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Fons Dewulf
Tilburg University
  1.  89
    The Institutional Stabilization of Philosophy of Science and its Withdrawal From Social Concerns After the Second World War.Fons Dewulf - 2020 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 29 (5):935-953.
    In this paper, I criticize the thesis that value-laden approaches in American philosophy of science were marginalized in the 1960s through the editorial policy at Philosophy of Science and funding practices at the National Science Foundation. I argue that there is no available evidence of any normative restriction on philosophy of science as a domain of inquiry which excluded research on the relation between science and society. Instead, I claim that the absence of any exemplary, professional philosopher who discussed the (...)
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  2.  18
    The Place of Historiography in the Network of Logical Empiricism.Fons Dewulf - 2020 - Intellectual History Review 30 (2):321-345.
    In this paper I investigate how intellectual problems concerning an epistemology of history and a historical view of knowledge played a role in the network of logical empiricist philosophers between 1930 and 1945. Specifically, I focus on the practical efforts of Hans Reichenbach and Otto Neurath to incorporate these intellectual stakes concerning history. I argue that Reichenbach was mainly concerned with creating more institutional space for scientific philosophy. Consequently, he was interested in determining his relation to historically oriented philosophy on (...)
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  3. Positivism in Action: The Case of Louis Rougier.Fons Dewulf & Massimiliano Simons - forthcoming - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 11 (2).
    In this paper, we investigate how the life and work of Louis Rougier relate to the broader political dimension of logical empiricist philosophy. We focus on three practical projects of Rougier in the 1930s and 1940s. First, his attempts to integrate French-speaking philosophers into an international network of scientific philosophers by organizing two Unity of Science conferences in Paris. Second, his role in the renewal of liberalism through the organization of the Walter Lippmann Colloquium. Third, Rougier’s attempts at political negotiations (...)
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  4.  36
    Revisiting Hempel’s 1942 Contribution to the Philosophy of History.Fons Dewulf - 2018 - Journal of the History of Ideas 79 (3):385-406.
    This paper situates Carl Hempel's 1942 paper "The Function of General Laws in History" within a broader debate over the philosophy of history in American academia between 1935 and 1943. I argue that Hempel's paper was directed against German neo-Kantianism, and show how the German debate over historiography continued between 1939 and 1943 in the context of New York through the contributions of German philosophers who operated in the same intellectual network as Hempel, namely Paul Oskar Kristeller and Edgar Zilsel. (...)
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  5.  15
    Real True Facts: A Reply to Currie and Swaim.Fons Dewulf & Paul A. Roth - 2022 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 16 (2):207-225.
  6.  48
    Rudolf Carnap’s Incorporation of the Geisteswissenschaften in the Aufbau.Fons Dewulf - 2017 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 7 (2):199-225.
    This article investigates the various ways in which Rudolf Carnap incorporated contemporary epistemological problems concerning the Geisteswissenschaften in Der logische Aufbau der Welt. I argue that Carnap defends a nonreductive incorporation of the Geisteswissenschaften within the unity of science. To this end Carnap aims to solve the problem of individuality, which was the focus of attention for important philosophers of the Geisteswissenschaften such as Wilhelm Dilthey, Heinrich Rickert, and Wilhelm Windelband. At the same time, Carnap argues that his constitutional method, (...)
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  7.  16
    Beyond Hempel: Reframing the Debate About Scientific Explanation.Fons Dewulf - 2022 - Philosophy of Science 89 (3):585-603.
    I argue that Carl Hempel’s pioneering work on scientific explanation introduced an assumption that Hempel never motivated, namely, that explanation is an aim of science. Ever since, it has remained largely unquestioned in analytic philosophy of science. By expanding the historical scope of the debate on explanation to philosophers from the first half of the twentieth century, I show that the debate should include a critical reflection on Hempel’s assumption. This reflection includes two problems: how to motivate one’s position on (...)
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  8.  4
    The Emergence of Scientific Explanation as a Problem for Philosophy of Science: Aristotle, Nagel, and Hempel.Fons Dewulf - 2021 - In Matthias Neuber & Adam Tamas Tuboly (eds.), Ernest Nagel: Philosophy of Science and the Fight for Clarity. Springer. pp. 67-87.
    In this paper I trace Ernest Nagel’s earliest ideas on explanation by investigating his course-notes of the 1930s. At Columbia University there was an increasing interest in the study of Aristotle. As I show, Nagel’s focus on the explanatory aim of science originated from his reading of Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics. Through his teaching of Aristotle, Nagel inspired his New York colleagues to focus on a philosophical analysis of explanation. I claim that this resulted in Carl Hempel’s earliest work on scientific (...)
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  9.  2
    Carnap’s Opposition to Logic of the Geisteswissenschaften.Fons Dewulf - 2021 - In Christian Damböck & Gereon Wolters (eds.), Der Junge Carnap in Historischem Kontext: 1918–1935 / Young Carnap in an Historical Context: 1918–1935. Springer Verlag. pp. 55-73.
    In this paper I argue that Carnap in the Aufbau and in his later writings consistently conceives the humanities and the social sciences as domains of knowledge that are epistemically equal to the natural sciences. I show that Carnap was skeptical about the philosophical theories of Dilthey, Rickert and Windelband which aimed to distinguish the natural sciences from the humanities through a logical criterion. Although Carnap in the Aufbau integrated some terminology from Dilthey, Windelband and Rickert, he never accepted their (...)
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