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Logical Positivism

  • By: Brian Ceh
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Logical positivism (often simply called positivism) has long been, and still remains, an enormously influential philosophy in geography and many other disciplines. It is commonly associated with the scientific method, which holds that scientific knowledge can be attained only through rigorous logical analysis and empirical evidence. It remains the dominant guiding epistemology of natural and physical scientists, although it has profoundly affected the history and contents of many social sciences as well.

Historical Origins

Although its history can arguably be traced as far back as classical Greece, logical positivism formally originated in the 1920s in Austria and Germany. Among its founding leaders were Rudolf Carnap, Moritz Schlick (founder of the Vienna Circle), Hans Reichenbach (founder of the Berlin Circle), Carl Hempel, Otto Neurath, Victor Kraft, Kurt Grelling, ...

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