Friedrich K. Stadler was born in 1951 in Zeltweg, Austria. [He studied history, philosophy and psychology at the Universities of Graz and Salzburg. 1977 Mag. Phil., 1982 Dr. phil. Since 1989 university lecturer.] 1994 Habilitation in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Vienna. Founder and director of the "Institut Wiener Kreis" (Vienna Circle Institute). 1997 Associate Professor at the University of Vienna, (Center for International and Interdisciplinary Studies).Visiting professor at the Humboldt University, Berlin, at the University of Minnesota, Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science and Center for Austrian Studies. Fulbright Research Scholar.
This book offers a systematic, in-depth study of the Vienna Circle based on a new historiographical approach to the study of science.The author has unearthed previously unpublished archival material, which he uses together with recent literature, to refute a number of widespread clichés about "logical positivism".Following some metatheoretical and methodological remarks on the troubled relation between the history of science and the philosophy of science, the author offers an accessible introduction to the complex subject of "scientific philosophy". At the same time he provides a detailed account of the socio-cultural background of the so-called "rise of scientific philosophy".The central section of the book focuses on the intellectual setting of "late enlighten-ment". Here the author analyzes the dynamic of the Schlick Circle and presents extensive archival material related to the Unity of Science conferences that took place between 1929 and 1941.Stadler then introduces some of the leading intellectuals of the Schlick Circle and its periphery. Karl Menger's "Mathematical Colloquium" is also documented here for the first time. The author then describes the relations between Moritz Schlick and Otto Neurath, the Vienna Circle and Ludwig Wittgenstein as well as between the Heinrich Gomperz Circle and Karl Popper. The first publication of the protocols of the Schlick Circle and of an interview with Karl R. Popper completes these studies. The final chapter of this section describes the de-mise 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 activities of the Vienna Circle and of the assassination of Moritz Schlick and an appendix comprising an extensive list of sources and literature.In this book, the author presents an exemplary study of the rise of scientific thought and its vicissitudes in this century.
The standard work on the Vienna Circle published for the first time in English
Part One: The Vienna Circle: Origins, Development, and Influence of Logical Empiricism in Context: Introduction and Overview; Traces of Scientific Philosophy in Imperial Austria: The Social and Cultural Situation - Initial Conditions for the Rise of Scientific Philosophy; Austrian Scientific Philosophy - the Anti-Idealistic Tradition between Logic, Empiricism, and Critique of Language; Ernst Mach - The Anti-Metaphysical Positivist Paradigm; The Origins of Logical Empiricism - Roots of the Vienna Circle before the First World War; The Vienna Circle and Logical Empiricism in the First Republic; The Non-Public Phase of the Vienna Circle 1918-1929; The Public Phase of the Vienna Circle: From 1929 until the Anschluss; Karl Menger's Vienna Circle: The Mathematical Colloquium 1928-1936; Wittgenstein and the Vienna Circle: Thought Style and Thought Collective; Heinrich Gomperz, Karl Popper, and the Vienna Circle - Between Demarcation and Family Resemblance; Excursus: The Philosophical and Political Pluralism of the Vienna Circle - The Example of Otto Neurath and Moritz Schlick; The Role of the Universities and Institutions of Adult Education - The Demise of Reason; Necrology: The Exodus of Scientific Reason.- Part Two: The Vienna Circle - Biographical and Bibliographical Aspects: Preliminary Remarks; An Overview of the Vienna Circle; The Vienna Circle and its Periphery: Biographies and Bibliographies; Documentation: The Murder of Moritz Schlick