Showing posts from December, 2020

More's a Poppering: Psychohistory and Psychologism

  ‘It is not the consciousness of man that determines his existence—rather, it is his social existence that determines his consciousness.’ Popper, Karl R.. The Open Society and Its Enemies (Princeton Classics) . Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition.  I am back to Popper after a long literary diversion.  By contrast with his disdain for Hegel, Popper clearly feels some affinity for Marx, whom he seems to regard as a good scientist brought down by the unfortunate disease of historicism - the belief that history unfolded by ineluctable laws as inevitable as the motions of the planets.  One thing he likes about Marx is his insistence on the autonomy of sociology as in the epigram quoted above.  He contrasts this with J. S. Mill's notion that society is a product of human nature and psychology - psychologism to Popper. For Popper, Mill too is a victim to "historicism" in Popper's view. Popper devotes a chapter to the conflict, but to me it is bogus one.  Ir seems o


Notes from Caste , by Isabel Wilkerson After Obama's victory in 2012, optimists predicted a new era of post-racialism in the US.  That turned out to be wishful thinking.  When Lyndon Johnson passed the Civil Rights legislation of the 1960's, he predicted that Democrats had lost the South for a generation.  Well, it is two and a half generations and counting.  Not since Lyndon Johnson has any Democratic Presidential Candidate received a majority of the white vote. The passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments after the Civil War outlawed slavery and granted the vote to Black American men, but the end of Reconstruction and the return to power of Southern whites brought Jim Crow and American Caste system, analogous in its principles and effects to the caste system of India in systematically creating rigid barriers between black and white, depriving Blacks of the vote, and consigning them to menial and poorly paid jobs. Wilkerson argues that little in the US, and almost nothin