Critical Rationalism
Overview
Notes on Critical Rationalism from a Metaphysical Positivist standpoint.
Descriptions of areas of agreement.
Descriptions of areas of disagreement.
Metaphysical Positivism is systematic constructive positivist philosophy. We present here sketches of Metaphysical Positivism together with some related historical material which might possibly help the reader come to an understanding of this system and its place in the history of ideas.
Introduction
First Thoughts

When I first thought it might be a good idea to say something about critical rationalism here, that first throught was to produce a comparison with Metaphysical Positivism, my own philosophical position.

My second thought was that I don't really know enough about critical rationalism to do a meaningful comparison. But that I might instead offer a few words on why I am not myself a critical rationalist, which reasons I could not truthfully represent as based on other than a superficial knowledge of critical rationalism.

Even this much, however, could not be done without a bit of digging into how critical rationalism is now presented, and my first impressions reading David Miller make me wonder whether it might be worth my while taking it a bit more seriously.

So, I have not yet made my mind up which of the two approaches to take. Perhaps both in turn!

Second Thoughts

I have for a long time thought that I should read a recent account of "Critical Rationalism", thinking mostly of Miller's defence. I almost bought it today, but I was distacted by a minor issue, that Amazon no longer themselves stock the book. There are plenty of copies available from the amazon marketplace, to this should not really have distracted me, but in checking the marketplace prices with prices elsewhere I came across an article on Critical Rationalism in Sorites by Armando Cintero. This is a discussion of the defence by Miller of Bartley's "pan-critical rationalism".

I did read some material by Bartley on his pancritical rationalism a while back, but somehow I lost it and have not been able to discover it recently. It struck me as \emph{rationalistic} in various ways which I deprecate.

That is, in the sense that it involves fielding "rational" arguments for or against propositions which are not logical (or analytic). This would not be quite so bad if it weren't that both critical rationalism and (I am guessing pancritical rationalism) are also labelled "deductivism" because they accept deductive but not inductive reasoning.

The material therefore seemed to show a lack of awareness of the limits of deduction, which for me was by itself a reason not to seriously consider critical rationalism or its neighbours as a serious philosophical system.

Though I still can't locate the Bartley material, I have an account of this kind of reasoning, to work from, which allows me to describe why I am not a critical or pancritical rationalist.

Agreements
Descriptions of areas of agreement.
The Open Society
My familiarity with Popper's writings is mainly confined to his volumes on the Open Society. I enjoyed these enormously, and am pretty enthusiastic about the idea of an Open Society. My own ideas in this area are not well worked out, but there are definite points of disagreement, for example in relation to utopian thinking.
The Problem of Induction
I agree with Popper in not thinking much of the idea of "inductive inference". However, I don't much care for Popper's alternative. I am inclined to consider empirical (but not deductive) science as hypothetical in perpetuity.
Deductivism

This seems to be used by some as an alternative to Critical Rationalism, naming Popper's philosophy.

The first name I chose for my own conception of analytic philosophy was "philosophical logicism" and this could be described as a kind of deductivism. However, it bears little resemblance to Critical Rationalism.

Disagreements
Descriptions of areas of disagreement.
The Problem of Demarcation
Metaphysical Positivism
Metaphysical Positivism is systematic constructive positivist philosophy. We present here sketches of Metaphysical Positivism together with some related historical material which might possibly help the reader come to an understanding of this system and its place in the history of ideas.
Materials on the history of philosophy which provide context for an understanding of Metaphysical Positivism.
In essence Metaphysical Positivism is a positivisitic philosophy with negative dogmas excised, with a positive attitude towards metaphysics, based around a method of logical analysis together with appropriate philosophical (including metaphysical) underpinnings.
The motivation.
Metaphysical Positivism is a positivistic philosophical system formulated for the twenty first century, building on a heritage going back at least as far as David Hume; cognisant of developments in logic and computer science which have taken place in the 20th Century, but turning away from some of the recent tendencies in analytic philosophy.

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