The Left Vienna Circle, Part 2. The Left Vienna Circle, disciplinary history, and feminist philosophy of science

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 40 (2):167-174 (2009)
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Abstract

This paper analyzes the claim that the Left Vienna Circle offers a theoretical and historical precedent for a politically engaged philosophy of science today. I describe the model for a political philosophy of science advanced by LVC historians. They offer this model as a moderate, properly philosophical approach to political philosophy of science that is rooted in the analytic tradition. This disciplinary-historical framing leads to weaknesses in LVC scholars’ conception of the history of the LVC and its contemporary relevance. In this light, I examine the claim that there are productive enrichments to be gained from the engagement of feminist philosophy of science with the LVC, finding this claim ill-formulated. The case of LVC historiography and feminist philosophy of science presents a revealing study in the uses and ethics of disciplinary history, showing how feminist and other perspectives are misconceived and marginalized by forms of disciplinary self-narrativizing.Keywords: Vienna Circle; Logical empiricism; Political philosophy of science; Disciplinary history; Feminist philosophy of science.

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