holism; this is a little utopic and even anachronic reading. Popper’s passion for democracy can be justified, but it does not appear to be very realistic to show especially Plato and others that he calls historicist as supporters of the idea of a closed society in order to situate them in the system that he designed. Notwithstanding the foregoing, it should be granted that Popper’s readings with a historicist basis is a partisan polemic and is successful, as expressed by Mete Tuncay. Popper’s most important legacy is obviously the fact that he taught that criticism contributes to a thought much more than defense.
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