Tuesday, 16 November 2010
The Berlin Group
University of Paderborn, Philosophy
12:05 pm, 817R Cathedral of Learning
Abstract: The Vienna Circle and the Berlin Group (Kurt Grelling, Walter Dubislav, Hans Reichenbach) were twin-schools of scientific philosophy who fought common enemies: the philosophical idealism, the religious obscurantism and the political reaction. Nevertheless, there were considerable theoretical and organizational differences between the two. The influence of Wittgenstein on the philosophy of the Vienna Circle helps to understand the central role such problems as that of demarcation of science from metaphysics and the dismissal of the latter, and the principle of verification played in it. These problems were scarcely discussed in Berlin, where Wittgenstein’s influence was rather limited. Among other things, this explains why, in contrast to Carnap, Reichenbach was not shy to call himself a “philosopher”. He also showed willingness to discuss with idealistic philosophers (Oskar Becker, for example), something unthinkable for Carnap after 1930.