Author: Marcin Kilanowski
Year of publication: 2016
Source: Show
Pages: 53-67
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/kie.2016.01.03
PDF: kie/111/kie11103.pdf

All the time, we encounter social, political, or economic crises. Those crises were not and are not a sheer result of poorly designed and malfunctioning state institutions, supposed to control (or not) the sphere of individual activities. This is what we are presented with as their cause. This, however, is not a complete picture of the situation. Crises occur also due to inadequate stressing of the categories which have become central for our societies, as Karl Popper pinpoints. In The Open Society and Its Enemies, he claims that it is our attachment to thinking that there is a one history, progress, pursuit of power and glory, as measures of individual success in the hostile world, that contributes to the re­occurrence of crises and the violence that accompanies them. We live focused on abstract categories and interpretations detached from the everyday life experience. In consequence, we still have to struggle with the phenomenon of exploiting individuals, we still do not create opportunities for satisfying their needs and space for working out solutions which would aid us in tackling the emerging problems. As Popper preaches, if we want to break free from the limitations of our minds so as to act differently, as fully free, self­realized and responsible, we have to try to verify our beliefs, even if it turns out that we should abandon them. This essay is another attempt at presenting the crucial aspects of Popper’s thought that are particularly difficult to comprehend and accept: namely, that there is no history independent of our doing, there are only our descriptions; there is no progress; it is us that create history without even being aware of that.

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