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Neurath, Otto

The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy

Simon Blackburn

Neurath, Otto (1882–1945) Austrian philosopher and social theorist. 

Neurath, a polymath and a socialist, was one of the most influential members of the Vienna circle (see logical positivism). His papers in the journal Erkenntnis (particularly his ‘Protokollsätze’ of 1932) were important in turning the circle away from the attempt to find the foundations of knowledge in uninterpreted sense experience, and towards a more physicalistic and holistic epistemology. For Neurath, physicalism was a linguistic doctrine that promised a desirable unification of the languages of the different sciences. Neurath was largely the author of the first manifesto of the Vienna circle, in 1929. See also Neurath's boat.