Who is Friedrich Waismann?June 25, 2021
Friedrich Waism Friedrich Waismann (21 March 1896 to 4 November 1959) was an Austrian philosopher, mathematician and linguist. Waismann is regarded as one of the pioneers of the logical positivism movement. Friedrich Waismann is also one of the philosophers of the Vienna Circle.
After the Nazi occupation of Austria, Friedrich Waismann immigrated to England and taught philosophy of science at Cambridge University from 1937 to 1939, and then continued his academic career at Oxford University and received the title of associate professor in the field of philosophy of mathematics.
Friedrich Waismann was one of Moritz Schlick’s most gifted students and colleagues. Waismann made important and independent contributions to analytical philosophy and the philosophy of science. The full extent of these came to light only when the greater part of his writings could be studied. His posthumous work “The Principles of Linguistic Philosophy” and his previous work “Einführung in das mathematische Denken” (1936) brought a new perspective to the scientific community.
This late-emerging new understanding of Waismann’s philosophical position suggested that he was somewhat unfairly overshadowed by his mentor and predecessor, Wittgenstein. The concepts of causality and probability were central to his writings, the result of a life and work familiar to few.
Friedrich Waismann (left) with then-student Olaf Helmer in Cambridge
Waismann did extensive work with Ludwig Wittgenstein on the philosophy of mathematics and philosophy of language, intermittently from 1927 to 1936. These works, recorded by Waismann, were published in “Ludwig Wittgenstein and the Vienna Circle” in 1979. Other members of the Vienna Circle (including Schlick, Rudolf Carnap and Herbert Feigl) also worked with Wittgenstein; however, none of these studies was as comprehensive as Waismann’s work.
Wittgenstein and Waismann considered working together on a book in 1934; but their differences in philosophical orientation fell through this plan. Waismann accused Wittgenstein of deliberately blocking empirically based explanations of logical positivism. The explanatory texts of this project, which was ultimately only written down by Waismann, were published by Gordon Baker in 2003. Ann Who is?