A philosophy webcomic about the inevitable anguish of living a brief life in an absurd world. Also Jokes

1771

The Vienna Circle Solves Philosophy


Back in Vienna: "okay, now that we have written this 600 page tract that PROVES scientifically that we are not, in fact, nerds, that should put the matter to rest."
Back in Vienna: "okay, now that we have written this 600 page tract that PROVES scientifically that we are not, in fact, nerds, that should put the matter to rest."

The Vienna Circle was a group of intellectuals in the early 20th century who were radically committed to the idea that empirical science was the only knowledge (known as "Logical Positivism"). The were heavily influenced by Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, which gave a similar account of knowledge, and likewise rejected metaphysics. They discussed philosophy with him in person quite a bit, but he isn't really considered part of the circle. Logical Positivism was short lived, collapsing mostly due to their failure to cleanly demarcate between science and non-science (i.e., different formulations of their ideas would either have to throw out too much, or admit too much into "science"), and the failure of Carnap's verification prinicple to account for how science is done in practice (especially due to later criticisms by Popper, Quine, and Kuhn). It wasn't really abandoned, as people often think, because the formulation of their ideas was, itself, not empirical. They were aware of that fact, and thought that it could be arrived at through a priori reasoning alone.

They are widely considered the least cool group of philosophers, just behind the American Transcendentalists.

The Vienna Circle was a group of intellectuals in the early 20th century who were radically committed to the idea that empirical science was the only knowledge (known as "Logical Positivism"). The were heavily influenced by Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, which gave a similar account of knowledge, and likewise rejected metaphysics. They discussed philosophy with him in person quite a bit, but he isn't really considered part of the circle. Logical Positivism was short lived, collapsing mostly due to their failure to cleanly demarcate between science and non-science (i.e., different formulations of their ideas would either have to throw out too much, or admit too much into "science"), and the failure of Carnap's verification prinicple to account for how science is done in practice (especially due to later criticisms by Popper, Quine, and Kuhn). It wasn't really abandoned, as people often think, because the formulation of their ideas was, itself, not empirical. They were aware of that fact, and thought that it could be arrived at through a priori reasoning alone.

They are widely considered the least cool group of philosophers, just behind the American Transcendentalists.

Support the comic on Patreon!
Follow on RSS Follow on twitter Follow on facebook share with reddit share on twitter share with your friends on facebook share with google employees