Kaila and Reichenbach as Protagonists of ‘Naturphilosophie’

Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook 14:135-152 (2010)
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Abstract

Eino Kaila brought new ideas to Finnish philosophy and psychology. He studied at the University of Helsinki in 1908–10 and made study visits, first to Paris in 1911, where he listened to Henri Bergson's lectures, and also to Berlin in 1914. Kaila's dissertation, Über die Motivation und Entscheidung, appeared in 1916. He worked as a critic of theatre and literature and as a dramatist in the Finnish National Theatre, before being nominated professor of philosophy in 1921 to the newly founded University of Turku. There he initiated the founding of the first Finnish institute of experimental psychology. In addition to philosophical works, he published works in psychology. Kaila stayed in Turku until 1930, when he became professor of theoretical philosophy and psychology at the University of Helsinki. In 1948 he was invited to become a member of the recently established Academy of Finland. One may speak of Kaila's Turku period and his Helsinki period . Kaila considered himself a philosopher of nature, whose task is to articulate, using all available means of science, a coherent conception of the world and of mind's place within it. As fellow of the Finnish Academy, he devoted himself to a great project in natural philosophy. The project had two components: first, a rigorous systematic study aiming at a unitary conception of nature, and second, the explication of this conception in a style accessible to a broader audience. The systematic study was to be realized in three volumes; only the first of these ) appeared before his death. As to the more popular work, it was meant to be divided into four parts, of which only the first is complete. The entire planned work was entitled as Hahmottuva maailma . Its first part is devoted to the problem of reality; it concerns the perceptual and conceptual components of everyday experience, and it has been translated from Finnish into German )

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