The characterisation as well as the relationship of the Vienna Circle to ethics and morality is not considered difficult without reason. In my talk I will justify the rejection of the prevailing view that most members of the Vienna Circle completely disregarded morality, not only in their roles as philosophers and scientists but also as citizens and human beings, and that although some members of the Vienna Circle considered morality in a philosophical way, they supported the standard view of logical empiricist ethics. Most members of the Vienna Circle were interested in morality, core members of the circle even shared an enlightened and humanistic version of morality. They endorsed what Carnap called ‛scientific humanism’, which asserts that it is the task of humanity to improve human living conditions and that science is one of the most valuable means of accomplishing this progress. Moreover, not all members held the standard view of logical empiricist ethics. My talk will explain important deviations from customary interpretation in more detail by analysing the positions taken by Rudolf Carnap, Karl Menger, Otto Neurath, Moritz Schlick, and Viktor Kraft. In contrast to the common representation of ivory tower logicians and meta-ethicists, some members of the Vienna Circle even practised applied ethics.
Tuesday, October 27, 2020, 3:45 pm – 5:10 pm