92 found
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  1. Sahotra Sarkar (1998). Genetics and Reductionism. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
    With the advent of the Human Genome Project there have been many claims for the genetic origins of complex human behavior including insanity, criminality, and intelligence. But what does it really mean to call something 'genetic'? This is the fundamental question that Sahotra Sarkar's book addresses. The author analyses the nature of reductionism in classical and molecular genetics. He shows that there are two radically different kinds of reductionist explanation: genetic reduction and physical reduction . This important book clarifies the (...)
     
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  2.  24
    Sahotra Sarkar (2004). Molecular Models of Life: Philosophical Papers on Molecular Biology. A Bradford Book.
    Despite the transformation in biological practice and theory brought about by discoveries in molecular biology, until recently philosophy of biology continued to focus on evolutionary biology. When the Human Genome Project got underway in the late 1980s and early 1990s, philosophers of biology -- unlike historians and social scientists -- had little to add to the debate. In this landmark collection of essays, Sahotra Sarkar broadens the scope of current discussions of the philosophy of biology, viewing molecular biology as a (...)
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  3.  53
    Sahotra Sarkar (2000). Information in Genetics and Developmental Biology: Comments on Maynard Smith. Philosophy of Science 67 (2):208-213.
  4.  10
    Sahotra Sarkar (2014). Environmental Philosophy: From Theory to Practice. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 45 (1):89-91.
    Environmental philosophy is a hybrid discipline drawing extensively from epistemology, ethics, and philosophy of science and analyzing disciplines such as conservation biology, restoration ecology, sustainability studies, and political ecology. The book being discussed both provides an overview of environmental philosophy and develops an anthropocentric framework for it. That framework treats natural values as deep cultural values. Tradeoffs between natural values are analyzed using decision theory to the extent possible, leaving many interesting question for philosophical deliberation. This framework is supposed to (...)
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  5.  9
    Sahotra Sarkar (2014). Formal Darwinism. Biology and Philosophy 29 (2):249-257.
    Two questions are raised for Grafen’s formal darwinism project of aligning evolutionary dynamics under natural selection with the optimization of phenotypes for individuals of a population. The first question concerns mean fitness maximization during frequency-dependent selection; in such selection regimes, not only is mean fitness typically not maximized but it is implausible that any parameter closely related to fitness is being maximized. The second question concerns whether natural selection on inclusive fitness differences can be regarded as individual selection or whether (...)
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  6.  6
    Sahotra Sarkar (2011). Habitat Reconstruction: Moving Beyond Historical Fidelity. In Kevin deLaplante, Bryson Brown & Kent A. Peacock (eds.), Philosophy of Ecology. North-Holland 11--327.
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  7. Sahotra Sarkar (1992). Models of Reduction and Categories of Reductionism. Synthese 91 (3):167-94.
    A classification of models of reduction into three categories — theory reductionism, explanatory reductionism, and constitutive reductionism — is presented. It is shown that this classification helps clarify the relations between various explications of reduction that have been offered in the past, especially if a distinction is maintained between the various epistemological and ontological issues that arise. A relatively new model of explanatory reduction, one that emphasizes that reduction is the explanation of a whole in terms of its parts is (...)
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  8.  33
    Sahotra Sarkar (2005). Biodiversity and Environmental Philosophy: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press.
    This book explores the epistemological and ethical issues at the foundations of environmental philosophy, emphasizing the conservation of biodiversity. Sahota Sarkar criticizes previous attempts to attribute intrinsic value to nature and defends an anthropocentric position on biodiversity conservation based on an untraditional concept of transformative value. Unlike other studies in the field of environmental philosophy, this book is as much concerned with epistemological issues as with environmental ethics. It covers a broad range of topics, including problems of explanation and prediction (...)
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  9. Sahotra Sarkar (2011). Sober on Intelligent Design. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (3):683-691.
    This response to Sober's (2008) Evidence and Evolution draws out and criticizes some consequences of his analysis because of its reliance on a likelihood framework for adjucating the dispute between (Intelligent Design) creationism and evolution. In particular, Sober's analysis does not allow it to be formally claimed that evolutionary theory better explains living phenomena than Intelligent Design and makes irrelevant the contribution of the theory of evolution by natural selection to assessments of the status of the argument from design. Finally, (...)
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  10.  18
    Sahotra Sarkar (2013). Carnap and the Compulsions of Interpretation: Reining in the Liberalization of Empiricism. [REVIEW] European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (3):353-372.
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  11. Sahotra Sarkar (2011). The Science Question in Intelligent Design. Synthese 178 (2):291 - 305.
    Intelligent Design creationism is often criticized for failing to be science because it falls afoul of some demarcation criterion between science and non-science. This paper argues that this objection to Intelligent Design is misplaced because it assumes that a consistent non-theological characterization of Intelligent Design is possible. In contrast, it argues that, if Intelligent Design is taken to be non-theological doctrine, it is not intelligible. Consequently, a demarcation criterion cannot be used to judge its status. This position has the added (...)
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  12. Sahotra Sarkar (ed.) (1996). The Philosophy and History of Molecular Biology: New Perspectives. Kluwer Academic.
  13.  26
    Sahotra Sarkar (1999). From the reaktionsNorm to the Adaptive Norm: The Norm of Reaction, 1909–1960. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 14 (2):235-252.
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  14.  77
    Sahotra Sarkar (2002). Defining “Biodiversity”; Assessing Biodiversity. The Monist 85 (1):131-155.
    This paper analyzes the concept of biodiversity in conservation biology and assesses potential methods for its measurement.
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  15.  35
    Sahotra Sarkar (1982). Hierarchy Perspectives for Ecological Complexity. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  16.  7
    Sahotra Sarkar (2014). Does “Information” Provide a Compelling Framework for a Theory of Natural Selection? Grounds for Caution. Philosophy of Science 81 (1):22-30.
    Frank has recently argued for an information-theoretic interpretation of natural selection. This interpretation is based on the identification of a measure related to the Malthusian parameter (for population change) with the Jeffreys divergence between the present allelic distribution of the population and that distribution in the next generation. It is pointed out in this analysis that this identification only holds if the mean fitness of the population is a constant, that is, there is no selection. This problem is used to (...)
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  17.  40
    Sahotra Sarkar & John Stachel (1999). Did Malament Prove the Non-Conventionality of Simultaneity in the Special Theory of Relativity? Philosophy of Science 66 (2):208-220.
    David Malament's (1977) well-known result, which is often taken to show the uniqueness of the Poincare-Einstein convention for defining simultaneity, involves an unwarranted physical assumption: that any simultaneity relation must remain invariant under temporal reflections. Once that assumption is removed, his other criteria for defining simultaneity are also satisfied by membership in the same backward (forward) null cone of the family of such cones with vertices on an inertial path. What is then unique about the Poincare-Einstein convention is that it (...)
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  18.  3
    Sahotra Sarkar (2014). Environmental Philosophy: Response to Critics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 45 (1):105-109.
    The following piece is a response to the critiques from Frank, Garson, and Odenbaugh. The issues at stake are: the definition of biodiversity and its normativity, historical fidelity in ecological restoration, naturalism in environmental ethics, and the role of decision theory. The normativity of the concept of biodiversity in conservation biology is defended. Historical fidelity is criticized as an operative goal for ecological restoration. It is pointed out that the analysis requires only minimal assumptions about ethics. Decision theory is presented (...)
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  19.  25
    Sahotra Sarkar (2008). A Note on Frequency Dependence and the Levels/Units of Selection. Biology and Philosophy 23 (2):217-228.
    On the basis of distinctions between those properties of entities that can be defined without reference to other entities and those that (in different ways) cannot, this note argues that non-trivial forms of frequency-dependent selection of entities should be interpreted as selection occurring at a level higher than that of those entities. It points out that, except in degenerately simple cases, evolutionary game-theoretic models of selection are not models of individual selection. Similarly, models of genotypic selection such as heterosis cannot (...)
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  20.  25
    Sahotra Sarkar & Anya Plutynski (eds.) (2008). A Companion to the Philosophy of Biology. Blackwell Pub..
    Comprised of essays by top scholars in the field, this volume offers concise overviews of philosophical issues raised by biology. Brings together a team of eminent scholars to explore the philosophical issues raised by biology Addresses traditional and emerging topics, spanning molecular biology and genetics, evolution, developmental biology, immunology, ecology, mind and behaviour, neuroscience, and experimentation Begins with a thorough introduction to the field Goes beyond previous treatments that focused only on evolution to give equal attention to other areas, such (...)
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  21. Sahotra Sarkar (2012). Environmental Philosophy: From Theory to Practice. Wiley-Blackwell.
    The first comprehensive treatment of environmental philosophy, going beyond ethics to address the philosophical concepts that underlie environmental thinking and policy-making today Encompasses all of environmental philosophy, including conservation biology, restoration ecology, sustainability, environmental justice, and more Offers the first treatment of decision theory in an environmental philosophy text Explores the conceptions of nature and ethical presuppositions that underlie contemporary environmental debates, and, moving from theory to practice, shows how decision theory translates to public policy Addresses both hot-button issues, including (...)
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  22.  26
    Gregg Jaeger & Sahotra Sarkar (2003). Coherence, Entanglement, and Reductionist Explanation in Quantum Physics,". In A. Ashtekar (ed.), Revisiting the Foundations of Relativistic Physics. D. Reidel 523--542.
    The scope and nature of reductionist explanation in quantum physics is analyzed, with special attention being paid to the situation in quantum physics.
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  23.  34
    Justin Garson, Linton Wang & Sahotra Sarkar (2003). How Development May Direct Evolution. Biology and Philosophy 18 (2):353-370.
    A framework is presented in which the role ofdevelopmental rules in phenotypic evolution canbe studied for some simple situations. Usingtwo different implicit models of development,characterized by different developmental mapsfrom genotypes to phenotypes, it is shown bysimulation that developmental rules and driftcan result in directional phenotypic evolutionwithout selection. For both models thesimulations show that the critical parameterthat drives the final phenotypic distributionis the cardinality of the set of genotypes thatmap to each phenotype. Details of thedevelopmental map do not matter. If phenotypesare (...)
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  24. Sahotra Sarkar (2007). From Ecological Diversity to Biodiversity. In David L. Hull & Michael Ruse (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to the Philosophy of Biology. Cambridge University Press
     
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  25.  43
    Sahotra Sarkar (2004). Evolutionary Theory in the 1920s: The Nature of the “Synthesis”. Philosophy of Science 71 (5):1215-1226.
    This paper analyzes the development of evolutionary theory in the period from 1918 to 1932. It argues that: (i) Fisher's work in 1918 constituted a not fully satisfactory reduction of biometry to Mendelism; (ii) there was a synthesis in the 1920s but that this synthesis was mainly one of classical genetics with population genetics, with Haldane's The Causes of Evolution being its founding document; (iii) the most important achievement of the models of theoretical population genetics was to show that natural (...)
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  26.  21
    Sahotra Sarkar & James Justus, The Principle of Complementarity in the Design of Reserve Networks to Conserve Biodiversity: A Preliminary History.
    Explicit, quantitative procedures for identifying biodiversity priority areas are replacing the often ad hoc procedures used in the past to design networks of reserves to conserve biodiversity. This change facilitates more informed choices by policy makers, and thereby makes possible greater satisfaction of conservation goals with increased efficiency. A key feature of these procedures is the use of the principle of complementarity, which ensures that areas chosen for inclusion in a reserve network complement those already selected. This paper sketches the (...)
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  27.  69
    Sahotra Sarkar & Paul E. Griffiths, Evolutionary Psychology: History and Current Status.
    The evolutionary study of the mind in the twentieth century has been marked by three self-conscious movements: classical ethology, sociobiology and Evolutionary Psychology (capitalized to indicate that it functions here as a proper name). Classical ethology was established in the years immediately before the Second World War, primarily by Konrad Lorenz and Niko Tinbergen (Burckhardt, 1983). Interrupted by the war, the movement blossomed in the early 1950s, when ethologists established major research institutes in most developed countries and developed a successful (...)
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  28.  20
    Sahotra Sarkar (2004). Evolutionary Theory in the 1920s: The Nature of the "Synthesis". Philosophy of Science 71 (5):1215-1226.
    This paper analyzes the development of evolutionary theory in the period from 1918 to 1932. It argues that: (i) Fisher’s work in 1918 constitutes a not fully satisfactory reduction of biometry to Mendelism; (ii) that there was a synthesis in the 1920s but that this synthesis was mainly one of classical genetics with population genetics, with Haldane’s Causes of Evolution being its founding document; (iii) the most important achievement of the models of theoretical population genetics was to show that natural (...)
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  29.  77
    Sahotra Sarkar (2008). Review of Steve Fuller, Science V. Religion? Intelligent Design and the Problem of Evolution. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2008 (8).
  30. Sahotra Sarkar (2011). Drift and the Causes of Evolution. In Phyllis McKay Illari, Federica Russo & Jon Williamson (eds.), Causality in the Sciences. Oxford University Press 445.
     
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  31.  27
    Raphael Falk & Sahotra Sarkar (1991). The Real Objective of Mendel's Paper: A Response to Monaghan and Corcos. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 6 (4):447-451.
    Mendel's work in hybridization is ipso facto a study in inheritance. He is explicit in his interest to formulate universal generalizations, and at least in the case of the independent segregation of traits, he formulated his conclusions in the form of a law. Mendel did not discern, however, the inheritance of traits from that of the potential for traits. Choosing to study discrete non-overlapping traits, this did not hamper his efforts.
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  32.  5
    Sahotra Sarkar & Thomas Uebel (2015). Introduction: Formal Epistemology and the Legacy of Logical Empiricism. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 53:1-2.
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  33.  5
    Sahotra Sarkar (2015). Nagel on reduction11For Discussions, in Some Cases Over Many Decades, Thanks Are Due to Jordi Cat, Alan Love, Ken Schaffner, Abner Shimony, John Stachel, and Bill Wimsatt. Comments by Participants of the Formal Epistemology and the Legacy of Logical Empiricism Workshop and the Audience at a Philosophy Department Seminar at the University of Sydney Were Also Useful. For Comments on Previous Drafts, Thanks Are Due to Justin Garson and Thomas Uebel. [REVIEW] Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 53:43-56.
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  34.  13
    Sahotra Sarkar & Trevon Fuller, Generalized Norms of Reaction for Ecological Developmental Biology.
    A standard norm of reaction (NoR) is a graphical depiction of the phenotypic value of some trait of an individual genotype in a population as a function of an environmental parameter. NoRs thus depict the phenotypic plasticity of a trait. The topological properties of NoRs for sets of different genotypes can be used to infer the presence of (non-linear) genotype-environment interactions. While it is clear that many NoRs are adaptive, it is not yet settled whether their evolutionary etiology should be (...)
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  35.  18
    Sahotra Sarkar (2015). The Genomic Challenge to Adaptationism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (3):505-536.
    Since the late 1990s, the characterization of complete DNA sequences for a large and taxonomically diverse set of species has continued to gain in speed and accuracy. Sequence analyses have indicated a strikingly baroque structure for most eukaryotic genomes, with multiple repeats of DNA sequences and with very little of the DNA specifying proteins. Much of the DNA in these genomes has no known function. These results have generated strong interest in the factors that govern the evolution of genome architecture. (...)
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  36.  9
    Sahotra Sarkar (2003). Husserl's Role in Carnap's der Raum. In Thomas Bonk (ed.), Language, Truth and Knowledge. Kluwer 179--190.
  37.  29
    Sahotra Sarkar (ed.) (1996). The Emergence of Logical Empiricism: From 1900 to the Vienna Circle. Garland Publishing.
    A new direction in philosophy Between 1920 and 1940 logical empiricism reset the direction of philosophy of science and much of the rest of Anglo-American philosophy. It began as a relatively organized movement centered on the Vienna Circle, and like-minded philosophers elsewhere, especially in Berlin. As Europe drifted into the Nazi era, several important figures, especially Carnap and Neurath, also found common ground in their liberal politics and radical social agenda. Together, the logical empiricists set out to reform traditional philosophy (...)
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  38. Alfred I. Tauber & Sahotra Sarkar (1992). The Human Genome Project: Has Blind Reductionism Gone Too Far? Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 35 (2):220-235.
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  39.  25
    Sahotra Sarkar (2005). Maynard Smith, Optimization, and Evolution. Biology and Philosophy 20 (5):951-966.
    Maynard Smith’s defenses of adaptationism and of the value of optimization theory in evolutionary biology are both criticized. His defense does not adequately respond to the criticism of adaptationism by Gould and Lewontin. It is also argued here that natural selection cannot be interpreted as an optimization process if the objective function to be optimized is either (i) interpretable as a fitness, or (ii) correlated with the mean population fitness. This result holds even if fitnesses are frequency-independent; the problem is (...)
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  40.  16
    Sahotra Sarkar (1992). “The Boundless Ocean of Unlimited Possibilities”: Logic in Carnap'slogical Syntax of Language. [REVIEW] Synthese 93 (1-2):191 - 237.
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  41.  13
    Scott F. Gilbert, Sahotra Sarkar & Alfred I. Tauber (1992). An Introduction: The Symposium on The Evolution of Individuality by Leo W. Buss. Biology and Philosophy 7 (4):461-462.
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  42.  5
    Sahotra Sarkar (1994). The Selection of Alleles and the Additivity of Variance. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:3 - 12.
    It is shown that, for technical reasons, the additivity of variance criterion employed by Lloyd (1988) to define a unit of selection is, in almost all models of selection, inconsistent with the possibility that genes are sometimes not the unit of selection. A case when the latter view is particularly attractive is that of heterosis, and the additivity criterion is inadequate in even such an extreme case. The connection between that criterion and the so-called "fundamental theorem of natural selection" is (...)
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  43.  11
    Sahotra Sarkar & Jason Scott Robert (2001). Biology and Philosophy Special Issue for 2003 – Evolution and Development. Biology and Philosophy 16 (4):573-573.
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  44.  11
    Sahotra Sarkar & Jason Scott Robert (2003). Introduction. Biology and Philosophy 18 (2):209-217.
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  45.  14
    Sahotra Sarkar (2013). Multiple Criteria and Trade-Offs in Environmental Ethics. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 10 (4):533-537.
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  46.  25
    Sahotra Sarkar (2012). Flights of Fancy. Metascience 21 (2):425-426.
    Flights of fancy Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9572-y Authors Sahotra Sarkar, Section of Integrative Biology, Department of Philosophy, University of Texas at Austin, Waggener Hall 316, Austin, TX 78712-1180, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
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  47.  34
    Sahotra Sarkar (2006). Ecological Diversity and Biodiversity as Concepts for Conservation Planning: Comments on Ricotta. Acta Biotheoretica 54 (2):133-140.
    Ricotta argues against the existence of a unique measure of biodiversity by pointing out that no known measure of α-diversity satisfies all the adequacy conditions that have traditionally been set for it. While that technical claim is correct, it is not relevant in the context of defining biodiversity which is most usefully measured by β-diversity. The concept of complementarity provides a closely related family of measures of biodiversity which can be used for systematic conservation planning. Moreover, these measures cannot be (...)
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  48.  11
    Raphal Falk & Sahotra Sarkar (1992). Harmony From Discord. Biology and Philosophy 7 (4):463-472.
  49.  4
    Sahotra Sarkar (1996). Form and Function in the Molecularization of Biology. In Alfred I. Tauber (ed.), The Elusive Synthesis: Aesthetics and Science. Kluwer 153--168.
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  50.  7
    Sahotra Sarkar (ed.) (1996). Logical Empiricism and the Special Sciences: Reichenbach, Feigl, and Nagel. Garland Publ..
    A new direction in philosophy Between 1920 and 1940 logical empiricism reset the direction of philosophy of science and much of the rest of Anglo-American philosophy. It began as a relatively organized movement centered on the Vienna Circle, and like-minded philosophers elsewhere, especially in Berlin. As Europe drifted into the Nazi era, several important figures, especially Carnap and Neurath, also found common ground in their liberal politics and radical social agenda. Together, the logical empiricists set out to reform traditional philosophy (...)
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