Realistic Claims in Logical Empiricism

In Uskali Mäki, Stéphanie Ruphy, Gerhard Schurz & Ioannis Votsis (eds.), Recent Developments in the Philosophy of Science: EPSA13 Helsinki. Springer (forthcoming)

Matthias Neuber
Universität Tübingen
Logical empiricism is commonly seen as a counter-position to scientific realism. In the present paper it is shown that there indeed existed a realist faction within the logical empiricist movement. In particular, I shall point out that at least four types of realistic arguments can be distinguished within this faction: Reichenbach’s ‘probabilistic argument,’ Feigl’s ‘pragmatic argument,’ Hempel’s ‘indispensability argument,’ and Kaila’s ‘invariantist argument.’ All these variations of arguments are intended to prevent the logical empiricist agenda from the shortcomings of radical positivism, instrumentalism, and other forms of scientific antirealism. On the whole, it will be seen that logical empiricism and scientific realism are essentially compatible with each other. Especially Kaila’s invariantist approach to science (and nature) comes quite close to what nowadays is discussed under the label ‘structural realism.’ This, in turn, necessitates a fundamental reevaluation of Kaila’s role in the logical empiricist movement in particular and in twentieth-century philosophy of science in general.
Keywords logical empiricism, structural realism, semantics, invariance, Eino Kaila
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Are Dinosaurs Extinct?Richard Creath - 1995 - Foundations of Science 1 (2):285-297.
On the Austrian Roots of Logical Empiricism. The Case of the First Vienna Circle.Thomas Uebel - 2003 - In Paolo Parrini, Wes Salmon & Merrilee Salmon (eds.), Logical Empiricism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives. Pittsburgh University Pres. pp. 67--93.
Logical Empiricism and the History and Sociology of Science.Elisabeth Nemeth - 2007 - In A. Richardson & T. Uebel (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Logical Empiricism. Cambridge University Press. pp. 278--302.
Logical Empiricism and Post₋Empiricism in Educational Discourse.David N. Aspin (ed.) - 1997 - [Distributed by] Thorold's Africana Books.


Added to PP index

Total views
306 ( #19,558 of 2,271,612 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
69 ( #9,841 of 2,271,612 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature