Logical positivism or logical empiricism is the dominant form of positivism usually viewed as coextensive with positivism in general. Logical positivism developed out of discussions held by the Vienna Circle, a group rooted in the analytic tradition of philosophy and composed of Austrian and German philosophers, which began in the early 1920s. Equating knowledge in general with scientific knowledge, they denied the validity of traditional philosophical concerns with metaphysics, ethics, and epistemology. Over the following decades, many of the positivists moved to England and the United States, where they exerted an enormous influence. This entry examines positivism’s history, key tenets, and influence, including its specific influence on legal theory and by extension its impact on corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Positivism’s History

The term positivism can be traced ...

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