Hanfling (2004)

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Hanfling, Oswald. (2004) Logical Positivism. In Shanker (Ed.) (2004), 193-213.

Title Logical Positivism
Resource Type collection article
Author(s) Oswald Hanfling
Year 2004
Collection Shanker (Ed.) (2004)
Pages 193-213


The paper reviews the history of logical empiricism. The movement originated in the 1920's among the philosophers and scientists of the Vienna Circle, under the leadership of Moritz Schlick. It organized its first international conference in 1929, and obtained its own journal, Erkenntnis, in 1930. The logical empiricists sought to eliminate all metaphysics with the claim that science referred only to observations and the logical relationships between them. Some important principles include the principle of verification, which holds that only those propositions that can be verified have meaning. Observations were summarized in observation statements, thereby avoiding metaphysical questions about subjective experience. The logical empiricists sought a unitary logical language in which to express all of science. The movement met its demise due to a host of problems that proved impossible for it to solve.


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