Alfred Tarski
Tarski, Alfred
(1902 - 1983)


Ludwig Wittgenstein
Wittgenstein, Ludwig
(1889 - 1951)


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Review, Part #5

The Vienna Circle

About the year 1920 gathered a number of philosophers around professor Moritz Schlick (1882-1936) as a group called The Vienna circle. Some central persons of that group were, besides Schlick, Rudolf Carnap (1891-1970), Otto Neurath (1882-1945) and Herbert Feigl (b. 1902), also to its activities were participating logician Kurt Gödel (1906-1978) and as opponent Karl Popper (1902-1993). The circle had an effect e.g. to following philosophers: Hans Reichenbach (1891-1953) and Carl G. Hempel (1905-1997) in Berlin, Alfred J. Ayer (b. 1910) in England, Ernest Nagel (b. 1901) and Willard V. Quine (1908-2000) in USA, logician Alfred Tarski (1902-1983) in Poland and Eino Kaila (1890-1958) in Finland. The Vienna circle obtained decided influences from positivism of 19th century through Mach's phenomenology and in slight degree from conventionalism and pragmatism. Inspired from Russell's and Wittgenstein's ideas the circle was attempting to form the principles of the positivistic philosophy utilizing exact concept-implements which were developed around the logic. For that reason is the philosophy of the Vienna circle called in general logical positivism or logical empiricism.

According to Carnap's tolerance-principle everybody may select in logic his language how he will. This principle represents radical conventionalism in ontological questions; answers to questions treating of the character of a reality are depending (according to Carnap) on the structure of a language, which is dependent on agreement. Later Carnap made a difference between internal and external questions associated to the concept-system.

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