On Unity and Disunity in the Sciences: Variations of Ancient Themata

I feel honored to be asked to speak at this university where so many ground-breaking scientists and philosophers were students or teaching, spreading their message world wide and I am especially glad to have been asked to come by the Institut Wiener Kreis, of which I am proud to be a member, and whose splendid work for two decades and to this day is being carried out vigorously under Professor Stadler and his colleagues. Through that, a bright flame is being kept shining. That has its own salience. But I firmly believe, as you will hear later, that at just this time such studies have additional purpose, force and inspiration, in academe and society, as well as in global policies that are now under our very eyes. All these contain an urge to bring about a new version of a unifying Weltauffassung. If that succeeds, historians of the future may well say that there was a certain pre-established harmony between the original Vienna Circle program, and what is now being done here, and a new, better world. Let me add two remarks about why being invited to speak here today is special for me. You have often seen the large, elegant building at the corner of Schottengasse 10 and Schottenring. One of its high balconies were part of a Kanzlei of an attorney, specializing in international law, who had got his degree in jurisprudence right at this university, nearly a century ago. When his older boy visited there and looked out from that balcony, he could see the university where he hoped to study one day
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DOI 10.1007/978-90-481-3683-4_15
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