Friedrich Waismann


Friedrich Waismann

Friedrich Waismann (March 21, 1896 - November 4, 1959) was an Austrian mathematician, physicist, and philosopher. He is best known for being a member of the Vienna Circle and one of the key theorists in logical positivism.

Life and work

Born in Vienna, Waismann was educated in mathematics and physics at the University of Vienna. In 1922, he began to study philosophy under the tutelage of Moritz Schlick, the founder of the Vienna Circle. He emigrated to the United Kingdom in 1938. He was a reader in philosophy of science at the University of Cambridge from 1937 to 1939, and lecturer in philosophy of mathematics at the University of Oxford from 1939 until his death.

Intermittently, from 1927 until 1936, Waismann had extensive conversations with Ludwig Wittgenstein about topics in philosophy of mathematics and philosophy of language. These conversations, recorded by Waismann, were published in "Ludwig Wittgenstein and the Vienna Circle" (1979, ed. B.F. McGuinness). Other members of the Circle (including Schlick, Rudolf Carnap, and Herbert Feigl) also spoke with Wittgenstein, but not to Waismann's extent. At one point in 1934, Wittgenstein and Waismann considered collaborating on a book, but these plans fell through after their philosophical differences became apparent.Waismann later accused Wittgenstein of obscurantism because of what he considered to be his betrayal of the project of logical positivism and empirically-based explanation [Shanker, S., & Shanker, V. A. (1986), "Ludwig Wittgenstein: critical assessments". London: Croom Helm,50-51.] . Ultimately the texts for the project, written or just transcribed by Waismann, have been published by Gordon Baker in 2003. [ "The Voices of Wittgenstein, the Vienna Circle", by Ludwig Wittgenstein and Friedrich Waismann, Transcribed, edited and with an introduction by Gordon Baker, London:Routledge, 2003. On page xvii the editor asserts that "Like Ludwig Wittgenstein und der Wiener Kreis", this book is the publication of an important part of Waismann’s nachlass, and authorship is therefore appropriately ascribed to Waismann."]

In "Introduction to Mathematical Thinking: The Formation of Concepts in Modern Mathematics" (1936), Waismann argued that mathematical truths are true by convention rather than being necessarily (or verifiably) true. His collected lectures, "The Principles of Linguistic Philosophy" (1965), and "How I See Philosophy" (1968, ed. R. Harré), a collection of papers, were published posthumously.

References


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  • Friedrich Waismann — (* 21. März 1896 in Wien; † 4. November 1959 in Oxford) war österreichischer Mathematiker, Physiker und Philosoph. Er war Mitglied des Wiener Kreises und Vertreter des Logischen Positivismus. Nach dem Studium der Mathematik und Physik an der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Friedrich Waismann — ( * 21 de marzo de 1896 4 de noviembre de 1959), fue un matemático, físico y filósofo austriaco. Es mayoritariamente conocido por haber sido miembro del Círculo de Viena y uno de los teóricos clave del Empirismo lógico. Nacido en Viena, Waismann… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Friedrich Waismann — (21 mars 1896 4 novembre 1959) est un mathématicien, physicien, et philosophe autrichien. Il est principalement connu comme membre du Cercle de Vienne et théoricien du positivisme logique. Portail de la philosop …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Waismann — Friedrich Waismann (* 21. März 1896 in Wien; † 4. November 1959 in Oxford) war österreichischer Mathematiker, Physiker und Philosoph. Er war Mitglied des Wiener Kreises und Vertreter des Logischen Positivismus. Nach dem Studium der Mathematik und …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • WAISMANN, FRIEDRICH — (1896–1959), Austrian philosopher. One of the original members of the Vienna Circle, he was born in Vienna. He was assistant of the German neopositivist philosopher Moritz Schlick at Vienna University (1929–36), and then lectured at Cambridge… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Waismann — Waismann,   Friedrich, österreichischer Philosoph, * Wien 1896, ✝ Oxford 4. 11. 1959; Mitglied des Wiener Kreises; emigrierte 1937 nach Großbritannien, lehrte 1937 39 in Cambridge, dann in Oxford. Beeinflusst von M. Schlick und besonders L.… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Waismann — Waismann, Friedrich …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Waismann, Friedrich — (1896–1959) Austrian member of the Vienna Circle. Waismann is principally remembered for a defence of conventionalism in logic and mathematics, and for introducing the notion of ‘porosity’ or open texture into the philosophy of language. His most …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Ernst Polak — (bis 1938: Pollak;[1] * 4. August 1886 in Jitschin; † 21. September[2] 1947 in London) war ein österreichischer Literaturkritiker und Literaturagent. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Familie 2 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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