Philosophy and the Exact Sciences: Logical Positivism as a Case Study
Friedman (Michael)
Source: Earman (John), Ed. - Inference, Explanation and Other Philosophical Frustrations
Paper - Abstract

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Editor’s Introduction1

  1. Logical positivism is a failed program. But its real shortcomings are quite different from those besetting the caricatures that dot the potted histories of philosophy. For example, the leading logical positivists (apart from Schlick) did not subscribe to the naive empiricism of a neutral observation language; indeed, as Michael Friedman notes in his contribution, the theory-ladenness of observation was explicitly emphasized by Carnap and others.
  2. Friedman argues that the ultimate shortcoming of positivism as embodied, say, in Carnap's Logical Syntax of Language lay in its failure to establish a neutral framework from which alternative languages or frameworks could be judged. Friedman traces this failure to Godel's incompleteness theorems and argues that the demise of Carnap's program does not promote relativism — as expressed by a notion of truth relativized to a framework — but pulls the rug out from under this and other fashionable relativisms.


Part I - Inference and Method

In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: Taken from "Earman (John) - Inference, Explanation and Other Philosophical Frustrations: Introduction".

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  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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