The Logic of Scientific Discovery.

POPPER Karl R. (1959.)

£3000.00  [First Edition]

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Translated by the author. First edition in English. 8vo (235 x 160mm). 480 pp. Original grey cloth, spine lettered in gilt on a red cloth panel, dust jacket (jacket lightly edge worn, small closed tear to top edge of front panel, spine panel faintly toned, otherwise an excellent copy). London, Hutchinson.


POPPER (Karl R). Autograph Letter Signed ("K.R. Popper") to Lionel Charles Robbins.

2 pages 4to, London School of Economics and Political Science letter head, Houghton Street, Aldwych, London, 10 December 1958.

An important association copy, bringing together two stalwarts of the London School of Economics, with an ALS from the author to the British economist Lionel Charles Robbins (1898-1984), head of economics at the LSE, delightfully announcing: "I am sending you the first advance copy of The Logic of Scientific Discovery."

The pair were colleagues for over twenty years, with Popper first taking up a Readership at the LSE in 1945 before being appointed Professor of Logic and Scientific Method in 1949. Their relationship was principally professional, forming a strong inter-departmental alliance, fortified by their mutual friendship with Friedrich von Hayek. In a letter to Hayek on 20th October 1964, Popper wrote: "… I should also mention that, through your closeness to Lionel Robbins, I got to know him; and he is now my stand-by in the School, outside my department. He has been very good to me, and has helped me immensely, in many difficult situations at the school" (quoted in Shearmur & Turner, pp. 249f). They also had significant intellectual intersections, with Robbins playing a role in the development of two of Popper’s most important works, The Open Society and The Poverty of Historicism. For Popper, Robbins was "the uncrowned king of the LSE" (quoted in Dahrendorf, p. 422): "I loved and admired him, most of all for his moral and personal qualities – and as a teacher" (quoted in Howson, p. 7).

The ALS presented here is a testament to the closeness of their relationship, with Popper describing at length the reasons for not inscribing the book: "I was just about to inscribe this copy 'To Lionel Robbins, in sincere gratitude for his unflagging interest which has meant more to me than I can say' when it occurred to me that I may have used these words in a dedication to you before. They are so natural to me, and express so precisely what I feel, that it is not at all impossible that I have used them, or something very similar, before. For this reason, I did not dare to use them; but if I have not used them before, I should be grateful if you would permit me to inscribe them into this book at some other time." 

One of the most important philosophical works of the twentieth-century, with critical influence both within the philosophy of science and - a rare distinction - on the methods of practising scientists. Originally published in German in 1935 under the title Logik der Forschung, it was the first of Popper's books and addresses the problem that preoccupied the author throughout his life, that of distinguishing science from 'pseudo-science'. Popper's famous answer, refined in his subsequent writings, is that scientific theories are distinguished by their falsifiability; psychoanalysis, Marxist dialectical materialism, and transcendentalist metaphysics are not genuinely scientific, for there is no way of refuting them. 

Stock Code: 231072

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