Putting Popper to Work

Maarten Derksen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
320 Downloads (Pure)


In response to what are seen as fundamental problems in Psychology, a reform movement has emerged that finds inspiration in philosophy of science, the work of Karl Popper in particular. The reformers attempt to put Popper into practice and create a discipline based on the principles of critical rationalism. In this article I describe the concrete sociotechnical practices by which the reformers attempt to realise their ideals, and I argue that they go a long way towards bridging the gap between rules and practice that sociologists of science Mulkay and Gilbert had identified in their study of the role of Popper’s philosophy in the work of scientists. Second, I note the considerable resistance that the reformers meet and the disruptive force of their work. I argue that this disruption is productive and raises fundamental questions regarding psychology and its object of study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-465
Number of pages17
JournalTheory & Psychology
Issue number4
Early online date2-Apr-2019
Publication statusPublished - Aug-2019



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