eccentric™对《The Poverty of Historicism》的笔记(4)

The Poverty of Historicism
  • 书名: The Poverty of Historicism
  • 作者: Karl Popper
  • 页数: 176
  • 出版社: Routledge
  • 出版年: 2002-2-21
  • 第45页
    Similar considerations play a part even in physics, where every observation is based on an exchange of energy between the observer and the observed; this leads to the uncertainty, usually negligible, of physical predictions, which is described by the ‘principle of indeterminacy’. It is possible to maintain that this uncertainty is due to an interaction between the observed object and the observing subject since both belong to the same physical world of action and interaction. As Bohr has pointed out, there are analogies in other sciences to this situation in physics, especially in biology and psychology. 
    2013-07-19 19:05:30 回应
  • 第86页
    It will be shown in the discussion of its pro-naturalistic doctrines that historicism is inclined to stress the importance of prediction as one of the tasks of science. (In this respect, I quite agree with it, even though I do not believe that historical prophecy is one of the tasks of the social sciences.) Yet historicism argues that social prediction must be very difficult, not only on account of the complexity of social structures, but also on account of a peculiar complexity arising from the interconnection between predictions and the predicted events.
    2013-07-19 19:06:40 回应
  • 第121页
    The idea that a prediction may have influence upon the predicted event is a very old one. Oedipus, in the legend, killed his father whom he had never seen before; and this was the direct result of the prophecy which had caused his father to abandon him. This is why I suggest the name ‘Oedipus effect”for the influence of the prediction upon the predicted event (or, more generally, for the influence of an item of information upon the situation to which the information refers), whether this influence tends to bring about the predicted event, or whether it tends to prevent it.
    2013-07-19 19:07:59 回应
  • 第89页
    but there still remains a tremendous difference between the statistical methods of the social sciences and the quantitative-mathematical methods of physics. The social sciences know nothing that can be compared to the mathematically formulated causal laws of physics.
    To sum up the historicist argument against quantitative-mathematical methods, it is the sociologist’s task to give a causal explanation of the changes undergone, in the course of history, by such social entities as, for instance, states, or economic systems, or forms of government. As there is no known way of expressing in quantitative terms the qualities of these entities, no quantitative laws can be formulated. Thus, the causal laws of the social sciences, supposing that there are any, must differ widely in character from those of physics, being qualitative rather than quantitative and mathematical. If sociological laws determine the degree of anything, they will do so only in very vague terms, and will permit, at the best, a very rough scaling.
    2013-08-18 02:04:52 回应