Topoi 10 (2):147-153 (1991)

I have frequently mentioned objective problems and topics in the preceding sections. But what exactly is the force of ‘objective’ here? As my remarks should have made clear I have been using ‘objective’ to contrast with ‘purely historical’. A ‘purely historical’ approach never gets beyond reproduction, commentary, and interpretation. I call an approach ‘objective’ when it involves a philosopher who advances his own theses and claims. This minimal understanding of ‘objectivity’ (in the context of my remarks in this paper) by no means implies that there are problems and topics, systems of concepts, methods, and similar factors that are ‘eternal’, completely independent of the contingencies of history (of philosophy, of the sciences), that are not relative to a language, to a logic, to a model, etc. Indeed whether there are problems, etc., in just this absolute, atemporal sense is itself a question for systematic philosophy. It seems clear that the formulation of a problem can only take place against a cognitive background of some sort and within some ‘conceptual scheme’. 34 Such an assumption is made by most if not all analytic philosophers. But the fact that a philosophical tradition recognizes ‘conceptual schemes’ does not make it a ‘purely historical’, non-objective philosophy, in the sense already introduced and described. A philosopher who explicitly accepts a certain ‘conceptual scheme’ proceeds in an entirely objective and systematic (and not purely historical) manner when, within this framework, he formulates his own theses
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DOI 10.1007/BF00141335
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The Neurath-Haller Thesis: Austria and the Rise of Scientific Philosophy.Barry Smith - 1997 - In Keith Lehrer & Johann Christian Marek (eds.), Austrian Philosophy Past and Present. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 1-20.
L’Autriche Et la Naissance de la Philosophie Scientifique.Barry Smith - 1995 - Actes de la Recherche En Sciences Sociales 109 (1): 61–71.

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