Thursday, May 01, 2008

Frost-Arnold, Greg. "Review of Alan Richardson, et al., eds. CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO LOGICAL EMPIRICISM." NDPR May 1, 2008.

Richardson, Alan, and Thomas Uebel, eds. Cambridge Companion to Logical Empiricism. Cambridge: CUP, 2007. For much of the second half of the 20th Century, the primary role logical empiricism played was that of the argumentative foil. The 'received view' on a given topic (especially in philosophy of science, logic, or language) was frequently identified with some supposedly dogmatic tenet of logical empiricism. However, during the last twenty-five years, scholars have paid serious, sustained attention to what the logical positivists, individually and collectively, actually said. Early scholarship on logical empiricism had to engage in heavy-duty PR work: why should anyone study the now-discarded mixture of blunders and implausibilities collected under the label 'logical empiricism'? However, thanks to the efforts of the pioneers, people studying the logical empiricists today need not articulate an extended apologia for their chosen subject of study -- rather, they can simply get on with their work. Many of the best fruits of these recent labors are on display in Cambridge Companion to Logical Empiricism (CCLE), edited by Alan Richardson and Thomas Uebel. The quality of the fourteen chapters ranges from high to quite high. The only substantive unevenness between chapters is in purpose and scope: certain chapters are introductory survey articles, while others read like journal articles -- though most contributions lie somewhere between these two extremes. In this review, I first discuss certain leitmotivs running through the Companion, and then briefly discuss each chapter. . . . Read the rest here:

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