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The Open Society and Its Enemies: New One-Volume Edition by Karl Popper, ISBN-13: 978-0691158136

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The Open Society and Its Enemies: New One-Volume Edition by Karl Popper, ISBN-13: 978-0691158136

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  • Publisher: ‎ Princeton University Press; New edition (April 21, 2013)
  • Language: ‎ English
  • 808 pages
  • ISBN-10: ‎ 0691158134
  • ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0691158136

One of the most important books of the twentieth century, Karl Popper’s The Open Society and Its Enemies is an uncompromising defense of liberal democracy and a powerful attack on the intellectual origins of totalitarianism. Popper was born in 1902 to a Viennese family of Jewish origin. He taught in Austria until 1937, when he emigrated to New Zealand in anticipation of the Nazi annexation of Austria the following year, and he settled in England in 1949. Before the annexation, Popper had written mainly about the philosophy of science, but from 1938 until the end of the Second World War he focused his energies on political philosophy, seeking to diagnose the intellectual origins of German and Soviet totalitarianism. The Open Society and Its Enemies was the result.

An immediate sensation when it was first published in two volumes in 1945, Popper’s monumental achievement has attained legendary status on both the Left and Right and is credited with inspiring anticommunist dissidents during the Cold War. Arguing that the spirit of free, critical inquiry that governs scientific investigation should also apply to politics, Popper traces the roots of an opposite, authoritarian tendency to a tradition represented by Plato, Marx, and Hegel.

In a substantial new introduction written for this edition, acclaimed political philosopher Alan Ryan puts Popper’s landmark work in biographical, intellectual, and historical context. Also included is a personal essay by eminent art historian E. H. Gombrich, in which he recounts the story of the book’s eventual publication despite numerous rejections and wartime deprivations.

Table of Contents:

INTRODUCTION BY ALAN RYAN ix

‘PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS OF THE PUBLICATION OF THE OPEN SOCIETY ‘

BY E.H. GOMBRICH xxiii

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS xxxv

PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION xxxvii

PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION xxxix

AUTHOR’S INTRODUCTION xli

VOLUME I: THE SPELL OF PLATO 1

The Myth of Origin and Destiny 5

1 Historicism and the Myth of Destiny 7

2 Heraclitus 10

3 Plato’s Theory of Forms or Ideas 17

Plato’s Descriptive Sociology 33

4 Change and Rest 35

5 Nature and Convention 55

Plato’s Political Programme 81

6 Totalitarian Justice 83

7 The Principle of Leadership 114

8 The Philosopher King 130

9 Aestheticism, Perfectionism, Utopianism 147

The Background of Plato’s Attack 159

10 The Open Society and Its Enemies 161

Addenda (1957, 1961, 1965) 190

VOLUME II: THE HIGH TIDE OF PROPHECY 213

The Rise of Oracular Philosophy 217

11 The Aristotelian Roots of Hegelianism 219

12 Hegel and the New Tribalism 242

Marx’s Method 291

13 Marx’s Sociological Determinism 293

14 The Autonomy of Sociology 301

15 Economic Historicism 311

16 The Classes 321

17 The Legal and the Social System 327

Marx’s Prophecy 343

18 The Coming of Socialism 345

19 The Social Revolution 355

20 Capitalism and Its Fate 373

21 An Evaluation of the Prophecy 397

Marx’s Ethics 403

22 The Moral Theory of Historicism 405

The Aftermath 417

23 The Sociology of Knowledge 419

24 Oracular Philosophy and the Revolt against Reason 430

Conclusion 463

25 Has History Any Meaning? 465

Addenda (1961, 1965) 485

NOTES 512

NOTES TO VOLUME I 514

NOTES TO VOLUME II 640

INDEX 735

Karl Popper (1902-1994) was one of the most important philosophers of the twentieth century. His books include The Logic of Scientific Discovery, The Poverty of Historicism, Conjectures and Refutations, The Open Society and Its Enemies and an autobiography, Unended Quest. He was a professor at the London School of Economics.

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