The American Reception of Logical Positivism: First Encounters

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This paper reconstructs the American reception of logical positivism in the early 1930s. I argue that Moritz Schlick (who had visiting positions at Stanford and Berkeley between 1929 and 1932) and Herbert Feigl (who visited Harvard in the 1930-31 academic year) played a crucial role in promoting the *Wissenschaftliche Weltauffassung*, years before members of the Vienna Circle, the Berlin Group, and the Lvov-Warsaw school would seek refuge in the United States. Building on archive material from the Wiener Kreis Archiv, the Harvard University Archives, and the Herbert Feigl Papers, as well as a large number of publications in American philosophy journals from the early 1930s, I reconstruct the subtle transformation of the American philosophical landscape in the years immediately preceding the European exodus. I argue that (1) American philosophical discussions about meaning and significance and (2) internal dynamics in the Vienna Circle between 1929 and 1931 significantly impacted the way in which US philosophers came to perceive logical positivism.
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Archival date: 2019-12-27
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