Presentation on theme: "Analytic Philosophy. Logic and the dream of a precise and unambiguous language Leibniz and the Characteristica universalis and the Calculus ratiocinator."— Presentation transcript:
The Vienna Circle (Der Wiener Kreiss) Logical Empiricism/ Logical Positivism Mathematics, Modern Symbolic Logic & Natural Sciences (theory of relativity, quantum physics) Hume’s relations of ideas & matters of fact “When we run over our libraries persuaded of these [empiricist] principles, what havoc must we make? If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number [math]. No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence [natural science]. No. Commit it then to the flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.” David Hume An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748)
Moritz Schlick (1882-1936) Founder of the Vienna Circle Murdered by a former student and Nazi for his Jewish sympathies Metaphysics results from a confusion over language; pseudoproblems
Wittgenstein Studied with Russell at Cambridge (1911-13) on Frege’s advice Fought for Austria in Great War (1914-18) POW in Italy; writes Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus Some-time member Vienna Circle 20’s 1929 return to Cambridge, DPhil for Tractatus 1936-37 Norway, writes Philosophical Investigations ‘39-Cambridge professor becomes British citizen (as a Jew not comfortable in Nazi Austria) Philosophical puzzles result from misapplications of our ordinary uses of language ‘Language games’; ‘forms of life’; pragmatic approach
Rise of Hitler and the National Socialists 1933-1945
Heidegger (1889-1976) Philosophy of Being; Dasein Member of Nazi party “Highly eccentric in its terminology, his philosophy is extremely obscure. One cannot help suspecting that language here is running riot. An interesting point in his speculations is the insistence that nothingness is something positive. As with much else in Existentialism, this is a psychological observation made to pass for logic.” Russell, Wisdom of the West, 303
Alfred Jules Ayer (1910-1989) Oxford Visit with the Vienna Circle 1932-33 Language Truth and Logic 1936 Verifiability theory of meaning (any statement that cannot be verified is meaningless)
Willard Van Orman Quine (1908-2000) Harvard University PhD under Whitehead on PM Visit with Vienna Circle 1932-33 “Two Dogmas of Empiricism” “Epistemology naturalized”
Hilary Putnam (1926-) Harvard Mathematics, Logic and Philosophy Reason, Truth and History 1980 Critique of ‘metaphysical realism’ (the ‘God’s eye view’) ‘Internal realism’ (realism from within a conceptual scheme/language)
Richard Rorty (1931-2007) Stanford Major critic of analytic philosophy Though analytically trained himself Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature 1980
Language and the World How does language ‘hook onto’ the world? Can there be one uniquely true account of reality? Or are there multiple accounts/descriptions suitable for distinct purposes? E.g. scientific, spiritual/religious Is this relativism? What of objectivity?
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