Wolfgang Köhler on Facts and Values

Dialogue and Universalism 25 (4):61-76 (2015)
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Abstract

This essay is about the Wolfgang Köhler’s philosophical ideas expressed in his The Place of Value in a World of Facts of 1938. Köhler, who strongly supports a scientific world view, considers the question as to whether science is able to cope with human values, besides natural facts. Relying upon phenomenological analyses, and on his previous researches in natural philosophy, Köhler introduces his doctrine of “epistemological dualism”. From a historical point of view, this theory exhibits some similarity with the philosophical ideas expressed by Köhler’s Berlin mentor Carl Stumpf. It is argued that Köhler’s epistemological dualism actually supports ontological monism and aims at offering a unified view of natural facts and human values.

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Riccardo Martinelli
Università degli Studi di Trieste

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