The Debate on Begriffstheorie between Cassirer and Marc-Wogau

Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook 14:167 - 180 (2010)

Thomas Mormann
University of the Basque Country
Abstract. The aim of this paper is to reconstruct the debate on Begriffstheorie between Ernst Cassirer, the Swe¬dish philosopher Konrad Marc-Wogau, and, virtually, Moritz Schlick. It took place during in the late thirties when Cassirer had immigrated to Sweden. While Cassirer argued for a rich “constitutive” theory of concepts, Marc-Wogau, and, in a different way, Schlick favored “austere” non-con¬sti¬¬tutive theories of concepts. Ironically, however, Cassirer used Schlick’s account as a weapon to counter Marc-Wogau’s criticism of his rich con¬¬sti¬tu¬¬tive theory of concepts. With the help of modern Formal Concept Theory (FCT) it can be shown, however, that Marc-Wogau’s argument is flawed.
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