Ethics of science


The principles that form the basis of every rational discussion, that is, of every discussion undertaken in the search for truth, are in the main ethical principles. I should like to state three such principles.

  1. The principle of fallibility: perhaps I am wrong and perhaps you are right. But we could easily both be wrong.
  2. The principle of rational discussion: we want to try, as impersonally as possible, to weight up our reasons for and against a theory; a theory that is definite and criticizable.
  3. The principle of approximation to the truth: we can nearly always come closer to the truth in a discussion which avoids personal attacks. It can help us to achieve a better understanding; even in those cases where we do not reach an agreement.

It is worth noting that these three principles are both epistemological and ethical principles. For they imply, among other things, toleration: if I hope to learn from you, and if I want to learn in the interest of truth, then I have not only to tolerate you but also to recognize you as a potential equal; the potential unity and willingness to discuss matters rationally. Of importance also is the principle that we can learn much from a discussion, even when it does not lead to agreement: a discussion can help us by shedding light upon some of our errors.

Thus ethical principles form the basis of science. The idea of truth as the fundamental regulative principle – the principle that guides our search – can be regarded as an ethical principle. The search for truth and the idea of approximation to the truth are also ethical principles; as are the ideas of intellectual integrity and of fallibility, which lead us to a self-critical attitude and to toleration.

Karl Popper, ‘In Search of a Better World’.


The ethics of War
The ethics of Plutocracy
The ethics of Capitalists
The ethics of hypocrites
The ethics of the Democratic Party

I would love if these principles were acted upon here.

I try, sometimes i fail …

The ethics of trolls

That’s kind of mean, but it was also funny.

Returning the energy . The ethics of grumpy old men

The ethics of vague posting