Neopositivists, B. Russell, L. Wittgenstein - Philosophy


As a special philosophical trend, neopositivism has become widespread in English-speaking countries. His most famous representatives are the German-American philosopher Rudolf Carnap (1891-1970), the English philosopher Sir Alfred Jules Ayer (1910-1989), the English philosopher John Austin (1911 - 1960), and B. Russell, L. Wittgenstein and others .

Under the general name of neo-positivism, many very different theories are united: from logical positivism, logical empiricism and logical atomism to the philosophy of linguistic analysis and various directions of analytic philosophy, which close with the theory of critical rationalism.

B. Russell

The views of the English philosopher, logic, mathematician, sociologist, publicist and public figure Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) changed significantly during his life1. For some time he was fond of the philosophy of G. Hegel. Later I started to develop mathematical logic and wrote (together with A. Whitehead) the famous three-volume work "Foundations of mathematics" (1910-1913). Russell - one of the founders of logical atomism and neopositivism. Developed the concept of "neutral monism", similar to Empiricism by E. Mach and R. Avenarius (literally "critique of experience"). In a later period, Russell's desire to combine the principle of empiricism is traced, according to which all our knowledge is taken from experience, and the conviction, traditionally proceeding from rationalism. As a result, logic, according to Russell, is the essence of philosophy. A characteristic feature of his theory of knowledge was the concept of "knowledge-acquaintance", i.e. the idea of ​​direct knowledge in the experience of sensory data and universals; all this fulfills the role of "building blocks", of which a building of natural scientific knowledge is being built. Its proximity to neopositivism manifested itself in substantiating the significance of sensory experience in scientific cognition. In this case, Russell in his views was close to the views of D. Hume. He recognized the presence of universals in the most sensual experience, allowing inconsistency in this.

Russell was one of the initiators (along with A. Einstein and F. Joliot-Curie) of the Pugwash movement. He is a Nobel Prize winner in literature (1950). His works are distinguished by the brightness of the presentation and surprising erudition.

L. Wittgenstein

The Austrian philosopher, logic and mathematician Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) developed the ideas of linguistic philosophy, worked out the problems of mathematical logic, analyzed the language of mathematics as the most perfect language of scientific knowledge. He believed it possible and desirable to reduce all scientific knowledge to logic and mathematics, thereby absolutizing the significance of formal transformations, which could allegedly express substantive statements about the world. Wittgenstein expressed confidence in the boundless possibilities of the new logic, especially the logical syntax, and philosophy, in his opinion, should describe the practice of using logical signs. Initially, Wittgenstein proceeded from the possibility of reducing all knowledge to a set of elementary sentences, and considered philosophy only as a criticism of language. These ideas were later replaced in Wittgenstein by the cult of the variety of forms of everyday language and their empirical description and had a significant influence on the development of linguistic philosophy, one of whose tasks is a detailed analysis of the actual use of natural spoken language in order to eliminate misunderstandings, arising from its misuse.

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