Article

Vienna Circle

Thomas J. Oberdan

in Philosophy

ISBN: 9780195396577
Published online July 2016 | | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195396577-0311
Vienna Circle

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“The Vienna Circle” was the name adopted by a group of scientists and philosophers who met in Vienna in the 1920s and 1930s to develop a scientific philosophy rooted in the latest developments in the mathematical sciences. Although the group began to meet at the University of Vienna under the leadership of the physicist-turned-philosopher Moritz Schlick beginning in 1924, it was not known as “the Vienna Circle” until the publications of its manifesto in 1929. Although the group is often treated as if they shared a unified, monolithic perspective on the scope and nature of science, the members were independent thinkers who frequently disagreed on specific topics central to their philosophical focus. What united them was the belief that a genuinely scientific philosophy could not be founded on the basis of an independently established philosophical perspective, but must proceed “from the inside out” by incorporating the concepts and methods of the sciences in the development of a philosophical understanding of the scientific enterprise. As the years passed, the group absorbed more and more outside influences, primarily elements of American pragmatism. Eventually their views became known as “Logical Empiricism”, and it was under this name that their philosophical views came to dominate the philosophical study of science. Like the Circle members, the Logical Empiricists were unified more by the focus of its members than the similarity of their views. This article will emphasize the primary literature through 1936, including works produced prior to the manifesto when the group called itself the “Schlick Zirkel.” As far as possible, this will include publications of the writings of many of the Circle members, both in English translation and in the form of critical editions in their original languages. In addition, numerous conferences, workshops, and conventions have been organized in recent years, and the proceedings of these gatherings have become the principal repositories of the latest scholarship on the Vienna Circle. These two types of publications—reproductions of original works and recent scholarship—are the focus of this article.

Article.  10178 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art ; Epistemology ; Feminist Philosophy ; History of Western Philosophy ; Metaphysics ; Moral Philosophy ; Non-Western Philosophy ; Philosophy of Language ; Philosophy of Law ; Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic ; Philosophy of Mind ; Philosophy of Religion ; Philosophy of Science ; Social and Political Philosophy

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