Positivism (Education)

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  • A general philosophical movement that upheld empiricism, the logical analysis of thought and language, and verificationism. Positivism reached its apex with the Vienna Circle of Logical Positivism in the early 20th century.

    The term positivism and many of its basic ideas originated with Auguste Comte (1798–1857). Comte advocated a strict empiricism, which rejected the possibility of knowledge of unobservable physical objects. Connected with this, he rejected metaphysical speculation as failing to keep imagination limited by observation. In addition to Comte, the Vienna Circle itself was influenced by the logical methods of Gottlob Frege and Ludwig Wittgenstein, the mathematical developments of David Hilbert and Henri Poincaré, and the physical theories of Ernst Mach and Albert Einstein.

    A central tenet of the Vienna Circle was the verifiability criterion of ...

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