Quora Answer: Philosophers: What are Moritz Schlick’s most interesting ideas?

Oct 18 2014

Moritz Schlick promoted the work of Wittgenstein even though he was the senior central member of the Vienna circle. But his ideas were in some sense more interesting in some ways because he was basically taking the ideas of Hilbert about axioms in geometry and using them to think about philosophy. He wanted to split concepts from percepts and have an axiomatic platform of concepts as the basis of reasoning, more or less like the axioms of set theory, but higher concepts. I talk about him in my dissertation at http://about.me/emergentdesign.

Wittgenstein basically went off the deep end in Tractatus with a very reductionist approach of everything to facts stated in propositions and attempted to systematize those rather than concentrating on the conceptual level, but I guess when the Hilbert program fell apart that effected Schlick’s approach too. Wittgenstein eventually migrated from language facts to language games and other interesting ideas, to me the most interesting of which are his concentration on the schemas. I like his Philosophical Grammar better than Philosophical investigations.

But essentially we can see Wittgenstein taking a wrong turn into Language Philosophy which is the source of all Analytic Philosophy, that is basically an anti-philosophy. Schlick instead wanted to make philosophy precise like geometry and axiomize it, which if possible would give a stable basis for thought. But of course, this program was not followed up due to the impact of Godel’s undecidability proof. But I try to explain the generality of the axiomatic platform approach in my dissertation, and how that hooks into other aspects of the Western tradition. The closest thing I know to this approach is the ideas about conceptual lattices. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concept_lattice

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