Causality and Logical Positivism
McGuinness, B.F. (Hg)
2013, 372 S, Kt, (Springer)
Friedrich Waismann (18961959) was one of the most gifted students and collaborators of Moritz Schlick. Accepted as a discussion partner by Wittgenstein from 1927 on, he functioned as spokesman for the latters ideas in the Schlick Circle, until Wittgensteins contact with this most faithful interpreter was broken off in 1935 and not renewed when exile took Waismann to Cambridge. Nonetheless, at Oxford, where he went in 1939, and eventually became Reader in Philosophy of Mathematics (changing later to Philosophy of Science), Waismann made important and independent contributions to analytic philosophy and philosophy of science (for example in relation to probability, causality and linguistic analysis). The full extent of these only became evident later when the larger (unpublished) part of his writings could be studied. His first posthumous work The Principles of Linguistic Philosophy (1965, 2nd edn.1997; German 1976) and his earlier Einführung in das mathematische Denken (1936) have recently proved of fresh interest to the scientific community. This late flowering and new understanding of Waismanns position is connected with the fact that he somewhat unfairly fell under the shadow of Wittgenstein, his mentor and predecessor. Central to this book about a life and work familiar to few is unpublished and unknown works on causality and probability. These are commented on in this volume, which will also include a publication of new or previously scattered material and an overview of Waismanns life.