Saturday, September 04, 2004

Logical Positivism Debate

In the 1930's and 1940's, a group of philosophers known as the Vienna Circle developed an approach to philosophy called Logical Positivism.

It will come as a shock to many to learn that the Logical Positivists solved most of the major philosophical problems well-before World War II. Why is this fact so deeply obscured? I have a theory.

Unlike science, philosophy creates no "technology". If your science is bad, so is your technology. Bad technology fails people in concrete ways, both in the marketplace and on the battlefield. Take away the marketplace and you get T.D. Lysenko.

Bad philosophical analysis can actually be more entertaining than good philosophical analysis. So when you go to the Dean and ask for funding to study the philosophical underpinnings of "the glory of God" or somesuch nonsense, you'll probably get a grant.

I've spent the last few days engaged in a lively and informative debate about Logical Positivism.

You can read the debate at the Undead Philosophy blog.

I think that Logical Positivism is primed for a comeback. Perhaps my discussions on Nicolas's blog will lead to a more robust and politically savvy formulation of Logical Positivism.

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