This book is a major contribution to the history of analytic philosophy in general and of logical positivism in particular. It provides the first detailed and comprehensive study of Rudolf Carnap, one of the most influential figures in twentieth-century philosophy. The focus of the book is Carnap's first major work: Der logische Aufbau der Welt. It reveals tensions within the context of German epistemology and philosophy of science in the early twentieth century. Alan Richardson argues that Carnap's move to (...) philosophy of science in the 1930s was largely an attempt to dissolve the tension in his early epistemology. This book fills a significant gap in the literature on the history of twentieth-century philosophy. It will be of particular importance to historians of analytic philosophy, philosophers of science, and historians of science. (shrink)
Hans Reichenbach was a formidable figure in early-twentieth-century philosophy of science. Educated in Germany, he was influential in establishing the so-called Berlin Circle, a companion group to the Vienna Circle founded by his colleague Rudolph Carnap. The movement they founded—usually known as "logical positivism," although it is more precisely known as "scientific philosophy" or "logical empiricism"—was a form of epistemology that privileged scientific over metaphysical truths. Reichenbach, like other young philosophers of the exact sciences of his generation, was deeply impressed (...) by the far-reaching changes in physics brought about by Einstein's special and general theories of relativity. Reichenbach responded to scientific advances by doing fundamental work in space-time theories, in quantum mechanics, in statistical mechanics, and in the development of probability theory—making him the most important philosopher of physics in the first generation of logical empiricism. Forced from his academic position by the Nazi race laws in 1933, Reichenbach wrote _Experience and Prediction_ at the University of Istanbul, where had had fled, expressly to introduce logical positivism to English speakers. In the two decades following World War II, during the explosion of scientific advances in North America, logical positivism was the reigning theory of the philosophy of science and Reichenbach was at the peak of his career. But, inevitably, support for logical positivism began to wane as it became obvious that the justification of scientific theories could not be entirely resolved by relying on strictly formal, technical processes. The growth of the discipline of the history of philosophy of science, which has created an audience of scholars eager for seminal classics in scientific philosophy, and the evidence supporting a historicist paradigm within logical positivism are two important reasons to make _Experience and Prediction_ available once again. "Hans Reichenbach's_ Experience and Prediction_ is one of the most important books in twentieth-century philosophy of science. Its author was, along with Rudolf Carnap, one of the two principal ambassadors to North America of the exciting new European philosophical movement known here under the names 'Logical Positivism' and 'Scientific Philosophy.' In 1938, when the book was published, Reichenbach was an exile from his native Germany, teaching in Istanbul, Turkey, and about to emigrate to the United States to take up a prestigious position at UCLA. He wrote_ Experience and Prediction_ in English as his calling card to his new American colleagues. More than any other single book,_ Experience and Prediction_ set the agenda for the new discipline of the philosophy of science that was to emerge after World War II as, perhaps, the most exciting new area in North American philosophy. Many of the problems still at the focus of discussion were given their classic formulations in this book. Long out of print,_ Experience and Prediction_ appears here in a new edition accompanied by a splendid historical introduction by the noted young philosopher and historian of the philosophy of science, Alan Richardson. A jewel of a book may once again be appreciated in its proper setting." —Don A. Howard, University of Notre Dame. (shrink)
What is law? How is legal responsibility defined? How does law reflect moral judgment? Why are law's definitions uncertain and conflicted? Basic questions for liberal law and criminal justice - what could they have to do with the forgotten historical figure of the Beautiful Soul? Starting from concrete legal issues, Alan Norrie develops a critical vision of law in its relation to morality and socio-historical context. Liberal law, he argues, is marked by splits and contradictions (antinomies), signs of something (...) missed. Traced historically, such conflicts can be read today in law's treatment of legality and justice, judgment and responsibility. A critical understanding must also be self-critical. From splits in law, Norrie moves to the split in critique: between its socio-historical and ethical forms. Drawing on critical realism and deconstruction, on the dialectics of Hegel, Adorno and Bhaskar, he argues for a form of critical thought that is at once historical and ethical. Thinking critically about critique finally leads to the Beautiful Soul, and its unexpected relation to law. These essays will be of interest to academics and advanced students of legal theory; criminal law, criminology and criminal justice; law and social theory; and critical legal studies. (shrink)
: This essay explores some themes in use of a relativized Kantian a priori in the work of Thomas Kuhn and Michael Friedman. It teases out some shared and some divergent beliefs and attitudes in these two philosophers by comparing their characteristic questions and problems to the questions and problems that seem most appropriately to attend to an adequate understanding of games and their histories. It argues for a way forward within a relativized Kantian framework that is suggested but not (...) argued for in Friedman (2001): philosophers of science should move from a concern with unreason as meaninglessness to a concern with unreason as argumentative coercion. It ends with a few suggestions regarding a place for philosophy in the history of reason. (shrink)
This essay examines logical empiricism and American pragmatism, arguing that American philosophy's embrace of logical empiricism in the 1930s was not a turning away from Dewey's pragmatism. It places both movements within scientific philosophy and finds two key points on which they agreed: their revolutionary ambitions and their social engineering sensibility. The essay suggests that the disagreement over emotivism in ethics should be placed within the context of a larger issue on which the movements disagreed: demarcationism and imperialism.
This essay examines logical empiricism and American pragmatism, arguing that American philosophy’s embrace of logical empiricism in the 1930s was not a turning away from Dewey’s pragmatism. It places both movements within scientific philosophy and finds two key points on which they agreed: their revolutionary ambitions and their social engineering sensibility. The essay suggests that the disagreement over emotivism in ethics should be placed within the context of a larger issue on which the movements disagreed: demarcationism and imperialism.
This essay explores some of the issues raised as regards the relations of philosophy and sociology of science in the work of Rudolf Carnap and Hans Reichenbach. It argues that Hans Reichenbach's distinction between the contexts of discovery and justification should not be seen as erecting a principled normative/descriptive distinction that demarcates philosophy of science from sociology of science. The essay also raises certain issues about the role of volition, decision, and the limits of epistemological concern in the work of (...) Carnap and Reichenbach and in some recent sociology of science. The relations of philosophy of science to sociology of science are seen to be more deeply rooted and more interesting than the Science Warriors would have us believe. (shrink)
It is often claimed that epistemological thought divides around the issue of the place of experience in knowledge: While empiricists argue that experience is the only legitimate source of knowledge, rationalists find other such sources. The trouble with such accounts is not that they are wrong, but that they are incomplete. On occasion, epistemological differences run deeper, raising the very notion of experience as an issue for epistemology. This paper looks at two epistemological debates which concerned not simply the place (...) of experience in knowledge but also the appropriate account of experience itself. The first episode is the rise of Marburg Neo-Kantianism in the 1870s – in particular the seminal work of Hermann Cohen in his Kants Theorie der Erfahrung (1871). Cohen's principal point was that Kant's significance as an epistemologist was in providing a new theory of experience, one that tied experience to exact science and led to a new stress on the formal conditions of exact knowledge. The second episode is Carnap's rejection of epistemology in the 1930s in favour of a program of the logic of science. My focus in each case will be the interplay between an epistemology focused on exact science as the locus of knowledge and a concomitant call for logical methods in epistemology. (shrink)
This latest volume in the eminent Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science series examines the main features of the intellectual milieu from which logical empiricism sprang, providing the first critical exploration of this context by ...
In this paper I argue that the program of L. Laudan et al for empirically testing historiographical philosophies of science ("the VPI program") does not succeed in providing a consistent naturalist program in philosophy of science. In particular, the VPI program endorses a nonnaturalist metamethodology that insists on a hypothetico-deductive structure to scientific testing. But hypothetico-deductivism seems to be both inadequate as an account of scientific theory testing in general and fundamentally at odds with most of the historiographic philosophies under (...) test. I sketch an account of testing historiographic philosophies of science more consistent with the views about scientific testing of those philosophies and argue that such a program is neither viciously circular nor necessarily self-refuting. (shrink)
"An essential overview of an important intellectual movement, Logical Empiricism in North America offers the first significant, sustained, and multidisciplinary attempt to understand the intellectual, cultural, and political dimensions of ...
[Alan W. Richardson] This essay explores the uses that Michael Friedman and Bas van Fraassen have recently made of the work of Hans Reichenbach. It uses Friedman's work to complicate van Fraassen's invocation of Reichenbach's voluntarism in support of empiricism. It uses van Fraassen's work to motivate a concern with Friedman's neo-Kantian reading of Reichenbach. We are, finally, left with questions about the status and content of the account of the epistemic subject available to an epistemological voluntarist. /// [Thomas (...) E. Uebel] This response considers the question whether empiricists are condemned to silence about the epistemic agency their theories attribute or presuppose. It is argued that, unlike Reichenbach or Carnap, Neurath allowed for and indeed provided specifications of the role of epistemic agency in scientific inquiry. If this is correct, it underscores once more the need to distinguish between the various strands of logical positivism which show different strengths and weaknesses. (shrink)
[ Alan W. Richardson] This essay explores the uses that Michael Friedman and Bas van Fraassen have recently made of the work of Hans Reichenbach. It uses Friedman's work to complicate van Fraassen's invocation of Reichenbach's voluntarism in support of empiricism. It uses van Fraassen's work to motivate a concern with Friedman's neo-Kantian reading of Reichenbach. We are, finally, left with questions about the status and content of the account of the epistemic subject available to an epistemological voluntarist. /// (...) [Thomas E. Uebel] This response considers the question whether empiricists are condemned to silence about the epistemic agency their theories attribute or presuppose. It is argued that, unlike Reichenbach or Carnap, Neurath allowed for and indeed provided specifications of the role of epistemic agency in scientific inquiry. If this is correct, it underscores once more the need to distinguish between the various strands of logical positivism which show different strengths and weaknesses. (shrink)
Black, Alan W The Rationalist Press Association, which was one of the original sponsors of the British Humanist Association, was also one of the influences which helped to bring the New South Wales Humanist Society into being. The immediate event which triggered the formation of the latter society was the visit to Australia in 1959 of the American evangelist, Billy Graham. Bill and Daphne Weeks, two Sydney school teachers who were members of the Rationalist Press Association, felt the need (...) for an organisation to promote humanism in Australia. Even prior to the Graham visit, they and others of similar persuasion had been writing to the ABC Weekly urging the Australian Broadcasting Commission to include humanist views in its programmes. (shrink)
We offer a critique of one prominent understanding of the principle of respect for autonomy and of analyses of medical paternalism based on that understanding. Our main critique is that understanding respect for autonomy as respect for freedom from interference is mistaken because it is overly influenced by four-alarm cases, because it fails to appreciate the full dimensions of legal self-determination (one of its main sources), because it conflates the research and therapeutic settings, and because it fails to appreciate themes (...) of authority and power that have historically shaped the principle of respect for freedom from interference. We argue that respect for autonomy involves more than just freedom from interference and, on this basis, offer a critique of prevailing accounts of medical paternalism. (shrink)
The ethicist's role in the clinical context is not presently well defined. Ethicists can be thought of as moralists, technicians, Sophists, or as teachers and learners. Each of these roles is examined in turn. An argument is made for the ethicist as a teacher who must also learn a great deal about the clinical setting in order to encourage an effective critical examination of basic values. Four specific tasks of this teaching role are discussed: describing moral experience, eliciting assumptions, considering (...) multiple alternatives and justifying choices. (shrink)