Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939584 | Print ISBN: 9780761930877 | Online ISBN: 9781412939584| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Naomi Jeffery Petersen
The Vienna Circle, or Wiener Kreis , was a group of intellectuals actively engaged in philosophical discussion from the early 1920s until Nazism dispersed its members. The group included Austrian, Czech, and German professors with a cross-disciplinary interest in ways to establish meaning. Although its members each developed singular ideas of analytic philosophy, as a group, they are known for logical positivism , an insistence on scientific reasoning based on real experience. The premise behind logical positivism is realism; that is, all understanding emerges from sensory experience, and only things that can be experienced are real. This was related to phenomenology , a nineteenthcentury philosophy that focused on the individual's understanding of phenomena, or description of events that have occurred within memory. In 1835, Auguste Compte defined positivism and its goal of discovering “unchangeable aspects of the universal Order.” By comparison, logical positivism does not presume a perennial truth, Members ...