THE NOTION OF PROGRESS IN KARL POPPER'S PHILOSOPHY: A VIABLE BENCHMARK FOR EVALUATING DEMOCRACY IN NIGERIA
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Keywords

Falsification, Fallibilism, Critical Rationalism, Development, Democracy, Liberal

Abstract

Progress in Karl Popper's philosophy is a problem-solving approach that dwells on criticism as a means of heralding the new based on the dissatisfaction with the old that the critical approach is capable of exposing. In his philosophical reflection, Popper presented a model of progressive political society based on the evidential progress in science by the transposition of scientific principle to political philosophy. His perceived principles of science open a closed society from its undemocratic patterns of operations that is retrogressive to an open society with a pattern of operations that are progressive. Karl Popper's notion of progress is a potent tool for evaluating progress in a democratic setting. The bulk of this essay would be devoted to analyzing the components of Popper's notion of progress and these components shall be used to evaluate certain components of democratic practices in Nigeria. If Nigeria's practice of democracy is in accordance with the ideal inherent in Popper's notion of progress, a multidimensional giant stride would have been made in Nigeria's practice of democracy. By a means of analytical research method, this essay examines the Nigerian experience of democracy but focuses on applying the components of the notion of progress in Popper's philosophy to Nigeria's practice of democracy. The thesis of this essay is that adherence to Popper's idea of progress can set the approach and practice of democracy in Nigeria on a much more progressive line. Based on the argument of this thesis, we shall recognize that Popper's view may be lacking in certain ideological balance to have equated close society with retrogression, despite its drawbacks its capacity to progress is undisputable.

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