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The Open Universe

An Argument for Indeterminism
(From the Postscript to the Logic of Scientific Discovery)

‘My central problem is to examine the validity of the arguments in favour of what I call “scientific” determinism; that is to say, the doctrine that the structure of the world is such that any event can be rationally predicted, with any degree of precision, if we are given a sufficiently precise description of past events, together with all the laws of nature.' Karl Popper

The Open Universe is one of the three volumes of Karl Popper’s Postscript to the Logic of Scientific Discovery. The Postscript is the culmination of Popper’s work in the philosophy of physics and a now famous attack on subjectivist approaches to scientific knowledge.

The Open Universe contains the centrepiece of the argument of the Postscript. The volume emphasizes the freedom creativity, and rationality of humankind, and calls for a new understanding of the history of physics over the past century. Popper argues that classical physics does not presuppose determinism any more than quantum physics does. The Open Universe presents Popper’s classic statement on indeterminism and offers important insight into his thinking on problems of method within physics and science as a whole.

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Open Universe