By GEVARA1959 - 21 Apr 2018 10:38
- 21 Apr 2018 10:38 #14908154
Can someone explain to me what the positivist theory is about? I just looked through it a little bit but have not gathered it well.
Wandering the information superhighway, he came upon the last refuge of civilization, PoFo, the only forum on the internet ...
If socialist theory that separates reactionary from progressive can be defeated by absolutism, then absolutism itself is defeated by physicalist theory that logical positivism is superior, subject to liberal or classical.
Positivism refers to those tendencies in philosophy, particularly epistemology, which place science, especially natural science, in pride of place, adopting the methods of science as a model for all theoretical and practical activity.
The term can have quite different meanings however, according to the particular historical stage in development of the natural sciences a writer associates with positivism. Positivism is generally understood as having three distinct stages, associated with the name of Auguste Comte, Ernst Mach and finally Carnap, the Vienna Circle and Logical Positivism.
The First Positivism was initiated by Auguste Comte, who coined the word “positivism,” and is associated with the notion of Progress, such as in Comte’s description of the development of humanity from “a Theological stage, in which free play is given to spontaneous fictions admitting of no proof; the Metaphysical stage, characterised by the prevalence of personified abstractions or entities; lastly, the Positive stage, based upon an exact view of the real facts of the case.” [from A General View of Positivism by Auguste Comte]. For Comte, society and history were governed by Laws, and once the sciences had developed sufficiently, it would become possible to understand these laws, and social and historical development could be subject to scientific management. Other exponents of the first Positivism were E. Littré and P. Laffitte in France, John Stuart Mill and Herbert Spencer in England. Each of these writers aimed at developing a Sociology as the pinnacle of science. The classical Political Economists were part of the First Positivism.
The Second Positivism emerged in the 1860s and ’70s and Ernst Mach is widely recognised as its foremost exponent, though Avenarius, Poincaré andd others also made significant contributions. These writers were motivated by problems which had begun to emerge in physics, ultimately leading to the Quantum/Relativity revolution in 1905 (both Mach and Poincaré are sometimes credited with antipating Einstein’s solution to these problems, and Einstein himself credited Mach with providing inspiration, but this is questionable), the failure of Sociology to achieve the anticipated rigour of the natural sciences, and the “marginal revolution” in Economics, which overthrew the objectivist standpoint of the Political Economists, replacing it with a subjectivist understanding of value and price.
It was this Second Positivism which was criticised by Lenin in his famous Materialism and Empirio-Criticism. There is no doubt that the second positivism and the scientists who were influenced by it, gained important insights by giving more weight to the subjective point of view, as opposed to the one-sided, or “mechanical” materialism of earlier natural science. However, with Mach, for example, epistemology had reached the point of the very denial of the existence of a knowable material world beyond sensation, and adopting the standpoint of an extreme psychologism. In this sense, the Second Positivism is reminiscent in many ways of the most extreme forms of Post-structuralism of the people like Foucault in the late twentieth century. Sociologists and historians of the Second Positivism would reject the idea of any ‘meaning,’ lawfulness or ‘essential development’ in history, restricting science to the study of appearances. Max Weber emphasised that history was always told and investigated from a specific point of view and with different aims. Thus in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism he shows how the rise of capitalism can be attributed to developments in Christian theology just as much as to economic and technical development. This kind of scepticism nevertheless contributed to the critique of overly simplistic or mecahnical conceptions of history, common among many nineteenth century thinkers.
The Third Positivism, or “neo-positivism,” is linked up with the activity of the Vienna Circle (O. Neurath, Carnap, Schlick, Frank and others) and of the Berlin Society for Scientific Philosophy (Reichenbach and others), which combined a number of trends: logical atomism, logical positivism and semantics. Its economic theory is that of the Pareto Optimum in which utility can be 'measured' only by an actual exchange, so it becomes incoherent to talk about “equality.”
The main place in the third positivism is taken by the philosophical problems of language, symbolic logic, the structure of scientific investigations, and others. The Third Positivism renounced psychologism of Mach & Co., but instead sought a solution to epistemological problems in formal logic and mathematics.
The Fourth Positivism, is driven by branches of mathematics such as Chaos Theory, Fractal Theory, Complexity and so on, and corresponds to the economics and social-choice theory of Kenneth Arrow based on the concepts of information and communication science, and the technological achievements Google and Facebook. The form of utilitarianism which corresponds to the fourth positivism is what we call Neo-liberalism or ‘economic rationalism’.
late wrote:There's more than one kind of positivism.
"Comtean positivism had viewed science as description, whereas the logical positivists posed science as explanation, perhaps to better realize the envisioned unity of science..."
In one of the very few funny moments in philosophy, the Logical Positivists blew themselves up when they proved a unity of science was impossible.
Or did you mean "the theory that laws are to be understood as social rules, valid because they are enacted by authority or derive logically from existing decisions, and that ideal or moral considerations (e.g., that a rule is unjust) should not limit the scope or operation of the law."
Follows from Gödel's Incompleteness Theorems?
Now I could be promoting fairy tales here, but if we use socialist language things are either abiding contracts (completeness) or free services (consistency).
Then abstract notion of richness (sustaining on insignificance, that polarized Israelites uptil Christendom) provides for Communication and thus for Problem Solving (e.g. Public Hate).
Then nihilist commercialism (a la Bazar) preys on oriental liberalism to bring back, rather unconsciously, classics (e.g. Politics Forum).
late wrote:That's math, this is philosophy.
It has broader implications than just math, though.
Potemkin wrote:But then some bright spark pointed out that according to the Verifiability Principle, the Verifiability Principle was itself meaningless….
wat0n wrote:Follows from Gödel's Incompleteness Theorems?
Potemkin wrote:It follows from simple inspection. The Verifiability Principle must itself be subject to the Verifiability Principle, and it fails its own test. As somebody pointed out, this is one of the few genuinely funny moments in the history of philosophy. The Logical Positivists proved that Logical Positivism was neither logical nor positive.
wat0n wrote:Right... But the Incompleteness Theorems would suggest that it is impossible for the verifiability principle to be satisfied in most (maybe all?) logical systems.
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