Integrated History and Philosophy of Science

Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook

Book 20
Springer
Free sample

This book features papers on the history and philosophy of science. It also includes related reviews of recent research literature on Rudolf Carnap, Eino Kaila, Ernst Mach, and Otto Neurath.

The central idea behind this volume is that this distinctive field is both historical and philosophical at the same time. Good history and philosophy of science is not just history of science into which some philosophy of science may enter. On the other hand, it is neither philosophy of science into which some history of science may enter. The founding insight of this modern research discipline is that history and philosophy have a special affinity and one can effectively advance both simultaneously.

The selection of contributions collected in this volume are good examples and best practices for these claims. In addition, it includes illuminating case studies. It will appeal to scholars in the history of and philosophy of science, especially history and philosophy of physics and biology, as well as economics, extended evolution, and the history of knowledge.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Springer
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Published on
Jun 7, 2017
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Pages
159
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ISBN
9783319532585
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / General
Science / History
Science / Philosophy & Social Aspects
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This content is DRM protected.
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Scientific Philosophy: Origins and Development is the first Yearbook of the Vienna Circle Institute, which was founded in October 1991. The book contains original contributions to an international symposium which was the first public event to be organised by the Institute: `Vienna--Berlin--Prague: The Rise of Scientific Philosophy: The Centenaries of Rudolf Carnap, Hans Reichenbach and Edgar Zilsel.'
The first section of the book - `Scientific Philosophy - Origins and Developments' reveals the extent of scientific communication in the inter-War years between these great metropolitan centres, as well as presenting systematic investigations into the relevance of the heritage of the Vienna Circle to contemporary research and philosophy. This section offers a new paradigm for scientific philosophy, one which contrasts with the historiographical received view of logical empiricism. Support for this re-evaluation is offered in the second section, which contains, for the first time in English translation, Gustav Bergmann's recollections of the Vienna Circle, and an historical study of political economist Wilhelm Neurath, Otto Neurath's father.
The third section gives a report on current computer-based research which documents the relevance of Otto Neurath's `Vienna method of pictorial statistics', or `Isotypes'. A review section describes new publications on Neurath and the Vienna Circle, as well anthologies relevant to Viennese philosophy and its history, setting them in their wider cultural and political perspective. Finally, a description is given of the Vienna Circle Institute and its activities since its foundation, as well as of its plans for the future.
When von Neumann's and Morgenstern's Theory of Games and Economic Behavior appeared in 1944, one thought that a complete theory of strategic social behavior had appeared out of nowhere. However, game theory has, to this very day, remained a fast-growing assemblage of models which have gradually been united in a new social theory - a theory that is far from being completed even after recent advances in game theory, as evidenced by the work of the three Nobel Prize winners, John F. Nash, John C. Harsanyi, and Reinhard Selten. Two of them, Harsanyi and Selten, have contributed important articles to the present volume. This book leaves no doubt that the game-theoretical models are on the right track to becoming a respectable new theory, just like the great theories of the twentieth century originated from formerly separate models which merged in the course of decades. For social scientists, the age of great discover ies is not over. The recent advances of today's game theory surpass by far the results of traditional game theory. For example, modem game theory has a new empirical and social foundation, namely, societal experiences; this has changed its methods, its "rationality. " Morgenstern (I worked together with him for four years) dreamed of an encompassing theory of social behavior. With the inclusion of the concept of evolution in mathematical form, this dream will become true. Perhaps the new foundation will even lead to a new name, "conflict theory" instead of "game theory.
Since the origin of the modern sciences, our views on discovery and creativity had a remarkable history. Originally, discovery was seen as an integral part of methodology and the logic of discovery as algorithmic or nearly algorithmic. During the nineteenth century, conceptions in line with romanticism led to the famous opposition between the context of discovery and the context of justification, culminating in a view that banned discovery from methodology. The revival of the methodological investigation of discovery, which started some thirty years ago, derived its major impetus from historical and sociological studies of the sciences and from developments within cognitive psychology and artificial intelligence. Today, a large majority of philosophers of science agrees that the classical conception as well as the romantic conception are mistaken. Against the classical conception, it is generally accepted that truly novel discoveries are not the result of simply applying some standardized procedure. Against the romantic conception, it is rejected that discoveries are produced by unstructured flashes of insight.

An especially important result of the contemporary study concerns the availability of (descriptive and normative) models for explaining discoveries and creative processes. Descriptive models mainly aim at explaining the origin of novel products; normative models moreover address the question how rational researchers should proceed when confronted with problems for which a standard procedure is missing. The present book provides an overview of these models and of the important changes they induced within methodology. As appears from several papers, the methodological study of discovery and creativity led to profound changes in our conceptions of justification and acceptance, of rationality, of scientific change, and of conceptual change. The book contains contributions from both historians and philosophers of science. All of them, however, are methodological in the contemporary sense of the term. The central values of this methodology are empirical accurateness, clarity and precision, and rationality. The different contributions realize these values by their interdisciplinary nature. Some philosophically oriented papers rely on historical case studies and results from the cognitive sciences, others on recent results from the computer sciences and/or non-standard logics. The historically oriented papers address central philosophical questions and hypotheses.

Scientific Philosophy: Origins and Development is the first Yearbook of the Vienna Circle Institute, which was founded in October 1991. The book contains original contributions to an international symposium which was the first public event to be organised by the Institute: `Vienna--Berlin--Prague: The Rise of Scientific Philosophy: The Centenaries of Rudolf Carnap, Hans Reichenbach and Edgar Zilsel.'
The first section of the book - `Scientific Philosophy - Origins and Developments' reveals the extent of scientific communication in the inter-War years between these great metropolitan centres, as well as presenting systematic investigations into the relevance of the heritage of the Vienna Circle to contemporary research and philosophy. This section offers a new paradigm for scientific philosophy, one which contrasts with the historiographical received view of logical empiricism. Support for this re-evaluation is offered in the second section, which contains, for the first time in English translation, Gustav Bergmann's recollections of the Vienna Circle, and an historical study of political economist Wilhelm Neurath, Otto Neurath's father.
The third section gives a report on current computer-based research which documents the relevance of Otto Neurath's `Vienna method of pictorial statistics', or `Isotypes'. A review section describes new publications on Neurath and the Vienna Circle, as well anthologies relevant to Viennese philosophy and its history, setting them in their wider cultural and political perspective. Finally, a description is given of the Vienna Circle Institute and its activities since its foundation, as well as of its plans for the future.
This abridged and revised edition of the original book (Springer-Wien-New York: 2001) offers the only comprehensive history and documentation of the Vienna Circle based on new sources with an innovative historiographical approach to the study of science. With reference to previously unpublished archival material and more recent literature, it refutes a number of widespread clichés about "neo-positivism" or "logical positivism". Following some insights on the relation between the history of science and the philosophy of science, the book offers an accessible introduction to the complex subject of "the rise of scientific philosophy” in its socio-cultural background and European philosophical networks till the forced migration in the Anglo-Saxon world.

The first part of the book focuses on the origins of Logical Empiricism before World War I and the development of the Vienna Circle in "Red Vienna" (with the "Verein Ernst Mach"), its fate during Austro-Fascism (Schlick's murder 1936) and its final expulsion by National-Socialism beginning with the "Anschluß" in 1938. It analyses the dynamics of the Schlick-Circle in the intellectual context of "late enlightenment" including the minutes of the meetings from 1930 on for the first time published and presents an extensive description of the meetings and international Unity of Science conferences between 1929 and 1941.

The chapters introduce the leading philosophers of the Schlick Circle (e.g., Hans Hahn, Otto Neurath, Rudolf Carnap, Philipp Frank, Felix Kaufmann, Edgar Zilsel) and describe the conflicting interaction between Moritz Schlick and Otto Neurath, the long term communication between Moritz Schlick, Friedrich Waismann and Ludwig Wittgenstein, as well as between the Vienna Circle with Heinrich Gomperz and Karl Popper. In addition, Karl Menger's "Mathematical Colloquium" with Kurt Gödel is presented as a parallel movement. The final chapter of this section describes the demise of the Vienna Circle and the forced exodus of scientists and intellectuals from Austria. The second part of the book includes a bio-bibliographical documentation of the Vienna Circle members and for the first time of the assassination of Moritz Schlick in 1936, followed by an appendix comprising an extensive list of sources and literature.

A good book may have the power to change the way we see the world, but a great book actually becomes part of our daily consciousness, pervading our thinking to the point that we take it for granted, and we forget how provocative and challenging its ideas once were—and still are. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is that kind of book. When it was first published in 1962, it was a landmark event in the history and philosophy of science. Fifty years later, it still has many lessons to teach.

With The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn challenged long-standing linear notions of scientific progress, arguing that transformative ideas don’t arise from the day-to-day, gradual process of experimentation and data accumulation but that the revolutions in science, those breakthrough moments that disrupt accepted thinking and offer unanticipated ideas, occur outside of “normal science,” as he called it. Though Kuhn was writing when physics ruled the sciences, his ideas on how scientific revolutions bring order to the anomalies that amass over time in research experiments are still instructive in our biotech age.

This new edition of Kuhn’s essential work in the history of science includes an insightful introduction by Ian Hacking, which clarifies terms popularized by Kuhn, including paradigm and incommensurability, and applies Kuhn’s ideas to the science of today. Usefully keyed to the separate sections of the book, Hacking’s introduction provides important background information as well as a contemporary context. Newly designed, with an expanded index, this edition will be eagerly welcomed by the next generation of readers seeking to understand the history of our perspectives on science.
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