Vienna Circle, Karl Popper, Frankfurt School,
Marxism, McCarthyism & American Philosophy:
Selected Bibliography

Compiled by Ralph Dumain

“In science there are no ‘depths’; there is surface everywhere . . . ”

The Scientific Conception of the World: The Vienna Circle (manifesto, Vienna, August 1929)

Rudolf Carnap (Online)

Carnap: Politics, Heidegger, & Lebensphilosophie

Awodey, Steve; Klein, Carsten; eds. Carnap Brought Home: The View from Jena. Chicago: Open Court, 2004. See also Gabriel, Uebel, Wolters.

Brushlinsky, V. Carnap’s ‘Elimination of Metaphysics’ [my title]. Originally appeared in Pod Znamenem Marksisma [Under the Banner of Marxism] (1932). Reprinted (complete bibliographic information not provided) in Frank, Phillip (see below), pp. 160-163.

Carnap, Rudolf. "Intellectual Autobiography," in: The Philosophy of Rudolf Carnap, ed. Paul Arthur Schilpp (La Salle, IL: Open Court, 1963), pp. 3-84.

See quote: Carnap on Wittgenstein & Esperanto, p. 26. (In Esperanto: "Lingvoplanado" (Language Planning).) See also Wittgenstein on Esperanto (1946) and Ludwig Wittgenstein and Constructed Languages: Wittgenstein, Esperanto by T. Peter Park. Carnap also endorsed The International Language Association: A Prospectus and Report.  On Schlick and the Vienna Circle in Esperanto, see Haller.

Carnap, Rudolf. "The Elimination of Metaphysics through the Logical Analysis of Language" (orig: 1932. "Überwindung der Metaphysik durch logische Analyse der Sprache," Erkenntnis, v. 2, 219-41), trans. A. Pap, in: Logical Positivism, A.J. Ayer, ed. (New York: Free Press, 1959), 60-81.

Carnap, Rudolf. Guide to the Rudolf Carnap Papers, 1904-2007 ASP.1974.01, ULS Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh.

Carnap, Rudolf. “Overcoming Metaphysics through Logical Analysis of Language,” translated & introduced by Aaron Boyden.

Carnap, Rudolf. Philosophy and Logical Syntax. London: Kegan Paul, 1935. Chapter: "The Rejection of Metaphysics".

Carnap, Rudolf. "Replies and Systematic Expositions": "2. Robert S. Cohen on Dialectical Materialism vs. Empiricism", "3. Philipp Frank and V. Brushlinsky on Positivism, Metaphysics, and Marxism"; in: The Philosophy of Rudolf Carnap, ed. Paul Arthur Schilpp (La Salle, IL: Open Court, 1963), pp. 863-867, 867-868.

Cohen, Robert S. "Dialectical Materialism and Carnap's Logical Empiricism," in: The Philosophy of Rudolf Carnap, ed. Paul Arthur Schilpp (La Salle, IL: Open Court, 1963), pp. 99-158.

Dreben, Burton. "Cohen's Carnap, or Subjectivity is in the Eye of the Beholder," in: Science, Politics, and Social Practice: Essays on Marxism and Science, Philosophy of Culture and the Social Sciences: In Honor of Robert S. Cohen, edited by Kostas Gavroglu, John Stachel, Marx W. Wartofsky (Dordrecht; Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1995), pp. 27-42. (Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science; v. 164)

Ducasse, Curt. Philosophy as Logical Syntax of the Language of Science, in Philosophy as a Science (1941), Chapter 7.

Frank, Philipp. "The Pragmatic Components in Carnap's 'Elimination of Metaphysics'," in: The Philosophy of Rudolf Carnap, ed. Paul Arthur Schilpp (La Salle, IL: Open Court, 1963), pp. 159-164. Includes the critique of V. Brushlinsky, pp. 160-163.

Friedman, Michael. A Parting of the Ways: Carnap, Cassirer, and Heidegger. Chicago: Open Court, 2000.

Gabriel, Gottfried. "Carnap's 'Elimination of Metaphysics Through Logical Analysis of Language'. A Retrospective Consideration of the Relationship between Continental and Analytic Philosophy."

Gabriel, Gottfried. "Introduction: Carnap Brought Home", in Carnap Brought Home: The View from Jena, edited by Steve Awodey & Carsten Klein (Chicago: Open Court, 2004), pp. 3-23.

This essay presents a fascinating thesis: the overlooked influence of lebensphilosophie on Carnap. The author examines the neglected role of Carnap's teacher Herman Nohl, a student of Dilthey. The influence of lebensphilosophie can be found in Carnap's Pseudoproblems in Philosophy (1928) and "Overcoming Metaphysics Through Logical Analysis of Language" (1931). The politics and philosophical positions competing in the German youth movement are outlined. Nohl got from Dilthey the notion that metaphysics = scientific weltanshauung. Carnap (1931) deems metaphysics as an historical substitute for theology. In this he follows the neo-Kantian F.A. Lange. Metaphysics is viewed not as cognitively valuable but expressive or emotive. Carnap credits Nietzsche for the notion of philosophy as poetry. Heidegger and Carnap draw on the same tension between neo-Kantianism and lebensphilosophie to reach opposite positions (p. 12). (Note Carnap on music.) Note the enmity of Carnap for Heidegger through Carnap's friendship with Wilhelm Flitner. Note also the religious nature and mystical leanings of Carnap's family.

Heelan, Patrick A. "Carnap and Heidegger: Parting Ways in the Philosophy of Science," in Heidegger’s Critique of Science, ed. Trish Glazebrook (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2007). [Cannot verify this publication.]

Mormann, Thomas. "Carnap's Logical Empiricism, Values, and American Pragmatism." 12 pp.

Stone, Abraham D. "Heidegger and Carnap on the Overcoming of Metaphysics". 26 April 2004.

Uebel, Thomas. "Carnap, the Left Vienna Circle, and Neopositivist Antimetaphysics", in Carnap Brought Home: The View from Jena, edited by Steve Awodey & Carsten Klein (Chicago: Open Court, 2004), pp. 247-277.

The "left" Vienna Circle is said to be comprised of Hans Hahn, P. Frank, Neurath, and Carnap. There is a vague correlation, not to be taken too literally, between the scientific and political positions of the "Left" wing of the Vienna Circle, even termed as such in Carnap's correspondence. The author explores the limitations, equivocations, and contradictions in the anti-realist, anti-correspondence views of Carnap and the others. He also places Carnap's concerns in the context of the intellectual politics of his milieu. He was compelled to oppose the old "school" metaphysics including prevalent views about science, by means of a scientific philosophy and defense of Enlightenment. The relationship of the Vienna Circle to American pragmatism is also brought up, including a limited engagement with Dewey.

Wolters, Gereon. "Style in Philosophy: The Case of Carnap", in Carnap Brought Home: The View from Jena, edited by Steve Awodey & Carsten Klein (Chicago: Open Court, 2004), pp. 25-39.

Note the influence of F.A. Lange's notion of conceptual poetry on Nietzsche (28). Note Carnap's moral and political concerns (35). [Note: Carnap's last photograph was taken with activists in the U.S. civil rights movement.] Carnap's non-cognitivism (and theory-practice dualism) regarding the above is said to be symptomatic of his uncompromising, extremist, either-or character (36).

Otto Neurath

Cartwright, Nancy; et al; eds. Otto Neurath: Philosophy Between Science and Politics. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996. (Ideas in Context; 38). Publisher description. Table of contents.

Cockshott, Paul. "Calculation in-Natura, from Neurath to Kantorovich." May 15, 2008.

Gruber, Helmut. Red Vienna: Experiment in Working-Class Culture 1919-1934. New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. See pp. 52, 84-85.

Jacobs, Struan; Otto, Karl-Heinz. “Otto Neurath: Marxist Member of the Vienna Circle,” Auslegung, Vol. 16 , No. 2 pp, 175-189.

Lindley, Mark; Farmelant, James. “The Strange Case of Dr Hayek and Mr Hayek,” Journal of Social and Political Studies (Allahabad, India), volume III, no. 2, December 2012.

Nemeth, Elisabeth. Otto Neurath’s Economics in Context. New York: Springer, 2008.

Nemeth, Elisabeth; Stadler, Friedrich (eds.), Encyclopedia and Utopia: The Life and Work of Otto Neurath (1882-1945), Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook, 1996, vol. 4. Dordrecht; Boston; London: Kluwer Academic Publishers: 1996. See review by Cosma Rohilla Shalizi.

Neurath, Otto. Empiricism and Sociology, edited by Marie Neurath and Robert S. Cohen; translations from the German by Paul Foulkes and Marie Neurath; with a selection of biographical and autobiographical sketches. Dordrecht: Reidel, 1973. Includes abridged translations of two books, Anti-Spengler and Empiricism and Sociology.

See also Anti-Spengler (1921) [Quotes] by Otto Neurath.

Neurath, Otto. Modern Man in the Making. New York; London: , Alfred A. Knopf, 1939.

Neurath, Otto. Philosophical Papers, 1913-1946; edited and translated by Robert S. Cohen and Marie Neurath, with the editorial assistance of Carolyn R. Fawcett. Dordrecht, Holland; Boston: D. Riedel Publishing Co.; Hingham, MA: Kluwer Boston, 1983. (Vienna Circle Collection; v. 16)

See “Pseudorationalism of Falsification” (1935), pp. 121-131, for criticism of Popper.

Neurath, Otto. “Sociology and Physicalism” [orig. 1931/2] translated by Morton Magnus & Ralph Raico, in: Logical Positivism, A.J. Ayer, ed. (New York: Free Press, 1959), 282-317.

O’Neill, John. “In Partial Praise of a Positivist: The Work of Otto Neurath,” Radical Philosophy, no.74, November/December 1995, pp. 29-38.

O’Neill, John. "Unified Science as Political Philosophy: Positivism, Pluralism and Liberalism", Studies in History and Philosophy of Science (2003). Abstract.

Otto Neurath, 1882--1945 (25 Jul 1997), from Notebooks by Cosma Rohilla Shalizi.

Vossoughian, Nader. Otto Neurath: The Language of the Global Polis. Rotterdam: NAi Publishers, 2008.

Zolo, Danilo. Reflexive Epistemology: The Philosophical Legacy of Otto Neurath, translated from the Italian by David McKie. Dordrecht; Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1989. (Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science; v. 118)

The Frankfurt School (Horkheimer, Adorno) & the Vienna Circle (Neurath, Carnap)

Alker, Hayward R.. Jr. “Logic, Dialectics, Politics: Some Recent Controversies,” in Dialectical Logics for the Political Sciences; guest editor, Hayward R. Alker, Jr. (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1982), pp. 65-94. (Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities; v. 7)

Bowie, Andrew. "The Romantic Connection: Neurath, The Frankfurt School, and Heidegger", British Journal for the History of Philosophy, Part One: vol. 8, no. 2 (2000): 275-298; Part Two: vol. 8, no. 3 (2000): 459-483.

Dahms, Hans Joachim. "Der Positivismusstreit (Fortsetzung)," Jahrbuch fur Soziologiegeschichte, 1991, 119-182. [In German]

Abstract: This article continues a detailed examination of the relationship between critical theory and logical positivism, and provides an account of the philosophical interventions in the debate concerning positivism within German sociology during the 1960's.

Dahms, Hans Joachim. "Die Vorgeschichte des Positivismus-Streits: von der Kooperation zur Konfrontation," Jahrbuch fur Soziologiegeschichte, 1990; 9-78. [In German]

Abstract: This article provides a detailed account of the contacts and exchanges between members of the Frankfurt School and the Vienna Circle during the years 1936-1942.

Hegselmann, Rainer. "La concepcion cientifica del mundo, el circulo de viena: un balance" in El Programa de Carnap: Ciencia, lenguaje, filosofia, Cirera, Ramon (ed.) (Barcelona: Ed-Bronce, 1997). [In Spanish]

Abstract: Almost all leading members of the logical empiricist movement in Germany and Austria left those countries after 1933 (Germany) and 1934 (Austria). They did that to escape ethnic and political persecution. Despite that, in 1937 logical empiricism was accused by Max Horkheimer of holding a world view not only compatible with but even supporting and preparing national socialism. The article discusses that charge and rejects it.

Korthals, Michiel. "Het Positivisme Van Horkheimer: Een Kritiek Op Het Artikel Filosofie En Wetenschap in De Frankfurter Schule, Door S Koenis," Kennis en Methode, 9 (1985): 243-251. [In Dutch/Flemish]

Abstract: Against dialectical and Lukacsian interpretations of Horkheimer's critical theory in the early thirties the author stresses Horkheimer's conception of social research, that has to falsify and or verify philosophical and other theoretical insights. His critique of the concept of totality and other metaphysical constructs and bring him in the neighborhood of the Vienna Circle. His application of the concepts 'essence' and 'phenomena', however, contradicts his positivistic stance, because the 'essence' can't be tested by empirical research.

O'Neill, John; Uebel, Thomas. "Horkheimer and Neurath: Restarting a Disrupted Debate," European Journal of Philosophy, vol. 12, no. 1, April 2004, pp. 75-105.

Pearce, Trevor. “More than an Analogy: Rudolf Carnap and Theodor Adorno on Music and Philosophy.” voiceXchange, vol. 2, 2006. 11 pp.

Uebel, Thomas. Overcoming Logical Positivism from Within: The Emergence of Neurath's Naturalism in the Vienna Circle's Protocol Sentence Debate. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1992.

History & Politics of the Vienna Circle, McCarthyism & American Philosophy

Capps, John. Pragmatism and the McCarthy Era (March 9, 2002). Conference paper for Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, 29th Annual Meeting, Portland, Maine, March 7-9, 2002; Conference Theme: The Emotions and American Philosophy.

Dejnozka, Jan. "Origins of the Private Language Argument," Diálogos, 66 (1995), pp. 59-78.

Dumain, Ralph. McCumber Marking Time. 31 December 2003, 4 January 2004.

Edmonds, David. The Murder of Professor Schlick: The Rise and Fall of the Vienna Circle. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2020.

Frank, Philipp. Modern Science and Its Philosophy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1949. Reprint: New York: George Braziller, 1955.

Galison, Peter. "The Americanization of Unity," Daedalus, Winter 1998.

Giere, Ronald N.; Richardson, Alan W.; eds. Origins of Logical Empiricism. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996. (Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science; v. 16)

Gimbel, Steven. If I Had A Hammer: Why Logical Positivism Better Accounts for the Need for Gender and Cultural Studies.

A curious essay on the forgotten left-wing heritage of analytical philosophy, with a polemic against relativism.

Haller, Rudolf. “Memore al Moritz Schlick,” tradukita de Klaus Perko, Simpozio, n-ro 9, marto 1987, p. 37-39. [In Esperanto. See also Carnap.]

Hardcastle, Gary L.; Richardson, Alan W.; eds. Logical Empiricism in North America. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2003. Note articles by Howard and Reisch.

Howard, Don. "Better Red than Dead—Putting an End to the Social Irrelevance of Postwar Philosophy of Science," Science & Education, vol. 18 (2009):199–220.

Howard, Don. "Two Left Turns Make a Right: On the Curious Political Career of North American Philosophy of Science at Midcentury," in: Logical Empiricism in North America, ed. Gary L. Hardcastle & Alan W. Richardson (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2003), Chapter 2.

Hudelson, Richard; Evans, Robert . "McCarthyism and Philosophy in the United States," Philosophy of the Social Sciences, vol. 33, no. 2, June 2003, pp. 242-260. [Link inactive]

Kamminga, Harmke; Somsen, Geert; eds. Pursuing the Unity of Science: Ideology and Scientific Practice from the Great War to the Cold War. London; New York: Routledge,Taylor & Francis Group, 2016.

Tuboly, Ádám Tamás. “Unity, (Inter-)Nationalism, and Science” [review], The Berlin Review of Books, June 30, 2017.

McCumber, John. The Honor Roll: American Philosophers Professionally Injured During the McCarthy Era.

McCumber, John. Time in the Ditch: American Philosophy and the McCarthy Era. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2001.

Mirowski, Philip. "How Positivism Made Pact with the Postwar Social Sciences in America," Galileo, 2nd series, #31, May 2005.

Price, David H. “The FBI and Science & Society,” Science & Society, Winter 2004–2005.

See also Naturalism & Materialism (Reason & Society blog, April 16, 2007).

Reisch, George. "Disunity in the International Encyclopedia of Unified Science," in: Logical Empiricism in North America, ed. Gary L. Hardcastle & Alan W. Richardson (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2003), Chapter 8.

Reisch, George. George A. Reisch (web site).

Scientific Philosophy: the Multimedia Experience.
A collection of video and audio files documenting the lives and work of Rudolf Carnap and Charles Morris.

Reisch, George. A History of the International Encyclopedia of Unified Science. PhD dissertation.

Reisch, George A. How the Cold War Transformed Philosophy of Science. Cambridge, NY; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005. (Front matter.)

Reisch, George A. How the Cold War Transformed Philosophy of Science: To the Icy Slopes of Logic. February 15, 2004. Draft of book in progress. [Link inactive]

Reisch, George. "'The Life of The Present' to the 'Icy Slopes of Logic': How the Cold War Killed Logical Empiricism." Draft: April 16, 2001.

Reisch, George. "McCarthyism in Philosophy, or, the Wrath of Sidney Hook." Draft, 2002.

Reisch, George. "Three Kinds of Political Engagement for Philosophy of Science," Science and Education, vol. 18 (2009), pp.191–197.

Richardson, Alan W. Logical Empiricism as Scientific Philosophy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2023.

Riepe, Dale. "Critique of Idealistic Naturalism: Methodological Pollution in the Main Stream of American Philosophy," in Radical Currents in Contemporary Philosophy, edited by David H. DeGrood, Dale Riepe, & John Somerville (St. Louis, W. H. Green, 1971), pp. 5-22.

Tuboly, Ádám Tamás. “Essay Review: Logical Empiricism in International Context,” HOPOS: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science, vol. 8, Spring 2018.

Review of three volumes of the Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook, on Husserl, Cassirer, Schlick; pragmatism; the Lvov-Warsaw School. See also references below on the Lvov-Warsaw School.

Uebel, Thomas. Empiricism at the Crossroads: The Vienna Circle’s Protocol-Sentence Debate. Chicago: Open Court, 2007. (Full Circle: Publications of the Archive of Scientific Philosophy; v. 4)

Uebel, Thomas E. "Enlightenment and the Vienna Circle's Scientific World-Conception," in: Philosophers on Education: Historical Perspectives, edited by Amélie Oksenberg Rorty (London; New York: Routledge, 1998), pp. 418-438.

Other Studies of German, Central & East European, & Anglo-American
Philosophical & Social Currents

Alker, Hayward R.. Jr. “Logic, Dialectics, Politics: Some Recent Controversies,” in Dialectical Logics for the Political Sciences; guest editor, Hayward R. Alker, Jr. (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1982), pp. 65-94. (Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities; v. 7)

Banaji, Jairus. “A Philosophy of Revolutionary Practice: The first two theses on Feuerbach” [1977], Historical Materialism, 29 May 2020.

Bertrand Russell, Feminism, and Women Philosophers in his Circle, edited by Landon D. C. Elkind & Alexander Mugar Klein. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2024. (History of Analytic Philosophy)

Bouveresse, Jacques; Fournier, Christian [trans]; Laugier, Sandra [trans]. “Philosophy from an Antiphilosopher: Paul Valéry,” Critical Inquiry, vol, 21, no. 2, Winter, 1995, pp. 354-381. See also: Some Thoughts of Paul Valéry on Philosophy and Adorno on Paul Valéry & Cartesian Rationalism & Irrationalism in French Philosophy.

Brożek, Anna; Stadler, Friedrich; Woleński, Jan; eds. The Significance of the Lvov-Warsaw School in the European Culture. New York: Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2017. (Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook)

Dumain, Ralph. Note on the Poznan School.

Edmonds, David; Eidinow, John. Wittgenstein's Poker: The Story of a Ten-Minute Argument Between Two Great Philosophers. New York: Ecco, 2001.

Gellner, Ernest. Language and Solitude: Wittgenstein, Malinowski, and the Habsburg Dilemma. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Gellner, Ernest. Words and Things: A Critical Account of Linguistic Philosophy and a Study in Ideology. London: Gollancz; Boston: Beacon, 1959.

The Ernest Gellner Resource Site

Hanna, Robert. Review of Psychologism: A Case Study in the Sociology of Philosophical Knowledge by Martin Kusch (London: Routledge, 1995), Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 57, no.4 (December 1997): 961-964.

Janik, Allan. Wittgenstein's Vienna Revisited. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 2001.

Jones, Roger Bishop. Notes by RBJ on: Words and Things by Ernest Gellner. 2001/01/21.

Kusch, Martin. Psychologism: A Case Study in the Sociology of Philosophical Knowledge. London; New York: Routledge, 1995. Four Appendices to Psychologism (1995).

Review: Martin Kusch, Psychologism by R. Dumain. See also psychologism @ Studies in a Dying Culture.

Lewis, John. Bertrand Russell: Philosopher and Humanist. London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1968. 96 pp.

Lyas, Colin. “Herbert Marcuse's Criticism of ‘Linguistic Philosophy’,” Philosophical Investigations, vol. 5, no. 3, July 1982, pp. 166-189.

Nagel, Ernest. "Impressions and Appraisals of Analytic Philosophy in Europe," The Journal of Philosophy, vol. 33 (1936), no. 1, pp. 5-24 & no. 2, pp. 29-53.

Prado, C. G., ed. A House Divided: Comparing Analytic and Continental Philosophy. Amherst, NY: Humanity Books, 2003. Table of contents.

Schmidt, James. The “New Failure of Nerve,” The Eclipse of Reason, and the Critique of Enlightenment in New York and Los Angeles, 1940-1947. Center for Advanced Studies, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, May 2011. See also blog post: James Schmidt on Max Horkheimer & Dialectic of Enlightenment.

Sluga, Hans. "What Has History to Do With Me? Wittgenstein and Analytic Philosophy," Inquiry, vol. 41, 1998, pp. 99-121.

Stebbing, Susan. A Modern Introduction to Logic. 2nd ed. London: Methuen, 1933. (1st ed., 1930.)

Szaniawski, Klemens, ed. The Vienna Circle and the Lvov-Warsaw School. Dordrecht, Netherlands; Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers [now Springer], 1989. (Nijhoff International Philosophy Series; v. 38)

Uschanov, T. P. The Strange Death of Ordinary Language Philosophy. 2001.

Witt-Hansen, Johannes. "Marx's Method in Social Science, and Its Relationship to Classical and Modern Physics and Mathematics", Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities, vol. 3, nos. 1-4, 1977 (Amsterdam: B.R. Gruner Publishing Co.), pp. 1-41. (Issue theme: Aspects of the Production of Scientific Knowledge, edited by J. Witt-Hansen.)

Wittgenstein, Ludwig. Culture and Value [= Vermischte Bemerkungen]; edited by G. H. von Wright, in collaboration with Heikki Nyman; translated by Peter Winch. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980. See also Wittgenstein on Esperanto (1946, p. 52e). See also Ludwig Wittgenstein and Constructed Languages: Wittgenstein, Esperanto by T. Peter Park.

Wolniewicz, Boguslaw. "Wittgensteinian Foundations of Non-Fregean Logic," in Contemporary East European Philosophy, Vol. 3, edited by Edward D'Angelo, David DeGrood, and Dale Riepe (Bridgeport, CT: Spartacus Books, 1971), pp. 231-243.

(Logical) Positivism & Critical Rationalism: Assorted Marxist & Other Critiques

Alker, Hayward R.. Jr. “Logic, Dialectics, Politics: Some Recent Controversies,” in Dialectical Logics for the Political Sciences; guest editor, Hayward R. Alker, Jr. (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1982), pp. 65-94. (Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities; v. 7)

Arthur, Richard. "The Empiricist Account of Scientific Knowledge—A Polemical Evaluation," Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities, vol. 3, nos. 1-4, 1977 (Amsterdam: B.R. Gruner Publishing Co.), pp. 125-141. (Issue theme: Aspects of the Production of Scientific Knowledge, edited by J. Witt-Hansen.)

Balibar, Étienne. "Irrationalism and Marxism," New Left Review, I/107, January-February 1978, pp. 3-18. Introduction.

Cornforth, Maurice. "Logical Empiricism," in: Philosophy for the Future: The Quest of Modern Materialism, edited by Roy Wood Sellars, V.J. McGill, Marvin Farber (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1949), pp. 495-521.

Cornforth, Maurice. Science versus Idealism: In Defence of Philosophy against Positivism and Pragmatism. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, Publishers, 1975. Reprint of the 1962 ed. published by International Publishers, New York. Original edition 1955. Based on Science versus Idealism (1946) and In Defence of Philosophy (1950).

See also Maurice Cornforth on William Blake vs. the Fetishism of Language.

Cornforth, Maurice. Marxism and the Linguistic Philosophy. 2nd ed. London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1967 (orig. 1965). (Note: Cornforth softened his dogmatism following the Stalin era, hence this and his work on Popper are most representative of his late views.)

Cornforth, Maurice.  Communism and Human Values. New York: International Publishers, 1972. Reproduces with slight changes three chapters from Marxism and the Linguistic Philosophy. See Chapter 8, Science and Evaluation, pp. 41-47.

Della Volpe, Galvano. Logic as a Positive Science, translated by Jon Rothschild. London: NLB, 1980. See esp. Appendix 3: On Logical Positivism, pp. 247-265, excerpt pp. 263-265 (concluding paragraphs). (Original: Logica come scienza positiva, 1969.)

Frank, Philipp. Modern Science and Its Philosophy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1949. Reprint: New York: George Braziller, 1955. See Chapter 10: How Idealists and Materialists View Modern Physics, pp. 186-197; Chapter 11, Logical Empiricism and the Philosophy of the Soviet Union, pp. 198-206.

Frank, Philipp. Science, Facts, and Values. Unpublished draft manuscript, transcribed with comments by George Reisch.

Gedö, András. Crisis Consciousness in Contemporary Philosophy. Translated by Salomea Genin; edited by Doris Grieser Marquit. Minneapolis: Marxist Educational Press, 1982. (Studies in Marxism; v. 11) [Original German edition: Philosophie der Krise. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1978.]

Chapter Two, part one, Neopositivism: Linguistic Philosophy and Critical Rationalism, pp. 20-34, plus endnotes (208-215).

Chapter Three: The Structure of Late-Bourgeois Philosophy and Types of Apology; extract from section 3: ‘Social technology’ and positivism: on Karl Popper; pp. 100-103 (end of chapter), endnotes pp. 241-242.

Kolakowski, Leszek; Guterman, Norbert, trans. The Alienation of Reason: A History of Positivist Thought (Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co., Inc., 1968), pp. 202-206, 207-219. This extract comprises the end of chapter 8, "Logical Empiricism: A Scientistic Defense of Threatened Civilization," and the concluding chapter. This book was originally published in Polish in 1966. Revised and republished as Positivist Philosophy from Hume to the Vienna Circle, 1972.

Lukács, Georg. The Destruction of Reason, translated by Peter Palmer. London: The Merlin Press, 1980. See Lukács on Wittgenstein, pp. 782-784.

Marcuse, Herbert. One Dimensional Man. Boston: Beacon Press, 1964. See esp. chapter 6, From Negative to Positive Thinking: The Logic of Domination; chapter 7, The Triumph of Positive Thinking: One-Dimensional Philosophy. See also extract from chapter 1: From Operationalism to Zen.

Marković, Mihailo. “Is Systematic Philosophy Possible Today?” in Contemporary Aspects of Philosophy, edited by Gilbert Ryle (Stocksfield, UK; Boston: Oriel Press, 1977), pp. 269-283. From Oxford International Symposium, Christ Church College, 29 September - 4 October 1975.

Naletov, Igor; translated from the Russian by Vladimir Stankevich. Alternatives to Positivism, (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1984).

Chapter One: Between Science and Metaphysics, section 1: Metaphysics and Anti‑Metaphysics of Positivism, pp. 23-58, is a good place to start; other sections are also relevant.

For critique of Popper, see Chapter one, section 2: Metaphysics of "Critical Rationalism" (59-71, 86-104) & Chapter 2, section 2: Objective Knowledge and "Critical Rationalism" (177-196). See also Chapter one, section 3—"Scientific Realism". Metaphysics and Ontology—for Mario Bunge's critique of Popper; Chapter three, section 1—Overcoming Hegel—on Popper and dialectics; Chapter three, section 3—Concreteness of Materialist Dialectics—on Popper and causality; Chapter three, section 6—Dialectics of the Objective and the Subjective in Scientific Cognition—on Popper and objectivity/subjectivity; four paragraphs on Popper in the Conclusion.

Panova, Elena. “The Main Principles of David Hume's Epistemology as a Source of Contemporary Positivism,” in: Revolutionary World: An International Journal of Philosophy (Amsterdam: B. R. Grüner B. V.), vols. 11: 12: 13, 1975, pp. 218-227.

Yulina, Nina.  “The Image of Science and Metaphysics,” in: Civilisation, Science, Philosophy: Theme of the 17th World Congress of Philosophy (Montreal, August 1983) (Moscow: "Social Sciences Today" Editorial Board, USSR Academy of Sciences, 1983), pp. 223-235. (Problems of the Contemporary World; no. 111)

Karl Popper (Bibliography)

Karl Popper: Intellectual Biography

Caldwell, Bruce. Recovering Popper. A review essay of Malachi Hacohen, Karl Popper: The Formative Years, 1902-1945 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000).

Hacohen, Malachi Haim. Karl Popper, The Formative Years, 1902-1945: Politics and Philosophy in Interwar Vienna. Cambridge, U.K.; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Popper, Karl. Unended Quest. Rev. ed. London; New York: Routledge, 2002 [orig. 1974].

Popper & Neurath

Neurath, Otto. “Pseudorationalism of Falsification” (1935), in Philosophical Papers, 1913-1946; edited and translated by Robert S. Cohen and Marie Neurath, with the editorial assistance of Carolyn R. Fawcett (Dordrecht, Holland; Boston: D. Riedel Publishing Co.; Hingham, MA: Kluwer Boston, 1983), pp. 121-131.

Popper & Hegel

Kaufmann, Walter. "The Hegel Myth and Its Method," in: From Shakespeare to Existentialism: Studies in Poetry, Religion, and Philosophy” (Boston: Beacon Press, 1959), Chapter 7, pp. 88-119.

Popper & Marxism

150 Years of “Capital” and its Bourgeois Reviewers - GegenStandpunkt. PDF.

Avakian, Bob. Marxism as a Science-Refuting Karl Popper (continued), Revolution #111, December 9, 2007.

Bouveresse, Jacques. Karl Popper et la Connaissance Objective.

Colletti, Lucio. Lénine et Popper [ in French]. Originally "Popper e Lenin," [in Italian], L'espresso, 22 April 1990; reprinted in "Fine della filosofia" e altri saggi (Rome, 1996), pp. 44-51.

In his short article “Lenin and Popper," Colletti recalls how, in a private letter from 1970, first published in Die Zeit, Popper effectively wrote: “Lenin’s book on empiriocriticism is, in my opinion, truly excellent." — Slavoj Žižek

Cornforth, Maurice. The Open Philosophy and the Open Society: A Reply to Dr. Karl Popper's Refutations of Marxism. New York: International Publishers, 1968. Also see the entire book.

Davison, M. R. “Aspects of the Soviet Response to Popper,” Studies in Soviet Thought, 20 (1979).

Fincchiaro, M. “Methodological Criticism and Critical Methodology,” Journal for General Philosophy of Science, vol. 10, no. 2, 1979.

Geymonat, Ludovico. Riflessioni critiche su Kuhn e Popper. Dedalo, Bari, 1983. [In Italian]

Gorton, Bill. Popper's Debt to Marx. Karl Popper 2002 Centenary Congress, Vienna, 3-7 July 2002. For full paper with footnotes in PDF format click here.

ABSTRACT: Karl Popper is widely regarded as a critic of Marxism. In particular, he is commonly viewed as an opponent of Marx's methodology. Popper, it is said, viewed Marxism as a pseudoscience, on par with astrology and religious prophecy. This view of Popper's critique of Marxism, I argue, is a gross distortion. To be sure, Popper was highly critical of certain aspects of Marx's approach to social inquiry, and, of course, he emphatically rejected the utopian and collectivist social reforms inspired by Marx. But Popper also viewed Marx as an exemplary and groundbreaking social scientist. Moreover, Popper's encounter with Marx's methodology, especially that found in Capital, deeply influenced Popper's own ideas about social inquiry. My proposed essay explores Marx's influence on Popper in three sections. In the first section, I review Popper's criticisms of Marxism. The main target of Popper's criticism, I show, was not Marx, but Marx's followers, whom Popper accused of immunizing Marx's predictions from falsification. However, there is no reason to suppose that Popper viewed Marx's predictions as inherently unfalsifiable and thus nonscientific. In his Open Society, Popper faulted Marx's predictions of capitalism's downfall and socialist revolution. But Popper charged Marx with succumbing to wishful thinking and ignoring the power of politics to counter economic trends, not with falsification evasion. In the second section, I contend that Popper's most noteworthy contribution to social science— situational analysis —bears an unmistakably Marxian imprint. The same is true for Popper's doctrine of methodological individualism and his claim that the primary task of the social sciences is to trace the unintended consequences of human action and lay bare hidden social relationships. In the final section of my essay, I argue that Popper's interpretation of Marx's methodology, as well as Popper's recommendations for social inquiry, is essentially the same as that of so-called analytical Marxists, such as Jon Elster and Daniel Little. Popper and the analytical Marxists both reject the Hegelian and dialectical elements in Marx's thought as unscientific, even nonsensical. And both claim that the real value of Marx's explanations lies in untangling the complex web of interaction generated by individuals acting rationally in structured situations. I also argue that Popper's "rationality principle" bears a strong resemblance to the "broadened practical rationality" advocated by Little and other analytical Marxists. By tracing Marx's influence on Popper, and by exploring the similarities between Popperian social science and analytical Marxism, a richer and more refined understanding of Popper's concept of situational analysis emerges.

Hacohen, Malachi. Popper's Political Legacy in Historical Context. Jan. 19, 2003.

Hudelson, R. “Popper’s Critique of Marx”, in Philosophical Studies, 37 (1980).

Karl Popper and Creationism,” Science and Nature, no. 4, (1981), p. 2.

Kelemen, János. “In Defense of The Destruction of Reason,” Logos, vol. 7, no. 1, winter 2008.

Kozharov, Asen. Monism and Pluralism in Ideology and in Politics. Sofia: Sofia Press, 1975. See Part I, Chapter 1, section 5. Pluralism in Bourgeois Social Philosophy and Sociology.

Lewis, John. Marxism and the Open Mind. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 1957. Popper is referenced in the preface.

Little, Daniel. The Scientific Marx. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1986. See esp. "Falsifiability and Adhocness" (pp. 177-186) in chapter 7, "Falsifiability and Idealism" (pp. 177-195).

Mcquarie, D. "Karl Popper and Marxian Laws," Science and Society, 41, no. 4 (Winter, 1977): 477.

Megill, Allan. Popper and Marx Reconsidered. Karl Popper 2002 Centenary Congress, Vienna, 3-7 July 2002.

Abstract: I have argued elsewhere (in Karl Marx: The Burden of Reason) that the bent of Marx's social and political thought (especially his exclusion of politics and the market from his vision of a future socialism) needs to be seen as arising from the conception of scientific rationality to which he adhered. Marx placed a high value on necessity, universality, and predictivity, and judged as irrational institutions and activities that could not be understood in terms of these criteria. For Marx, the fact that one cannot reliably predict the rise and fall of market prices or the vicissitudes of political debate and action was a marker of the ultimate irrationality of the market and of politics. Marx the rationalist philosopher thus determined Marx the social theorist. To be sure, my thesis as to Marx's rationalism will be controversial, and in this paper I cannot give it either adequate defense or the limiting qualifications that it needs. I therefore ask that, for the sake of the argument, it be accepted as a postulate. The question then becomes: what light is cast on Popper's thinking when he is brought into proximity with a rationalist Marx? There is a large literature on the Popper-Marx relation, beginning with Popper's own statements in "The Poverty of Historicism," "What is Dialectic?," and The Open Society and Its Enemies and ranging through to Marxian polemics against Popper's view of Marx. At this late date it is clear that Popper's critique of Marx had more to do with a certain kind of Marxism than with Marx, especially when Popper attacked Marx for being a historical determinist and believer in predictive historical laws. Still, when one de-polemicizes Popper one finds that in other respects he is on the mark— for example, in his recognition that Marx was committed to "rational methods." More interesting than Popper's statements about Marx are the strong affinities— and, within the context of those affinities, important differences— between the two thinkers. Most important is the fact that both Marx and Popper were Enlightenment, even hyper-Enlightenment, thinkers. Both believed fundamentally in science. Both believed that the distinction between science and nonscience is extremely important. Both believed that the progress of knowledge is the primary motor of human advance (a surprising statement, I know, insofar as Marx is concerned, but note the postulate above). Yet there is a crucial difference between the two, for Marx had a much "tighter," much more rigid conception of science than did Popper. Popper's insistence that our grasp on scientific truth is contingent and potentially only temporary sharply distinguishes him from Marx, and makes his perspective more friendly to the disturbing rough and tumble of democratic politics.

Miller, Richard W. Analyzing Marx: Morality, Power and History. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984. See esp. pp. 236-240 on falsifiability, pp. 292-301 on confirmation, pp. 304-313 on positivists & politics.

Mussachia, M. "Further Comment On Karl Popper," Science and Society, 40, no. 2 (Summer, 1976): 232.

Notturno, M. A. "Popper's Critique of Scientific Socialism, or Carnap and His Co-workers," in: Philosophy of the Social Sciences, v.29, no.1, 1999, pp. 32-61.

Abstract: Karl Popper is widely regarded as the twentieth century's greatest critic of Marxism. This article, based upon his 1942-47 correspondence with Rudolf Carnap, shows that Popper's critique of scientific socialism had less to do with Marx's social goals than with the attitudes that Marxists adopted toward their means of achieving them. It also reveals how Carnap, who tried to keep his politics separate from his epistemology, managed to mix the two when refusing to give Popper his wholehearted support in finding both publisher for The Open Society and Its Enemies and a position that would give him greater opportunities for research.

Novack, George. Positivism and Marxism in Sociology, in Understanding History: Marxist Essays (New York: Pathfinder Press, 1972; Chippendale NSW, Australia: Resistance Books, 2002).

Piloiu, Rares. "Hegemony: Methods and Hypotheses, A Historical-Comparative Perspective," Reconstruction, Volume 2, Number 2, Spring 2002.

Popper, Karl R. The Open Society and Its Enemies. London: George Routledge & Sons, 1945.

Popper, Karl R. The Poverty of Historicism. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1957.

Putnam, Hilary. “The ‘Corroboration’ of Theories.”

Rauche, G. A. "Theory And Practice In Philosophical Argument," Philosophia [Philosophical Quarterly of Israel], 15 (S 85): 25-39.

Abstract: Tracing the interplay between theory and practice in the dynamics of philosophical argument, this paper represents philosophy as an open, critical discipline, which keeps asking the same fundamental questions about knowledge, reality, justice, freedom, harmony and truth under changing historical conditions. In the light of this, the present impasse of human thought which manifests itself in the confrontation between totalitarian functionalism in the west on the one hand and totalitarian ideologism in the east on the other, the need for a reversal of thinking becomes evident. The present deadlock of human thought and the confrontation between west and east resulting from it can be broken only if one-sided functional practice is replaced by fully-fledged human practice. This requires moving beyond Popper's one-dimensional 'critical' rationalism and Marxism-Leninism's 'scientific' dialectical materialism to a critical humanism, based on man's contingent experience of reality.

Ryerson, Stanley B. The Open Society: Paradox and Challenge. New York: International Publishers, 1965. [Only the opening section of chapter 1, "Tomorrow, Today, and Yesterday", pp. 9-11, mentions Popper directly; the book is about the misuse of the concept by capitalist propagandists and politicians.].

Shaw, William H. Marx's Theory of History. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1978. See pp. 149-168: on Popper, Lakatos, falsifiability, research programs.

Suchting, W. A. “Marx, Popper and Historicism,” Inquiry, 15 (1972).

Suchting, W. A. “Popper’s Critique of Marx’s Method,” in Popper and the Human Sciences, G. Currie and A. Musgrave, eds. (Dordrecht: Martins Nijhoff Publishers, 1985).

Taylor, C. “The Poverty of the Poverty of Historicism,” Universities & Left Review, 4 (1958).

Taylor, C. “Reply to Jarvie and Watkins,” Universities & Left Review, 6 (1959).

Verikukis, Hristos. "Popper's Double Standard of Scientificity in Criticizing Marxism," Cultural Logic, 2007, 17 pp.

Welty, Gordon. "The Attack on Mead and the Dialectics of Anthropology," Science and Nature, No. 9 (1990), pp. 14-27. [Also on Gordon A. Welty's web site.]

Witt-Hansen, Johannes. "Marx's Method in Social Science, and Its Relationship to Classical and Modern Physics and Mathematics", Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities, vol. 3, nos. 1-4, 1977 (Amsterdam: B.R. Gruner Publishing Co.), pp. 1-41. (Issue theme: Aspects of the Production of Scientific Knowledge, edited by J. Witt-Hansen.)

Wollheim, R. “Historicism Reconsidered,” Sociological Review, vol. 2 (1954).

Popper & the Frankfurt School

Adorno, Theodor W. Introduction to Sociology, edited by Christoph Godde, translated by Edmund Jephcott (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000), Lecture Four, 2 May 1968, pp. 27-34.

Adorno, Theodor W.; et al. The Positivist Dispute in German Sociology, translated by Glyn Adey and David Frisby. London: Heinemann, 1976. (Orig. in German, 1969)

Index of Sources
Introduction to the English Translation (David Frisby) ix
Theodor W. Adorno: Introduction 1
Theodor W. Adorno: Sociology and Empirical Research 68
Karl R. Popper: The Logic of the Social Sciences 87
Theodor W. Adorno: On the Logic of the Social Sciences 105
Ralf Dahrendorf: Remarks on the Discussion 123
Jürgen Habermas: The Analytical Theory of Science and Dialectics 131
Hans Albert: The Myth of Total Reason 163
Jürgen Habermas: A Positivistically Bisected Rationalism 198
Hans Albert: Behind Positivism's Back? 226
Harald Pilot: Jurgen Habermas' Empirically Falsifiable Philosophy of History 258
Hans Albert: A Short Surprised Postscript to a Long Introduction 283
Karl R. Popper: Reason or Revolution? 288
Selected Bibliography 301

Commentary by R. Dumain
   I. Adorno's Introduction

Alker, Hayward R.. Jr. “Logic, Dialectics, Politics: Some Recent Controversies,” in Dialectical Logics for the Political Sciences; guest editor, Hayward R. Alker, Jr. (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1982), pp. 65-94. (Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities; v. 7)

Bubner, Rudiger. "Theory and Practice in the Light of the Hermeneutic-Criticist Controversy," Cultural Hermeneutics, 2 (Fall 75): 337-352.

Abstract: Karl Popper's recent hermeneutical turn on the basis of critical thinking has raised new interest in the methodological debate between hermeneuticians and dialectical criticists. In continental philosophy the school of 'verstehen' (Gadamer) and neo-marxism (Habermas) was engaged in this controversy. I claim that the problem of theory and practice is really at issue in what seems to be a methodological discussion. The shortcomings of crucial concepts such as reflection and interest are considered. Systematical consequences are to be drawn in the framework of a theory of action.

Dahms, Hans Joachim. Positivismusstreit: Die Auseinandersetzungen der Frankfurter Schule mit dem logischen Positivismus, dem Pragmatismus und dem kritischen Rationalismus. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp,1994.

D'Amico, Robert. "Karl Popper and the Frankfurt School" in The Frankfurt School: Critical Assessments, Vol. III, edited by Jay Bernstein (London: Routledge, 1994), pp. 198-210; originally in Telos; Issue 86, Winter 1990-91, pp. 33-48.

Drake, Ryan. "Objectivity and Insecurity: Adorno and Empirical Social Research", Philosophy Today, Summer 2000, pp. 99-107.

Dumain, Ralph. Commentary on Matthew Piscioneri, Habermas: The Myth of Reason, 2004. See esp. Postscript: Habermas & Popper.

Frisby, David. "The Popper-Adorno Controversy: the Methodological Dispute in German Sociology," Philosophy of the Social Sciences, vol. 2, no. 2, June 1972, 105-119.

Fuller, Steve. Karl Popper and the Reconstitution of the Rationalist Left. Jan. 26, 2003.

Holub, Robert C. Jürgen Habermas: Critic in the Public Sphere. New York: Routledge, 1991.

Marcuse, Herbert. "Karl Popper and the Problem of Historical Laws," in: Studies in Critical Philosophy, translated by Joris de Bres (Boston: Beacon Press, 1972), pp. 191-208. Book republished as From Luther to Popper (London: Verso, 1983). Essay first published as "Notes on the Problem of Historical Laws," Partisan Review, vol. 36, no. 1, 1959.

Marcuse, Herbert; Popper, Karl. Revolution or Reform? A Confrontation. Ed. A. T. Ferguson; trans. Michael Aylward & A. T. Ferguson; intro. Frederic L. Bender; afterword to German ed., Franz Stark. Chicago: Precedent Publishing Co., 1976. Originally published in German as Revolution oder Reform? Herbert Marcuse u. Karl Popper. Eine Konfrontation, ed. Franz Stark, 1972. (See introduction by Frederic L. Bender, "Marxism, Liberalism, and the Foundations of Scientific Method," pp. 1-53; Herbert Marcuse: The New Society, pp. 65·77; Theoretical Background: Herbert Marcuse, pp. 89-93; Afterword to the German Edition by Franz Stark, pp. 105-111.)

McCarthy, Thomas A. "Responses To 'Theory And Practice'," Cultural Hermeneutics, 2 (Fall 75): 355-356.

Overend, Tronn. "Interests, Objectivity and "The Positivist Dispute" in Social Theory," Social Praxis, 6, 1979, 69-91.

Abstract: Stemming from critical theory and critical rationalism's "joint" dismissal of empiricism and subscription to relativism and monism, the positivist dispute in sociology, and the Albert/Habermas polemic in particular, exemplifies the inadequacy of a Popperian defence of objectivity. Accordingly, a social realist explication, then refutation, is made of "knowledge-constitutive interests"—the foundation to Habermas' theory of science, following the elucidation of "ontological" difficulties, in the form of an "ad hominem" refutation, "epistemological" errors associated with knowledge—constitutive interests are elaborated along the dimensions of: (a) the epistemic function, (b) the meaning and, (c) degenerative problem shifts. Finally, "substantive" arguments against the concept include its pseudo-scientific and relativistic status.

Popper, Karl R. "The Logic of the Social Sciences," in The Positivist Dispute in German Sociology, translated by Glyn Adey and David Frisby (London: Heinemann, 1976), pp. 87-104.

Ray, L.J. "Critical Theory and Positivism: Popper and the Frankfurt School," Philosophy of the Social Sciences, Vol. 9, Issue 2, June 1979, 149-173.

Abstract: The purpose of this article is to clarify some issues in recent conflicts between critical theorists and Popperians. It tentatively poses the question: whether either of these approaches provide an adequate methodology for sociology. The discussion focuses on four areas of dispute: unity of scientific method; separation of fact and value; rationality; and the concept of totality. These issues are considered in the context of competing definitions of positivism and truth, which are related to political goals and judgments. It is suggested that although Popperians point to serious weaknesses in critical theory, inconsistencies undermine Popper's own position.

Ray, L. J. "Reply To Wilson's "Response to Ray's 'Critical Theory and Positivism: Popper and the Frankfurt School'", Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 12 (Dec. 1982): 415-418.

Abstract: H.T. Wilson's 'Response to Ray' . . . addresses six issues which he identifies in an article of mine concerning the dispute between Popper and Habermas. . . These concern issues of a convergence between Popper and Habermas, goals of truth and success, natural and social science, technology and society, and social interests. It is argued that on each of these, Wilson misunderstands Ray, and on some points misunderstands Popper and Habermas.

Ruelland, Jacques G. "La Controverse Habermas-Popper," La Petite Revue de Philosophie, 2 (Autumn 1980): 105-136. [In French]

Abstract: Ce texte oppose Habermas et Popper sur le statut des sciences empiriques par l'examen des controverses entre Carnap, Popper et Habermas, et les oppose encore sur le statut des sciences historico-hermeneutiques a travers la controverse Hempel-Dray sur le role des lois en histoire. Les enjeux des theses qui opposent Habermas et Popper montrent que la controverse qui les oppose est fonde sur un malentendu.

Van Parijs, Philippe. "Karl Popper, Le Cercle de Vienne et L'ecole de Francfort," Revue Philosophique de Louvain, 76 (April 1978): 359-370. [In French]

Abstract: The article discusses a recent book by J. F. Malherbe, La Philosophie de Karl Popper et le Positivisme Logique (Paris, P.U.F.), which offers a critical introduction to Popper's thought from the vantage point of Kuhn's philosophy of science and Habermas' critical theory. It shows that Popper's "autonomist" conception of science, contrary to Malherbe's view, is perfectly compatible both with Kuhn's analysis of the dynamics of scientific revolutions and with Habermas' theory of knowledge-leading interests.

Wilson, H. T. "Critical Theory's Critique of Social Science: Episodes in a Changing Problematic From Adorno To Habermas, Part I.", History of European Ideas, 7 (1986): 127-147.

Abstract: Critical theory's critique of the social sciences took the form of an attack on their joint commitment to traditional theory and empirical method. Theory and method in these disciplines work hand in hand with one another to simultaneously seek the elimination of reflexivity and the reconstitution of practice in a form better suited to the ascendancy of society as a culturally and historically specific form of collective life rather than a synonym for such life and living. This article analyzes the sense and significance of this critique in the contemporary setting of advanced industrial societies.

Wilson, H. T. "Response to Ray's "Critical Theory and Positivism: Popper and the Frankfurt School", Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 11, March 1981, 45-48.

Popper, Logic, & Dialectic

Alker, H. R. Jr. "Logic, Dialectics, Politics: Some Recent Controversies," in: Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities (Amsterdam, 1982), v.7, pp. 65-94.

Abstract: Le rôle de la logique formelle dans différentes philosophies sociales scientifiques. Entre le "positivisme logique" classique et la dialectique "marxiste-léniniste". Le rationalisme critique de Popper- Lakatos. L'herméneutique révolutionnaire et l'anarchisme méthodologique impliqués par Kuhn et Feyerabend. L'herméneutique dialectique de Habermas, Apel, des contemporains de l'Ecole de Francfort.

Drago, Antonino. Popper's Falsificationism Interpreted by Non-Classical Logic. April 14, 2003.

Popper, Karl R. "What is Dialectic?", Mind, 49 (N.S.) (196), 1940, 403-426.

Popper, Karl R. "Are Contradictions Embracing?", Mind, 52 (N.S.) (205), 1943, 47-50.

Popper, Karl R. "A Realist View of Physics, Logic and History" (1966), in Objective Knowledge.

Popper, Karl R. "Dialectical Methodology," Times Literary Supplement, 70, March 26, 1969.

Tuziak, Roman. Popper and Paraconsistency. Karl Popper 2002 Centenary Congress, Vienna, 3-7 July 2002.

ABSTRACT: Paraconsistent logic was introduced in order to provide the framework for inconsistent but nontrivial theories. It was initiated by J. Lukasiewicz (1910) in Poland and, independently, by N. A. Vasilev (1911-13) in Russia, but only in 1948 the first paraconsistent formal system was designed. Since then thousands of papers have been published in this field. Paraconsistency became one of the fastest growing branches of logic, due to its fruitful applications to computer science, information theory, and artificial intelligence. K. R. Popper touched on the problem in his paper „What is Dialectic?” (1940). Although only mentioned, his basic idea of the possibility of a formal system of such a logic was fresh and original. Another attempt of exploring the logic of contradiction, this time as a dual to intuitionistic logic, was made by Popper in his paper „On the Theory of Deduction I and II” (1948). The same idea was formalized by N. D. Goodman (1981) and developed by D. Miller (1993) under a label „Logic for Falsificationists”. Popper`s contribution to the subject of paraconsistent logic has not been properly recognized so far. Since Lukasiewicz`s and Vasilev`s works were still not translated into any West European languages in the 1940s, he should be undoubtedly regarded as an independent forerunner of paraconsistency. On the other hand, it seems tempting to adapt some of Popper`s other ideas for the theory of paraconsistent logic (the way it was done with Vasilev`s very general concepts) and, especially, for the theory of artificial intelligence.

Karl Popper: Three Worlds Theory

Church, R.D. Karl Popper's Theory of the Three Worlds (MA, 1982). UMI Dissertation Services.

Eccles, Sir John. Letter to Harold J. Dumain, 6 November 1977.

Lektorsky, V.A.; translated by Sergei Syrovatkin. "The Collective Subject. The Individual Subject", in: Subject, Object, Cognition (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1984), Part 2, Chapter 4.4, pp. 232-248, 276-277.

Niiniluoto, Ilkka. World 3: A Critical Defence.

ABSTRACT: Ever since Karl Popper introduced his new ontological doctrine of three worlds in 1967, his views have been attacked by critics on various grounds. With some justification, Popper's expositions of his theory of World 3 have been accused to be sketchy and incoherent. In this paper, I attempt to give a critical defence of what I take to be the rational core of Popper's argument: the thesis of the existence of World 3 entities is an ontological hypothesis which gives the most plausible account of culture in terms of emergent materialism. Already our natural language involves ontological commitments to cultural and social entities like artifacts, works of art, languages, norms, social institutions, and numbers. More generally, human mind, culture, and society are complex products of evolution, created and reproduced by men, but also capable of influencing the growth and development of new human individuals in their culture-producing activities. For these reasons, the traditional dichotomy of materialism and idealism is clearly perplexing in the case of culture. As culture is, per definitionem, something "cultivated" by human beings, it is mind-dependent or mind-.involving. But to say that culture is only "in our heads" is not at all convincing. Equally artificial are the attempts of materialist philosophers to reduce cultural entities to merely physical objects. The ontological theory of World 3 should avoid the problematic features of reductionist materialism, but at the same time help us to understand the peculiar "super-individual" character of cultural formations without idealist or supernaturalist assumptions. The paper contrast the Popperian notion of World 3 with three reductionist strategies: idealist reduction to objective mind (Hegel), phenomenalist reduction to experiences (Carnap's Aufbau), and materialist reduction to individual practical activities (Bunge). Parallels to Popper's thought are sought in Durkheim's sociology and Ilyenkov's Marxist concept of the ideal. Replies to some critics (Bloor, Carr, Cohen, Currie, O'Hear) are also given.

Popper, Karl. R. Objective Knowledge: An Evolutionary Approach. Rev. ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford University Press, 1979. [Orig. 1972.] See chapter 3, "Epistemology Without a Knowing Subject, " address given at The First International Congress on Logic, Methodology, and the Philosophy of Science, August 1967.

Popper, Karl. "A Realist View of Logic, Physics, and History" (1966), in: Objective Knowledge (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972).

Popper, Karl. R.; Eccles, John C. The Self and its Brain. New York: Springer International, 1977.

Popper, Karl. Three Worlds. The Tanner Lecture on Human Values. Delivered at The University of Michigan, April 7, 1978. Originally published in Michigan Quarterly, 1979.

Popper, Karl. "World 3 and Emergent Evolution" [1969], Chapter 3 of Knowledge and the Body-Mind Problem (London: Routledge, 1994), see esp. pp. 51-52.

Note: Abstracts not prefaced by the word "Abstract" were written by R. Dumain.

Cybernetics & Das Netz

The Net (Das Netz, 2003) by Lutz Dammbeck


Crane, Diana. The Transformation of the Avant-Garde: The New York Art World, 1940-1985. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987.

Dammbeck, Lutz. DAS NETZ - Die Konstruktion des Unabombers & Das "Unabomber-Manifest": Die Industrielle Gesellschaft und ihre Zukunft. 2, Aufl. edition. Edition Nautilus, 2015. (Nautilus Flugschrift)

Gerovitch, Slava. From Newspeak to Cyberspeak: A History of Soviet Cybernetics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002.

Heims, Steve Joshua. Constructing a Social Science for Postwar America: The Cybernetics Group, 1946-1953. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1993 [1991].

Logicomix: Logic and Madness Reviewed
by Ralph Dumain

Dialectic by Harold I. Brown

Dialogues on the Philosophy of Marxism (Contents)
edited by John Somerville & Howard L. Parsons

Metafantasia: On James Joyce, science fiction, & modernist narrative structures
by Stanislaw Lem

Why Isn’t There More Progress in Philosophy (theses or arguments?)
by David J. Chalmers

Wittgenstein, Marxism, Sociology: An Annotated Bibliography

Maurice Cornforth (1909-1980) Study Guide

Ernst Cassirer: A Selected Secondary Bibliography

Neo-Kantianism, Its History, Influence, and Relation to Socialism:
Selected Secondary Bibliography

Positivism vs Life Philosophy (Lebensphilosophie) Study Guide

Theodor W. Adorno & Critical Theory Study Guide

Susan Haack — An Introductory Guide

American Philosophy Study Guide

Salvaging Soviet Philosophy (1)

Descartes & Marxism: Selected Bibliography

Robert Musil: Science, Positivism, Irrationalism, Modernism: Selected Bibliography

Home Page | Site Map | What's New | Coming Attractions | Book News
Bibliography | Mini-Bibliographies | Study Guides | Special Sections
My Writings | Other Authors' Texts | Philosophical Quotations
Blogs | Images & Sounds | External Links

CONTACT Ralph Dumain

Uploaded 17 August 2004
Last update 28 February 2024
Previous update 31 December 2023

©2004-2024 Ralph Dumain