The Left Vienna Circle, Part 1. Carnap, Neurath, and the Left Vienna Circle thesis

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 40 (1):14-24 (2009)
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Recent scholarship resuscitates the history and philosophy of a ‘left wing’ in the Vienna Circle, offering a counterhistory to the conventional image of analytic philosophy as politically conformist. This paper disputes the historical claim that early logical empiricists developed a political philosophy of science. Though some individuals in the Vienna Circle, including Rudolf Carnap and Otto Neurath, believed strongly in the importance of science to social progress, they did not construct a political philosophy of science. Both Carnap and Neurath were committed to forms of political neutralism that run strongly against a political reading of their logical empiricism. In addition, Carnap and Neurath sharply differ on precisely the subject of the place of politics in logical empiricism, throwing into question the construct of the ‘Left Vienna Circle’ as a coherent, sociohistorical, programmatic unit within the Vienna Circle.Keywords: Vienna Circle; Rudolf Carnap; Otto Neurath; Logical empiricism; History of philosophy of science; Political philosophy of science.



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Citations of this work

Logical empiricists on race.Liam Kofi Bright - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 65 (C):9-18.
The Vienna Circle’s “Scientific World-Conception”: Philosophy of Science in the Political Arena.Donata Romizi - 2012 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 2 (2):205-242.

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References found in this work

Political philosophy of science in logical empiricism: the left Vienna Circle.Thomas Uebel - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 36 (4):754-773.
The orchestration of the sciences by the encyclopedism of logical empiricism.Otto Neurath - 1945 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 6 (4):496-508.
The meanings of "unity" among the sciences, once more.Horace Meyer Kallen - 1945 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 6 (4):493-496.

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