Unended Quest

Unended Quest

Unended Quest

Unended Quest

Synopsis

Unended Quest recounts the life of one of the 20th century's most influential thinkers. Popper looks at the ideas that influenced him most, in particular his early fascination with science and philosophy.

Excerpt

What to leave out and what to put in? That's the problem.

HUGH LOFTING, Doctor Dolittle's Zoo.

1.

OMNISCIENCE AND FALLIBILITY

When I was twenty I became apprenticed to an old master cabinetmaker in Vienna whose name was Adalbert Pösch, and I worked with him from 1922 to 1924, not long after the First World War. He looked exactly like Georges Clemenceau, but he was a very mild and kind man. After I had gained his confidence he would often, when we were alone in his workshop, give me the benefit of his inexhaustible store of knowledge. Once he told me that he had worked for many years on various models of a perpetual motion machine, adding musingly: “They say you can't make it; but once it's been made they'll talk different!” (“Da sag'n s' dass ma' so was net mach'n kann; aber wann amal eina ein's g'macht hat, dann wer'n s' schon anders red'n!”) A favourite practice of his was to ask me a historical question and to answer it himself when it turned out that I did not know the answer (although I, his pupil, was a University student-a fact of which he was very proud). “And do you know”, he would

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