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Karl Popper came of age in the aftermath of the World War I He left school at sixteen and soon found himself captivated with Marxism and its social implications He turned away from Marxism however when he saw the destruction caused by left-wing demonstrators in Vienna which led to the deaths of some of the protestors He was a man of many studies becoming interested not only in Marxist theories but in astronomy and psychoanalysis working for a time with the eminent psychologist Alfred Adler A major turning point in his life was Arthur Eddingtons successful test of Albert Einsteins general theory of relativity He saw how Einstein had been critical of his own theory constantly trying to pick holes in order to disprove or as Popper saw it improve it This contrasted sharply with the attitude of Marxists and Psychoanalysiss who it seemed to Popper created theories and then re-interpreted them to suit any given situation This first encounter with empirical evidence and its foundation for the proving of theories would lead him to his eventual way of thinking about falsification theory Popper was profoundly impressed by the differences between the allegedly scientific theories of Freud and Adler and the revolution effected by Einsteins theory of relativity in physics in the first two decades of this century The main difference between them as Popper saw it was that while Einsteins theory was highly risky in the sense that it was possible to deduce consequences from it which were in the light of the then dominant Newtonian physics highly improbable and which would if they turned out to be false falsify the whole theory nothing could even in principle falsify psychoanalytic theories Thornton 1997 Popper himself gave an insight into his thinking about psychoanalysis in his paper Science as Falsification when he wrote about the example of a man who pushes a child into the water with the intention of drowning it and
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