However, he was quickly disillusioned with the doctrinaire character of the latter, and soon abandoned it entirely.
From this point on his reputation and stature as a philosopher of science and social thinker grew enormously, and he continued to write prolifically—a number of his works, particularly (1959), are now widely seen as pioneering classics in the field.
However, he combined a combative personality with a zeal for self-aggrandisement that did little to endear him to professional colleagues at a personal level.
One of the many remarkable features of Popper’s thought is the scope of his intellectual influence: he was lauded by Bertrand Russell, taught Imre Lakatos, Paul Feyerabend and the future billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros at the London School of Economics, numbered David Miller, Joseph Agassi, Alan Musgrave and Jeremy Shearmur amongst his research assistants there and had reciprocally beneficial friendships with the economist Friedrich Hayek and the art historian Ernst Gombrich.
Additionally, Peter Medawar, John Eccles and Hermann Bondi are amongst the distinguished scientists who have acknowledged their intellectual indebtedness to his work, the latter declaring that “There is no more to science than its method, and there is no more to its method than Popper has said.” Karl Raimund Popper was born on 28 July 1902 in Vienna, which at that time could make some claim to be the cultural epicentre of the western world.
He was ill-at-ease in the philosophical milieu of post-war Britain which was, as he saw it, fixated with trivial linguistic concerns dictated by Wittgenstein, whom he considered to be his nemesis.
Popper was a somewhat paradoxical man, whose theoretic commitment to the primacy of rational criticism was counterpointed by hostility towards anything that amounted to less than total acceptance of his own thought, and in Britain—as had been the case in Vienna—he became increasingly an isolated figure, though his ideas continued to inspire admiration.
The dominance of the critical spirit in Einstein, and its total absence in Marx, Freud and Adler, struck Popper as being of fundamental importance: the pioneers of psychoanalysis, he came to think, couched their theories in terms which made them amenable only to confirmation, while Einstein’s theory, crucially, had testable implications which, if false, would have falsified the theory itself.
Popper had a rather melancholic personality and took some time to settle on a career; he trained as a cabinetmaker, obtained a primary school teaching diploma in 1925 and qualified to teach mathematics and physics in secondary school in 1929.
In later years Popper came under philosophical criticism for his prescriptive approach to science and his emphasis on the logic of falsification.
This was superseded in the eyes of many by the socio-historical approach taken by Thomas Kuhn in (1962), who—in arguing for the incommensurability of rival scientific paradigms—reintroduced the idea that change in science is essentially dialectical and is dependent upon the establishment of consensus within communities of researchers. A number of biographical features may be identified as having a particular influence upon Popper’s thought.