Wittgenstein & het logisch empiricisme. Een gespannen verhouding

Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte 115 (2):180-195 (2023)
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Wittgenstein & logical empiricism Rudolf Carnap and Ludwig Wittgenstein share many philosophical interests: an admiration of Frege’s formal logic, an anti-metaphysical stance and a modernist aesthetic aimed at removing superficial elements from discourse or thought. Despite their shared interests, Carnap and Wittgenstein ended their interaction in a plagiarism dispute. In this essay, I discuss which metaphilosophical reasons lie behind their dispute. I argue that Wittgenstein’s overarching philosophical project stood in direct conflict with Carnap’s. First, Wittgenstein never accepted that there are meaningful sentences about the language of science. Thus, there could be no meaningful reflection on science, and this nullified Carnap’s Logic of Science project. Second, Wittgenstein had an overall disdain for Carnap’s desire, as displayed in the Manifesto and the Aufbau, to reform philosophical activity as a part of science itself in tandem with a general reform of the place science in society.



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Fons Dewulf
Tilburg University

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