Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Positivism, philosophy: modern positivism represents the demand to trace back statements with a claim to explanation to differences which can be ascertained in the objects of investigation. What is ascertainable is, in this case, relativized to a framework theory and its methods. This is intended to exclude foreign and non-verifiable statements. See also empiricism, internal/external, truth, provability.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Georg Henrik von Wright on Positivism - Dictionary of Arguments

I 152
Positivism/Wright, G. H.:can be characterized in different ways:
a) associated with a phenomenalist or sensualist epistemology; and
b) modern positivism: associated with a verification theory of meaning.
c) associated with a "scientist" and "technological" conception of knowledge and its uses.
Mill: has more of a positivist in the first sense of the word than Comte.
Comte: his positivism is above all science theory (cf. Comte, A., Cours de philosophie positive, Avertissement de l' Auteur, 1830). Comte's ultimate goal was to be an advocate of the "positive" scientific spirit in the study of social phenomena. This was coupled with a strong belief in the usefulness of scientific knowledge for social reforms. (1830, lecon I, 8).
Wright, G. H.: it is perhaps not uninteresting that Comte, as a herald of a technological understanding of knowledge, can be compared to Francis Bacon. Both of them contributed significantly to the creation of a certain "scientistic climate of opinion", but almost nothing at all was contributed to the actual scientific progress. (G. H. von WrightVsBacon, G. H. von WrightVsComte.)
I 21
Positivism/VsPositivism/Wright, G. H.: the anti-positivist methodology of the nineteenth century can be associated with an older Aristotelian tradition, a tradition that had been replaced three centuries earlier by a new spirit in science theory, above all by Galileo.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

WrightCr I
Crispin Wright
Truth and Objectivity, Cambridge 1992
German Edition:
Wahrheit und Objektivität Frankfurt 2001

WrightCr II
Crispin Wright
"Language-Mastery and Sorites Paradox"
Truth and Meaning, G. Evans/J. McDowell, Oxford 1976

WrightGH I
Georg Henrik von Wright
Explanation and Understanding, New York 1971
German Edition:
Erklären und Verstehen Hamburg 2008

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