Dr. Silke Körber

2023, September 1 until 2024, February 29

Affiliation: Humboldt Universität zu Berlin

Research for a study about:

Thinking and Muddling for People: L. Susan Stebbing and Otto Neurath.
With selected letters and texts

The research project I would like to realise during my stay is a publication in cooperation with Dr. Adam T. Tuboly (Institute of Philosophy, Hungarian Academy of Sciences) about the British philosopher L. Susan Stebbing and the Vienna Circle founding member Otto Neurath. Their collaboration has received little attention so far and – we claim in view of the materials that will be gathered and evaluated in this volume – also suggests a re-evaluation of the conclusions drawn about their individual work. Their collaboration took place against the backdrop of a convergence of the Vienna Circle in the 1930s and in exile, as well as the emerging analytic tradition in England (later known as the Cambridge School), a development that was significantly fostered by Stebbing. Neurath and Stebbing cooperated primarily with the aim of disseminating a “scientific attitude” in connection with a principally humanistic understanding of science and philosophy as well as the role of the scientific expert.

The publication will essentially have two parts: A monographic text on Stebbing and Neurath as well as the edited correspondence (1934 to 1941) and further texts.

All these materials will be classified, analysed and considered in the light of the longstanding collaboration between Stebbing and Neurath within the Unity of Science movement, the Foundation for Visual Education and the Isotype Institute. On the basis of the material, thematic priorities, similarities and differences in the programmatic approaches with regard to a "scientific humanism", the role and relationship of experts and society as well as methodological approaches to the transformation of knowledge will be elaborated. This should result in a hitherto unique collection of material that could provide impulses both for further studies. Our publication is based on previous research, and a chapter Tuboly and I recently submitted for an anthology on the work of L. Susan Stebbing.