Rombomb What is another definition of historicism?
I don't know why you're calling that historicism. But that's fine, so lets call what Popper refuted Hism. (See below for more on this.)Londoner wrote: That events can be best understood by reference to the specific culture in which they occured, rather than as the result of some universally operating force...or just chance.
To put it very crudely, the French Revolution can best be understood by looking at the details of French society at the time, rather than as part of some law of inevitable human progression towards popular governments, (or as a chaotic spin-off from King Louis having had indigestion one night)
It is a considerable jump to go from this modest approach to understanding history to insisting:
Because the evidence could be consistent with an infinite number of logically-possible theories. So if the evidence doesn't single out one theory that it supports, then that means that "support" is meaningless.
No. Evidence rules out theories, leaving some untouched.Londoner wrote: [That] applies equally to every theory.
Right, no *single* piece of evidence will 'single out one theory that it supports'.Londoner wrote: If we are never ever going to be able to find evidence that will 'single out one theory that it supports'
No, we can use evidence and criticism to rule out all rival known theories.Londoner wrote: then in all discussions we are just going to have to settle for evidence that will 'support' a theory. You can call it 'meaningless', but it is all we are going to get!
So I think I'm with Taylor on this one. If we disregarded every approach that failed to irrefutably explain life, history, the universe etc. then we might as well give up the thinking business altogether.
Wait, why did you say 'irrefutably'? I didn't say that. You're created a straw man.
I didn't say that about historicism. I said that about evidence in general.Londoner wrote: You said of historicism 'the evidence could be consistent with an infinite number of logically-possible theories'.
I thought you were saying that I'm advocating that we can have irrefutable evidence (or was it theories), I'm not sure. Anyway now I see that I misunderstood you.Londoner wrote: I responded that the same was true of any theory, that we cannot prove any approach 'irrefutably', since we can never have all the evidence and for other reasons. You replied to each of my points (philosophical truisms) 'So you agree with me'. So I don't see how this misrepresents you!
What evidence of historicism?Londoner wrote: So once again, I do not see why you dismiss the evidence for 'historicism' as 'meaningless' just because it cannot pass what (I think) we agree is the impossible test of being conclusive.
Note that by historicism, Popper talked about the version that he addressed, not the version that you mentioned. If you want, lets call Popper's historicim as Hism. Its Hism that he refuted, not the version of Historicism that you explained.
Hism is what Marx did. Marx, using the "laws" that he created, predicted that society will revolt against the rich and capitalism will fall. He used Hism as his logic. And Hism is false logic. It ignores the fact that people' decisions are affected by their ideas, and that in the future, we have *new* ideas. So creating laws from observation of past decisions and thinking that these laws will hold true in the future, is nonsensical because we can't predict the growth of knowledge.