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Logical Positivism (The Library of Philosophical Movements)

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0029011300
ISBN-10: 0029011302
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Of special value, partly because of its comprehensive authoritative introduction, partly because it translates for the first time important papers of the Vienna circle (Schlick, Carnap and Neurath). The book gives more than it promises, the text as well as the extensive bibliography including contributions of the analysts."-Hibbert Journal

?Of special value, partly because of its comprehensive authoritative introduction, partly because it translates for the first time important papers of the Vienna circle (Schlick, Carnap and Neurath). The book gives more than it promises, the text as well as the extensive bibliography including contributions of the analysts.?-Hibbert Journal --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

er /f Alfred /i Jules --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Library of Philosophical Movements
  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (January 1, 1966)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0029011302
  • ISBN-13: 978-0029011300
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #720,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
This interesting collection of articles put together by one of the key persons of the Logical Positivist/Empiricist movement is arranged under six different sub-sections based on their subject matter: "Logical Atomism", "Philosophy, Metaphysics and Meaning", "Logic and Mathematics", "Knowledge and Truth", "Ethics and Sociology" and "Analytical Philosophy". This together with professor Ayers introduction brings structure to an otherwise unguided presentation of works by some of the leading Logical positivists of the 20th century. If you want to get acquainted with the Logical Positivists for the first time this should probably be used as supplementary reading rather than your main literature. The most readable presentation of the ideas of Logical Positivism I have come across is the classic Language, Truth and Logic by Ayer, which also is an important text historically since it was largely responsible for the popularization of the ideas of Logical Positivism to the English speaking world. It could be read by an interested layperson.

With that said, there is definitely something to be gained from this collection if you want a more thorough understanding of one of the most important philosophical movements of modern times. But since the commentary of the text is minimal (just Ayers introduction) you will have to put in extra work to really get a feel for the dialectic of the debate. In these articles I encountered more diversity and "messiness" in the movement than what I could gather from the usual condensed presentation you get of Logical Positivism.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is an anthology of texts by several authors of logical postivism. It has to be noted that the editor himself, A.J. Ayer, is a main figure in the contemporary philosophical movement known logical positivism or logical empiricism. Although the hisotrical introduction is very brief, the selection is extremly good and gives a thorough picture of the movement.

Ayer also considers important to include some texts regarded as analytic philosophy but not universaly considered to be "logical postivism" (Ayer does). One may find, among such authors, Russell and Austin. These texts are indeed welcomed, but do not take for granted that these authors match completely the positivist program, or that this book will give you a general idea of analytic philosophy.

It is worth to mention that although (the first) Wittgenstein was close for a while to the Vienna Circle and is considered by many a logical postivist, no text written by him is included. The editor considers impossible to do justice to Wittgenstein with an excerpt from his only two books. However, if you're interested in Wittgenstein some articles fromt his anthology might be helpful to understand the theory forwarded in the Tractatus.

Some texts are more programatic than academic, and even the academic texts include a good deal of a general account or a defense of logical positvism; which makes this book very useful for for someone who is just beginning to study logical postivism (Which was my case, as a graduate student).

Also, many articles make use of symbolic logic, but it should be noted that it is for breif moments and that they are still understandable if one is unable to make sense of these logic parts.

The articles tend to be brief, which also makes this book good for a teacher looking for reading material to include in a syllabus.
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Format: Hardcover
Editor Alfred Jules Ayer (1910-1989) was a British philosopher who was a founder of Logical Positivism, who was a professor of logic at the University of Oxford. He wrote many books, such as Language, Truth and Logic, The Foundations Of Empirical Knowledge, Probability and Evidence, The Central Questions of Philosophy, etc.

General Editor Paul Edwards wrote in the Preface to this 1959 collection of essays, "This volume presents, for the first time in English, many of the most influential papers by leading members of the Vienna Circle. These and other articles contain authoritative expositions of the doctrines most commonly associated with logical positivism."

Ayer wrote in his Introduction, "The term `Logical Positivism' was coined some thirty years ago to characterize the standpoint of a group of philosophers, scientists and mathematicians who gave themselves the name of the Vienna Circle. Since that time its reference has been extended to cover other forms of analytic philosophy; so that disciples of Bertrand Russell, G.E. Moore or Ludwig Wittgenstein... or members of the contemporary Oxford movement of linguistic analysis may also find themselves described as logical positivists. This wider usage is especially favored by those who are hostile to the whole modern development of philosophy as an analytical rather than a speculative enquiry." (Pg.
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