Ideas of Otto Neurath, by Theme

[Austrian, 1882 - 1945, Born in Vienna. At the University of Vienna. Shot dead by one of his students.]

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1. Philosophy / G. Scientific Philosophy / 3. Scientism
Philosophy is not separate from or above empirical science
     Full Idea: There is no such thing as philosophy as a basic or universal science alongside or above the various fields of the one empirical science.
     From: Otto Neurath (works [1930]), quoted by Simon Critchley - Continental Philosophy - V. Short Intro Ch.6
     A reaction: This is what you get for becoming an empiricist. If philosophy is the quest for human wisdom, it seems to me highly unlikely that physical sciences will provide it. Human interests and values and understanding play absolutely no role in physics.
13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 4. Foundationalism / f. Foundationalism critique
We must always rebuild our ship on the open sea; we can't reconstruct it properly in dry-dock
     Full Idea: We are like sailors who must rebuild their ship out on the open sea, never able to dismantle it in a dry-dock and reconstruct it there out of the best materials.
     From: Otto Neurath (Protocol Sentences [1932]), quoted by Alex Orenstein - W.V. Quine Ch.8
     A reaction: This is the classic statement of the anti-foundationalist picture of knowledge. It is often quoted by Quine. A tricky issue. I have a lot of sympathy with Bonjour's rationalist foundationalism.
If we are rebuilding our ship at sea, we should jettison some cargo
     Full Idea: If we are sailors rebuilding our ship plank by plank on the open sea, then I know of some cargo we might want to jettison.
     From: comment on Otto Neurath (Protocol Sentences [1932]) by George Boolos - Must We Believe in Set Theory? p.128
     A reaction: This may just be an assertion of Ockham's Razor, but the interest is that the Neurath image demands internal standards of economy etc, whereas reality itself seems to be a right mess.