Friedrich Waismann - Causality and Logical Positivism by Brian Mcguinness (auth.), B.F. McGuinness (eds.)

By Brian Mcguinness (auth.), B.F. McGuinness (eds.)

Friedrich Waismann (1896–1959) used to be some of the most talented scholars and collaborators of
Moritz Schlick. authorised as a dialogue accomplice by way of Wittgenstein from 1927 on, he functioned
as spokesman for the latter’s rules within the Schlick Circle, till Wittgenstein’s contact
with this so much devoted interpreter used to be damaged off in 1935 and never renewed while exile took
Waismann to Cambridge. still, at Oxford, the place he went in 1939, and eventually
became Reader in Philosophy of arithmetic (changing later to Philosophy of Science),
Waismann made vital and autonomous contributions to analytic philosophy and philosophy
of technology (for instance with regards to chance, causality and linguistic analysis).
The complete volume of those simply turned glaring later whilst the bigger (unpublished) a part of his
writings can be studied. His first posthumous paintings the rules of Linguistic Philosophy
(1965, second edn.1997; German 1976) and his prior Einführung in das mathematische
Denken (1936) have lately proved of clean curiosity to the medical group. This late
flowering and new figuring out of Waismann’s place is attached with the truth that he
somewhat unfairly fell below the shadow of Wittgenstein, his mentor and predecessor.
Central to this publication a few lifestyles and paintings known to few is unpublished
and unknown works on causality and likelihood. those are commented on in
this quantity, so that it will additionally contain a ebook of latest or formerly scattered
material and an outline of Waismann’s life.

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According to the lectures, the upshot is that […] there is a limit to the finiteness of our powers of observation and the smallness of the accompanying disturbance – a limit which is inherent in the nature of things and can never be surpassed by an improved technique or increased skill on the part of the observer. There is thus an essential indeterminacy in the quantum theory, of a kind that has no analogue in the classical theory. This indeterminacy can be said to have its basis in the wave properties of matter, and is therefore unavoidable.

28 As is well known, Hume assumed that the idea of a necessary connexion must therefore rest on a psychological mechanism: ‘habit’ is at work. That ‘A causes B’ always is thus neither logical nor verifiable save for a finite number of cases. Therefore, how could we derive a general law, covering a potentially infinite number of cases, from a finite number of cases? This is the problem of induction as uncovered by Hume, “the problem of justifying an inference from the past to the future” (p. 29 Again, there is no contradiction to be inferred from supposing false generalisations such as ‘All swans are white’, so they are not logical and they are never completely verified either.

1976, Logik, Sprache, Philosophie, G. P. Baker, B. F. McGuinness, J. ), Stuttgart, Reclam. , 1977, Philosophical Papers, B. F. ), Dordrecht, D. Reidel. , 1982, Lectures on the Philosophy of Mathematics, W. ), Amsterdam, Rodopi. , 1983, Wille und Motiv. Zwei Abhandlungen über Ethik und Handlungstheorie, J. ), Stuttgart, Reclam. , 1997, The Principles of Linguistic Philosophy, R. ), sec. , London, MacMillan. , J. Schächter & M. Schlick, 1994, Ethics and the Will. Essays, B. McGuinness & J. ), Dordrecht, Kluwer.

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