Otto Neurath: Philosophy between Science and Politics

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Four distinguished authors have been brought together to produce this elegant study of a much-neglected figure. The book is divided into three sections: Neurath's biographical background and the economic and social context of his ideas; his theory of science; and the development of his role in debates on Marxist concepts of history and his own conception of science. Coinciding with the emerging serious interest in logical positivism, this timely publication will redress a current imbalance in the history and philosophy of science.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...this fascinating book, which also contains though-provoking sketches of the views of Mach (102-4), Duhem (116-8), Carnap (149-52), and Weber (213-19) and an important (if familiar) criticism of the views of Popper (201), can justifiably be recommended to anyone with an interest in the history of twentieth-century philosophy." John Preston, Philosophy in Review

" excellent book..." Steven Beller, German Studies Review

"For historians of philosophy of science, this book is essential reading." George Reisch, Isis

"This is an important work. Readers wiil enjoy Fleck's biography...." Barry Seldes, Austrian History Yearbook

"This useful, attractive Neurath is the product of an ambitious collaboration among four scholars." David A. Hollinger, American Historical Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521451741
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2003
  • Series: Ideas in Context Series, #38
  • Pages: 308
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction; Part I. A Life Between Science and Politics: 1. Before Munich; 1.1. Early years; 1.2. War economics; 1.3. During the First World War; 2. The socialisation debate; 2.1. Setting the problem; 2.2. Bauer and Korsch; 2.3. The standard of living; 2.4. Neurath on the structure of the socialist economy; 2.5. The road to socialisation; 2.6. Neurath's position in the debate; 3. In the Bavarian revolution; 3.1. The appointment; 3.2. In office; 3.3. On trial; 4. In Red Vienna; 4.1. People's education; 4.2. The Housing Movement; 4.3. The Museum of Economy and Society; 4.4. The Vienna Circle; 4.5. Exile in The Hague and Oxford; Part II. On Neurath's Boat: 1. The Boat: Neurath's image of knowledge; 2. In the First Vienna Circle; 2.1. Three hypotheses; 2.2. Mach's legacy; 2.3. The 1910 programme; 3. From the Duhem Thesis to the Neurath Principle; 3.1. Normative antifoundationalism 3.2. Radical descriptive antifoundationalism; 3.3. Metatheoretical antifoundationalism; 4; Rationality without foundations; 4.1; The primacy of practical reason; 4.2. Determining the conventions of science; 4.3. The second Boat: one world; 5. A theory of scientific discourse; 5.1. Anti-philosophy, Marxism and radical physicalism; 5.2. The forward defense of naturalism; 5.3. Science as discourse: the theory of protocols; 6. Towards a theory of practice; Part III. Unity on the Earthly Plane: 1. Two stories with a common theme; 2. Science: the stock of instruments; 2.1. From re-represention to action; 2.2. Unity without the pyramid; 3. The attack on method; 3.1. Boats and Ballungen; 3.2. Protocols, precision and atomicity; 3.3. The two Neurath Principles; 4; Where Ballungen come from; 4.1. Duhem's symbols; 4.2. The congestion of events; 4.3. The density of concepts; 4.4. The separability of planning and politics; 4.5. How Marxists think of history; 5. Negotiation, not regulation; Conclusion.

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