to his philosophy, which is, as a whole, often called "critical rationalism." Like physics and biology, the theory of rationality is largely neglected in the Schilppvolume, although one paper in it, A.E. Musgrave's "The Objectivism of Popper'sEpistemology," reports some of the discussion of rationality to which I have justreferred.Many years ago, Popper himself used to complain about disregard of theissues of rationality. As an example, he would cite the work of an American philosopher who had made an extended study of different "paths of life" without evenmentioning the rational way of life. Popper sees the rational way of life as consistingin (1) the quest for knowledge and truth, for "emancipation through knowledge," and"spiritual freedom";8 (2) the critical attitude that -- recognizing that any particular expression of the truth is fallible, limited, not final -- seeks undogmatically to subjectall attitudes, ideas, institutions, traditions, so-called knowledge and so-called spiritualfreedom, to critical examination and appraisal. 9 As Popper puts it: "Rationalists arethose people who are ready to challenge and to criticize everything, including . . .their own tradition."10 (3) The rational way of life thus also involves the willingnessto learn from others. Emphasizing how much we depend on others for knowledge,and the social character of language and reasonableness, Popper writes that "We mustrecognize everybody with whom we communicate as a potential source of argumentand of reasonable information," and take the attitude that "I may be wrong and youmay be right, and by an effort, we may get nearer to the truth." Thus is established the"rational unity of mankind." In a minor departure from Kant, the other person isrecognized as an end in himself in that he is a source of criticism and correction.Such talk may seem uncontroversial -- even insipid or needlessly hortatory. Itsinterest emerges as it is shown that virtually every traditional and contemporarywestern philosophy combines doctrines, assumptions, and practices that militateagainst such a way of life. For a brief preliminary example, take J. Bronowski'sstatement in
A Sense of the Future
(p. 4): "To listen to everyone, to silence no one;
tohonour and promote those who are right
; these have given science its power in our world and its humanity." The phrase I have italicized conflicts sharply with Popper'sapproach, and with his understanding of rationality.
III. Four Problems of Rationality