Hans Reichenbach (September 26, 1891 – April 9, 1953) was a leading philosopher of science, educator, and proponent of logical empiricism. He was influential in the areas of science, education, and of logical empiricism. He founded the Gesellschaft für empirische Philosophie (Society for Empirical Philosophy) in Berlin in 1928, also known as the “Berlin Circle”. Carl Gustav Hempel, Richard von Mises, David Hilbert and Kurt Grelling all became members of the Berlin Circle. He authored The Rise of Scientific Philosophy. In 1930, Reichenbach and Rudolf Carnap became editors of the journal Erkenntnis (Knowledge). He also made lasting contributions to the study of empiricism based on a theory of probability; the logic and the philosophy of mathematics; space, time, and relativity theory; analysis of probabilistic reasoning; and quantum mechanics.
|Born||September 26, 1891|
|Died||April 9, 1953 (aged 61)|
|Alma mater||HFT Stuttgart|
University of Berlin
University of Erlangen
University of Göttingen
University of Munich
|Thesis||Der Begriff der Wahrscheinlichkeit für die mathematische Darstellung der Wirklichkeit (The Concept of Probability for the Mathematical Representation of Reality) (1916)|
|Doctoral advisors||Paul Hensel, Max Noether|
|Other academic advisors||Max Born, Ernst Cassirer, David Hilbert, Max Planck, Arnold Sommerfeld, Albert Einstein|
|Doctoral students||Carl Gustav Hempel, Hilary Putnam, Wesley Salmon|
|Philosophy of science|
|Philosophical implications of the theory of relativity, philosophical foundations of quantum mechanics, the "context of discovery"/"context of justification" distinction, relativized a priori (the fallible set of constitutive principles underlying knowledge), the "axioms of connection" (empirical laws) vs. "axioms of coordination" (constitutive principles) distinction|
After completing secondary school in Hamburg, Hans Reichenbach studied civil engineering at the Hochschule für Technik Stuttgart, and physics, mathematics and philosophy at various universities, including Berlin, Erlangen, Göttingen and Munich. Among his teachers were Ernst Cassirer, David Hilbert, Max Planck, Max Born and Arnold Sommerfeld.
Reichenbach was active in youth movements and student organizations, and published articles about the university reform, the freedom of research, and against anti-Semitic infiltrations in student organizations. His older brother Bernhard Reichenbach shared in this activism and went on to become a member of the Communist Workers' Party of Germany, representing this organisation on the Executive Committee of the Communist International. Hans wrote the Platform of the Socialist Student Party, Berlin which was published in 1918. The party had remained clandestine until the November Revolution when it was formally founded with him as Chairman. He also worked with Alexander Schwab at this time. However following his attending lectures by Albert Einstein in 1919, he stopped participating in political groups.
Reichenbach received a degree in philosophy from the University of Erlangen in 1915 and his Dr.phil. dissertation on the theory of probability, titled Der Begriff der Wahrscheinlichkeit für die mathematische Darstellung der Wirklichkeit (The Concept of Probability for the Mathematical Representation of Reality) and supervised by Paul Hensel and Max Noether, was published in 1916. Reichenbach served during World War I on the Russian front, in the German army radio troops. In 1917 he was removed from active duty, due to an illness, and returned in Berlin. While working as a physicist and engineer, Reichenbach attended Albert Einstein's lectures on the theory of relativity in Berlin from 1917 to 1920.
In 1920 Reichenbach began teaching at the Technische Hochschule at Stuttgart as Privatdozent. In the same year, he published his first book on the philosophical implications of the theory of relativity, The Theory of Relativity and A Priori Knowledge, which criticized the Kantian notion of synthetic a priori. He subsequently published Axiomatization of the Theory of Relativity (1924), From Copernicus to Einstein (1927) and The Philosophy of Space and Time (1928), the last stating the logical positivist view on the theory of relativity.
In 1926, with the help of Albert Einstein, Max Planck and Max von Laue, Reichenbach became assistant professor in the physics department of Humboldt University of Berlin. He gained notice for his methods of teaching, as he was easily approached and his courses were open to discussion and debate. This was highly unusual at the time, although the practice is nowadays a common one.
In 1928, Reichenbach founded the so-called "Berlin Circle" (German: Die Gesellschaft für empirische Philosophie; English: Society for Empirical Philosophy). Among its members were Carl Gustav Hempel, Richard von Mises, David Hilbert and Kurt Grelling. The Vienna Circle manifesto lists 30 of Reichenbach's publications in a bibliography of closely related authors. In 1930 he and Rudolf Carnap began editing the journal Erkenntnis ("Knowledge").
When Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933, Reichenbach was immediately dismissed from his appointment at the University of Berlin under the government's so called "Race Laws" due to his Jewish ancestry. Reichenbach himself did not practise Judaism, and his mother was a German Protestant, but he nevertheless suffered problems. He thereupon emigrated to Turkey, where he headed the Department of Philosophy at the University of Istanbul. He introduced interdisciplinary seminars and courses on scientific subjects, and in 1935 he published The Theory of Probability.
In 1938, with the help of Charles W. Morris, Reichenbach moved to the United States to take up a professorship at the University of California, Los Angeles in its Philosophy Department. Reichenbach helped establish UCLA as a leading philosophy department in the United States in the post-war period. Carl Hempel, Hilary Putnam, and Wesley Salmon were perhaps his most prominent students. During his time there, he published several his most notable books, including his work on the philosophical foundations of quantum mechanics in 1944, Elements of Symbolic Logic in 1947, and The Rise of Scientific Philosophy (his most popular book) in 1951.
Reichenbach died unexpectedly of a heart attack on April 9, 1953. He was living in Los Angeles at the time, and had been working on problems in the philosophy of time and on the nature of scientific laws. As part of this he proposed a three part model of time in language, involving speech time, event time and - critically - reference time, which has been used by linguists since for describing tenses. This work resulted in two books published posthumously: The Direction of Time and Nomological Statements and Admissible Operations.
Hans Reichenbach manuscripts, photographs, lectures, correspondence, drawings and other related materials are maintained by  the Archives of Scientific Philosophy, Special Collections, University Library System, University of Pittsburgh. Much of the content has been digitized. Some more notable content includes:
1951 in philosophy1953 in philosophy
1953 in philosophyBerlin Circle
The Berlin Circle (German: die Berliner Gruppe) was a group that maintained logical empiricist views about philosophy.Bernhard Reichenbach
Bernhard Reichenbach (1888 in Berlin – 1975 in London) was a member of the Executive Committee of the Communist International. He was a member of the Communist Workers' Party of Germany and acted as their delegate to the Third Congress of the Third International.
He was born in Berlin in 1888, the son of Bruno Reichenbach. (His younger brother was Hans Reichenbach, who would go on to become a leading philosopher of science. Bernhard was a conscientious objector; between 1915– and '17 he served in the German army during the First World War in the medical corps including at the Battle of Verdun. He then joined the German Foreign Office, where he served in until 1919. Bernhard joined the Communist Workers' Party of Germany and, in 1921 shortly after the birth of his son, Hanno, he travelled to the Soviet Union as one of his party's representatives, where he also held discussions with Lenin.Reichenbach was a trained economist and he worked as a purchasing agent for a chemical company.With the coming to power of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party, Reichenbach -- as a German of Jewish descent, and with communist political beliefs, came under threat and fled to Great Britain via the Netherlands. During the Second World War, he worked for the British Foreign office, on various anti-Nazi publications which were distributed around Germany; he would later be awarded the Verdienstkreuz 1, Klasse, the German equivalent of an O.B.E., for this work.
Reichenbach married Ilze Rosendorn, with whom he had two children, Hanno and Tania. Hanno attended Great Ayton Friends' School, with several other German or Austrian refugees.Carl Gustav Hempel
Carl Gustav "Peter" Hempel (January 8, 1905 – November 9, 1997) was a German writer and philosopher. He was a major figure in logical empiricism, a 20th-century movement in the philosophy of science. He is especially well known for his articulation of the deductive-nomological model of scientific explanation, which was considered the "standard model" of scientific explanation during the 1950s and 1960s. He is also known for the raven paradox (also known as "Hempel's paradox").David Kaplan (philosopher)
David Benjamin Kaplan (; born September 17, 1933) is the Hans Reichenbach Professor of Scientific Philosophy at the University of California, Los Angeles Department of Philosophy. His philosophical work focuses on the philosophy of language, logic, metaphysics, epistemology and the philosophy of Frege and Russell. He is best known for his work on demonstratives, propositions, and reference in intensional contexts. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 1983 and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy in 2007.Elliott Sober
Elliott R. Sober (born 6 June 1948, Baltimore) is Hans Reichenbach Professor and William F. Vilas Research Professor in the Department of Philosophy at University of Wisconsin–Madison. Sober is noted for his work in philosophy of biology and general philosophy of science.Ernest Nagel
Ernest Nagel (November 16, 1901 – September 20, 1985) was an American philosopher of science. Along with Rudolf Carnap, Hans Reichenbach, and Carl Hempel, he is sometimes seen as one of the major figures of the logical positivist movement.F. John Clendinnen
F. John Clendinnen (23 August 1924 – 25 July 2013) was an Australian contemporary philosopher of science interested in induction and empiricism.Genidentity
As introduced by Kurt Lewin, genidentity is an existential relationship underlying the genesis of an object from one moment to the next. What we usually consider to be an object really consists of multiple entities, which are the phases of the object at various times. Two objects are not identical because they have the same properties in common, but because one has developed from the other.
Lewin introduced the concept in his 1922 Habilitationsschrift Der Begriff der Genese in Physik, Biologie und Entwicklungsgeschichte. It is today perhaps the only surviving evidence of Lewin's influence on the philosophy of science. However, this concept never became an object of widespread discussion and debate in its own terms. Rather, it was extracted from its context by philosophers such as Rudolf Carnap, Hans Hermes, Hans Reichenbach, Adolph Grünbaum, and Bas van Fraassen who incorporated this concept into their own theories such as the topology of the universe or the axiomatization of mechanics. Lewin's idea was to compare and contrast the concept of genidentity in various branches of science, thereby laying bare the characteristic structure of each and making their classification possible in the first place.Henry E. Kyburg Jr.
Henry E. Kyburg Jr. (1928–2007) was Gideon Burbank Professor of Moral Philosophy and Professor of Computer Science at the University of Rochester, New York, and Pace Eminent Scholar at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, Pensacola, Florida. His first faculty posts were at Rockefeller Institute, University of Denver, Wesleyan College, and Wayne State University.
Kyburg worked in probability and logic, and is known for his Lottery Paradox (1961). Kyburg also edited Studies in Subjective Probability (1964) with Howard Smokler. Because of this collection's relation to Bayesian probability, Kyburg is often misunderstood to be a Bayesian. His own theory of probability is outlined in Logical Foundations of Statistical Inference (1974), a theory that first found form in his 1961 book Probability and the Logic of Rational Belief (in turn, a work closely related to his doctoral thesis). Kyburg describes his theory as Keynesian and Fisherian (see John Maynard Keynes and Ronald Fisher), a delivery on the promises of Rudolf Carnap and Hans Reichenbach for a logical probability based on reference classes, a reaction to Neyman–Pearson statistics (see Jerzy Neyman, Karl Pearson, and Neyman–Pearson lemma), and neutral with respect to Bayesian confirmational conditionalization. On the latter subject, Kyburg had extended discussion in the literature with lifelong friend and colleague Isaac Levi.
Kyburg's later major works include Epistemology and Inference (1983), a collection of essays; Theory and Measurement (1984), a response to Krantz–Luce–Suppes–Tversky's Foundations of Measurement; and Science and Reason (1990), which seeks to allay Karl Popper's and Bruno de Finetti's concerns that empirical data could not confirm a universally quantified scientific axiom (e.g., F = ma).
Kyburg was Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1982), Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science (1995), Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (2002), and recipient of the Butler Medal for Philosophy in Silver from Columbia University, where he received his PhD with Ernest Nagel as his advisor. Kyburg was also a graduate of Yale University and a 1980 Guggenheim Fellow.Kyburg owned a farm in Lyons, New York where he raised Angus cattle with his wife, Sarah, and promoted wind turbine systems for energy-independent farmers.Index of analytic philosophy articles
This is a list of articles in analytic philosophy.
A. C. Grayling
Alfred Jules Ayer
Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon
C. D. Broad
Cahiers pour l'Analyse
Carl Gustav Hempel
Charles Sanders Peirce
Contrast theory of meaning
Darwin's Dangerous Idea
David Braine (philosopher)
David Kellogg Lewis
Descriptivist theory of names
Direct reference theory
Doctrine of internal relations
Donald Davidson (philosopher)
Elbow Room (book)
F. C. S. Schiller
Form of life (philosophy)
Frank P. Ramsey
G. E. M. Anscombe
George Edward Moore
Harvey Brown (philosopher)
Indeterminacy of translation
Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy
J. L. Austin
Language, Truth, and Logic
Metaphor in philosophy
Michael Tye (philosopher)
Naming and Necessity
Oets Kolk Bouwsma
Ordinary language philosophy
Original proof of Gödel's completeness theorem
P. F. Strawson
Paradox of analysis
Philosophy of engineering
Philosophy of technology
Private language argument
Richard von Mises
Round square copula
The Bounds of Sense
The Logic of Scientific Discovery
The Mind's I
Two Dogmas of Empiricism
UCLA Department of Philosophy
Willard Van Orman Quine
William James Lectures
William L. Rowe
William W. Tait
Word and Object
Zeno VendlerIs Logic Empirical?
"Is Logic Empirical?" is the title of two articles (one by Hilary Putnam and another by Michael Dummett) that discuss the idea that the algebraic properties of logic may, or should, be empirically determined; in particular, they deal with the question of whether empirical facts about quantum phenomena may provide grounds for revising classical logic as a consistent logical rendering of reality. The replacement derives from the work of Garrett Birkhoff and John von Neumann on quantum logic. In their work, they showed that the outcomes of quantum measurements can be represented as binary propositions and that these quantum mechanical propositions can be combined in much the same way as propositions in classical logic. However, the algebraic properties of this structure are somewhat different from those of classical propositional logic in that the principle of distributivity fails.
The idea that the principles of logic might be susceptible to revision on empirical grounds has many roots, including the work of W. V. Quine and the foundational studies of Hans Reichenbach.List of philosophers of science
This is a chronological list of philosophers of science. For an alphabetical name-list, see Category:Philosophers of science.Logical positivism
Logical positivism and logical empiricism, which together formed neopositivism, was a movement in Western philosophy whose central thesis was verificationism, a theory of knowledge which asserted that only statements verifiable through empirical observation are meaningful. The movement flourished in the 1920s and 1930s in several European centers.
Efforts to convert philosophy to this new "scientific philosophy", shared with empirical sciences' best examples, such as Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, sought to prevent confusion rooted in unclear language and unverifiable claims.The Berlin Circle and Vienna Circle—groups of philosophers, scientists, and mathematicians in Berlin and Vienna—propounded logical positivism, starting in the late 1920s.Marcel Boll
Marcel Boll (15 September 1886, Paris – 12 August 1971, Paris) was a French positivist, educationalist who played a prominent role in promoting the Vienna Circle in France. He was professor of Chemistry and Electricity at HEC Paris.
He translated works by Rudolph Carnap, Phillip Frank, Hans Reichenbach, and Moritz Schlick into French.Reichenbach (surname)
Reichenbach is a German surname. Notable people with the surname include:
Bernhard Reichenbach (1888-1975), German Communist
Carl Reichenbach (1788-1869), chemist and metaphysician, studied mesmerism and somnambulism
Ernst Stromer von Reichenbach (1871-1952), German paleontologist
Georg Friedrich von Reichenbach (1771-1826), astronomical instrument maker
Harry Reichenbach (1882-1931), us press agent and publists - promoted Disney's Steamboat Willie
Hans Reichenbach (1891–1953), philosopher and linguist
Heinrich Gottlieb Ludwig Reichenbach (1793–1879), German botanist and ornithologist
Heinrich Gustav Reichenbach (1823-1889), German botanist
Ted Ryko (Edward Reichenbach) (1892-1968), Australian Cyclist and Photographer
Sébastien Reichenbach (born 1989), Swiss cyclistReichenbachiella
Reichenbachiella is a chemoorganotrophic and strictly aerobic genus from the family of Flammeovirgaceae. this bacteria genus is named after the German microbiologist Hans Reichenbach.Vienna Circle
The Vienna Circle (German: Wiener Kreis) of Logical Empiricism was a group of philosophers and scientists drawn from the natural and social sciences, logic and mathematics who met regularly from 1924 to 1936 at the University of Vienna, chaired by Moritz Schlick.
The Vienna Circle's influence on 20th-century philosophy, especially philosophy of science and analytic philosophy, is immense up to the present day.
Among the members of the inner circle were Moritz Schlick, Hans Hahn, Philipp Frank, Otto Neurath, Rudolf Carnap, Herbert Feigl, Richard von Mises, Karl Menger, Kurt Gödel, Friedrich Waismann, Felix Kaufmann, Viktor Kraft and Edgar Zilsel. In addition, the Vienna Circle was occasionally visited by Alfred Tarski, Hans Reichenbach, Carl Gustav Hempel, Willard Van Orman Quine, Ernest Nagel, Alfred Jules Ayer, Oskar Morgenstern and Frank P. Ramsey. Ludwig Wittgenstein and Karl Popper were in close contact to the Vienna Circle, but never participated in the meetings of the Schlick Circle.The philosophical position of the Vienna Circle was called logical empiricism (German: logischer Empirismus), logical positivism or neopositivism. It was influenced by Ernst Mach, David Hilbert, French conventionalism (Henri Poincaré and Pierre Duhem), Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Albert Einstein. The Vienna Circle was pluralistic and committed to the ideals of the Enlightenment. It was unified by the aim of making philosophy scientific with the help of modern logic. Main topics were foundational debates in the natural and social sciences, logic and mathematics; the modernization of empiricism by modern logic; the search for an empiricist criterion of meaning; the critique of metaphysics and the unification of the sciences in the unity of science.The Vienna Circle appeared in public with the publication of various book series – Schriften zur wissenschaftlichen Weltauffassung (Monographs on the Scientific World-Conception), Einheitswissenschaft (Unified Science) and the journal Erkenntnis – and the organization of international conferences in Prague; Königsberg (today known as Kaliningrad); Paris; Copenhagen; Cambridge, UK, and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Its public profile was provided by the Ernst Mach Society (German: Verein Ernst Mach) through which members of the Vienna Circle sought to popularize their ideas in the context of programmes for national education in Vienna.
During the era of Austrofascism and after the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany most members of the Vienna Circle were forced to emigrate. The murder of Schlick in 1936 by a former student put an end to the Vienna Circle in Austria.
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