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The Myth of DisenchantmentMagic, Modernity, and the Birth of the Human Sciences$
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Jason A. Josephson-Storm

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226403229

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226403533.001.0001

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The Ghosts of Metaphysics: Logical Positivism and Disenchantment

The Ghosts of Metaphysics: Logical Positivism and Disenchantment

(p.240) Chapter Nine The Ghosts of Metaphysics: Logical Positivism and Disenchantment
The Myth of Disenchantment

Jason Ā. Josephson-Storm

University of Chicago Press

Chapter 9 explores the connections between the Vienna Circle of positivism and the esoteric milieu. It shows how the founders of logical positivism, such as Otto Neurath, presented their philosophy as a kind of magical revival. It also demonstrates that other positivists—such as Rudolf Carnap, Hans Hahn, and Kurt Gödel—had a pro-found preoccupation with ghosts and the paranormal. Taken as a whole, the book demonstrates how magic, like metaphysics, also haunts the beginnings of analytic philosophy. It also undoes notions of a dry and apolitical positivism, by describing positivist anti-metaphysics in terms of ideological critique.

Keywords:   Vienna Circle, Rudolf Carnap, Hans Hahn, Otto Neurath, Kurt Gödel, Logical Positivism, Paranormal Research, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Max Horkeimer, Theodor Adorno, Psychic Research

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