While I was reading Popper I was also studying economic theory and I was struck by the contradiction between Popper’s emphasis on imperfect understanding and the theory of perfect competition in economics which postulated perfect knowledge. This led me to start questioning the assumptions of economic theory. These were the two major theoretical inspirations of my philosophy. It is also deeply rooted in my personal history.The FT has a whole website up with transcripts from each of his lectures, which are ongoing this week. It's little things like this that make my day.
For an earlier post on epistemlogical and ontological questions that offers one version of reflexivity, see here.
In reponse to Soros's proposal that we dichotomize the natural and social sciences, I have this to say: His misinterpretation of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle kills his proposal. In fact it is true of both natural and social scientific theories that our theories influence how reality evolves. It is true too that bad natural science may not have as catastrophic or immediate consequences for us as bad social science. But what we perceive depends in part on our theory of what exists, and those theories are not social. Soros's dichotomy is in fact a continuum.
To wit, from whence did Soros derive his understanding of positive and negative feedback loops? By analogy to the natural sciences. Our exploration of nature is the ultimate origin of all of our theories, bot natural and social.