The Banishment and Return of the Philosophy of Science before and after the Second World War as exemplified by the Case of Rudolf Carnap and Wolfgang Stegmüller 

In recent decades, analytical philosophy and philosophy of science has become a paradigm for research and teaching in philosophy in the German speaking world. With the forced emigration (principally to the USA and UK) of the Vienna, Berlin and Prague Circles, representatives of logical empiricism disappeared almost entirely from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia. None of them returned after the war, for there were no invitations to do so. The aim of this project is the reconstruction of the forced emigration of the philosophy of science as well as its long delayed return to the places of its central European origins. The focal point of investigation is directed to the two philosophers of science who were principally responsible for its transfer, transformation and retroactive development: Rudolf Carnap (1891-1970) and Wolfgang Stegmüller (1923-1991).
Promotionsurkunde von Wolfgang StegmüllerCarnap came to Vienna from Germany in 1925 and was the most active member of the circle that Moritz Schlick had formed around himself. In 1931, he moved on to Prague, whence he permanently emigrated to the United States for political reasons in 1936. Stegmüller studied at the University of Innsbruck and remained there until 1958. On account of his philosophical orientation, it was only possible for Stegmüller to have a career later in Munich, where he founded a school of philosophy of science that has continued to be influential down to today. BCarnap an Stegmüller, 16.6.1955oth of them pursued scholarly contacts that were as influential as they were consequential. The project will be based largely upon archival materials contained in the Carnap collections in Pittsburgh and Konstanz and the Stegmüller papers, which are at the Brenner Archives Research Institute in Innsbruck. The results will be published in book form and thus become accessible to a broad circle of scholars for the first time. The project will investigate the development of an important current within analytical philosophy of science:
1) in a comparative international perspective: developments before and after 1945 in Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia on the one hand, and in the English-speaking world on the other;
2) with reference to the historical watersheds that the years 1933, 1938 and 1945 represent; and
3) in order to pose the question concerning just what sorts of transformations—and distortions—were part of the transfer of that knowledge from one intellectual setting to another. The effort should be seen as a contribution to seeing “science in context”, which includes establishing basic reference points with respect to cultural and political
 differences.

 

Research project funded by the fwf
 duration of the project: 2005 bis / to 2007
 
Project direction:
 Friedrich Stadler
 
(Universität Wien und Institut Wiener Kreis)
 Allan S. Janik
 
(Universität Innsbruck,
 Forschungsinstitut Brenner-Archiv)
 project workers:
 Hans-Joachim Dahms (Berlin / Wien)
 Christian Damböck (Wien)
 Christoph Limbeck-Lilienau (Wien)
 Michael Schorner (Innsbruck)