Saturday, February 24, 2024

Karl Sigmund’s ‘Exact Thinking in Demented Times’

I am reading Karl Sigmund’s Exact Thinking in Demented Times

The book narrates the story of the Vienna Circle that was spearheading logical positivism, during the 1930s, in the backdrop of Nazism in Germany, Bolshevism in the Soviet Union and Neo-colonialism in Britain. The philosophers of the Vienna Circle believed that exact philosophical and scientific thinking is possible to human beings. They believed that they were on the verge of discovering the “ultimate metaphysical truth,” through which they would be able to explain every philosophical and scientific truth known to mankind. Wittgenstein was initially an important philosopher for the logical positivists, but his work, the logical positivists soon realized, was useless.

As they continued their deliberations, the Vienna Circle found itself descending deeper and deeper into a philosophical rabbit hole from which it could not extricate itself. The quest for ultimate metaphysical truth petered out by the time the Second World War ended. Having failed to find the ultimate metaphysical truth, Vienna Circle broke apart.

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