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Battle in the Mind Fields$
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John A. Goldsmith and Bernard Laks

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226550800

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226550947.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Philosophy and Logic in the Nineteenth Century

Philosophy and Logic in the Nineteenth Century

(p.147) Chapter Three Philosophy and Logic in the Nineteenth Century
Battle in the Mind Fields

John A. Goldsmith

Bernard Laks

University of Chicago Press

This chapter presents the philosophical models that would later have great influence on the mind sciences, beginning with Kant. Auguste Comte’s new philosophy, positivism, led thinkers in a different direction, one which encouraged people to be increasingly skeptical about the abstract words and concepts that they employ. His skepticism went so far as to doubt science’s ability to justify unseen entities, which was linked with a strong preference to interpret science’s successes as a better way to join descriptions of observables rather than as an uncovering of what was real but had been unseen. His perspective was advanced by Ernst Mach later in the century, and along with Mach’s work, would morph into twentieth-century logical positivism. The chapter also explores Franz Brentano’s charisma and influence on writers in both psychology and philosophy. Logicians such as George Boole and Gottlob Frege began to reconstruct the formal foundations of their field, and to explore how natural language did, and did not, shed light on the logical structure of propositions.

Keywords:   Immanuel Kant, August Comte, positivism, Ernst Mach, Franz Brentano, neogrammarians, Ferdinand de Saussure

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