David J. Stump
University of San Francisco
Members of the Vienna Circle played a pivotal role in defining the work that came to be known as the philosophy of science, yet the Vienna Circle itself is now known to have had much broader concerns and to have been more rooted in philosophical tradition than was once thought. Like current and past philosophers of science, members of the Vienna Circle took science as the object of philosophical reflection but they also endeavored to render philosophy in general compatible with contemporary science and to define and promote a scientific world view. This latter task seems to continue the work of so-called scientific philosophy, a label embraced by many philosophers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, such as Helmholtz, Mach, Avenarius, the neo-Kantians, Husserl, Carus, Peirce, and, of course, Russell during the period when he was applying modern logic to philosophical problems. Russell’s program influenced Carnap directly, though the idea of applying modem logic to philosophical problems became a defining feature of analytic philosophy and was applied to many areas of philosophy, not only to the philosophy of science. Scientific philosophy included the promotion of the cultural values of modernity, especially the values embodied in the scientific world conception. By exploring the various meanings ascribed to scientific philosophy in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, I will investigate whether the promotion of scientific philosophy and of the values associated with a scientific world conception is merely part of a transitory social context within which Logical Positivism developed or if it is an enduring part of the philosophy of science. Moreover, the residue of values remaining in the philosophy of science can be brought to light by studying its history
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DOI 10.1007/978-94-017-1785-4_12
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