Joel Katzav PhD

September 12th 2022  until January 13th, 2023

Affiliation: University of Queensland (UQ)

Research for a study about:

Speculative philosophy of science and logical positivism

American, speculative philosophy of science developed substantially in the early decades of the twentieth century, prior to the arrival of the logical positivists in America. Little has been written about this part of the history of philosophy of science. I aim to compare aspects of pre-logical empiricist, American philosophy of science with philosophy of science as it developed in the wake of logical positivism. I also aim to learn philosophy of science from my comparative exercise. In the first part of my project, I will compare the fruitfulness of the pre-logical positivist approach to philosophy of science with the logical positivist one. In the second part of the project, I will consider a philosophy of science-based critique of analytic philosophy developed by the pre-logical empiricist, speculative philosopher of science Grace A. de Laguna.


Speculative philosophy of science and its influence on logical empiricism

Date:  to appear

Time: 3–5pm (CET)

Online Plattform: Hybrid | Zoom | APSE-CEU-IVC Talks



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I provide a sketch of speculative philosophy of science during the period 1900-1930, including of some key figures, of its dominant theoretical and methodological framework and of some of the key topics that were examined within this framework, topics such as the nature of scientific explanation, the methodology of research programs, the role of idealisation in science, the sociology of science and speculative metaphysics of science. I further suggest that, while many of these topics were inherited by, and even helped to make, logical empiricism when its advocates later arrived in America, it neglected key topics, especially regarding idealisation, sociology and metaphysics. Finally, I suggest that this neglect was due to a logical empiricist dogma–specifically, epistemic conservatism–and might help to explain its quick demise as well, perhaps, as some of the persistent problems within analytic philosophy of science.