On the Logical Positivists' Philosophy of Psychology: Laying a Legend to Rest

In Maria Carla Galavotti, Dennis Dieks, Wenceslao J. Gonzalez, Stephan Hartmann, Thomas Uebel & Marcel Weber (eds.), New Directions in Philosophy of Science. The Philosophy of Science in a European Perspective Vol. 5. Springer. pp. 711-726 (2014)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

The received view in the history of the philosophy of psychology is that the logical positivists—Carnap and Hempel in particular—endorsed the position commonly known as “logical” or “analytical” behaviourism, according to which the relations between psychological statements and the physical-behavioural statements intended to give their meaning are analytic and knowable a priori. This chapter argues that this is sheer legend: most, if not all, such relations were viewed by the logical positivists as synthetic and knowable only a posteriori. It then traces the origins of the legend to the logical positivists’ idiosyncratic extensional or at best weakly intensional use of what are now considered crucially strongly intensional semantic notions, such as “translation,” “meaning” and their cognates, focussing on a particular instance of this latter phenomenon, arguing that a conflation of explicit definition and analyticity may be the chief source of the legend.

Author's Profile

Sean Crawford
University of Manchester

Analytics

Added to PP
2013-09-19

Downloads
991 (#6,462)

6 months
47 (#19,867)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?