Factpinions Quote #6: Popper on Loaded Language

In a long footnote regarding various stages of society, Karl Popper offers the following digression on the use of the term “social breakdown”, which easily applies to many instances of loaded language:

“I may mention here that I do not like to speak of ‘social breakdown’ in a general way. I think that the term is much misused…. In general the term ‘social breakdown’ seems to me to convey very little more than that the observer does not like the course of the development he describes.”

– Karl Popper, The Open Society and its Enemies [1945], Ch. 10 note 6 [edited slightly for readability].


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