The geometry of knowledge: Lewis, Becker, Carnap and the formalization of philosophy in the 1920s

Abstract
On an ordinary view of the relation of philosophy of science to science, science serves only as a topic for philosophical reflection, reflection that proceeds by its own methods and according to its own standards. This ordinary view suggests a way of writing a global history of philosophy of science that finds substantially the same philosophical projects being pursued across widely divergent scientific eras. While not denying that this view is of some use regarding certain themes of and particular time periods, this essay argues that much of the epistemology and philosophy of science in the early twentieth century in a variety of projects (neo-Kantianism, logical empiricism, pragmatism, phenomenology) looked to the then current context of the exact sciences, especially geometry and physics, not merely for its topics but also for its conceptual resources and technical tools. This suggests a more variable project of philosophy of science, a deeper connection between early twentieth-century philosophy of science and its contemporary science, and a more interesting and richer history of philosophy of science than is ordinarily offered.
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    Rudolf Carnap (1937). The Logical Syntax of Language. London, K. Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd..

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