Sahotra Sarkar


University of Texas at Austin

Logical Empiricism and the Philosophy of Biology in the 1940s and 1950s

Critics and historians of logical empiricism often take it for granted that the movement ignored details of the special sciences in its alleged deification of modern physics. In particular, in the case of biology, Wolters (e.g., 1999) has argued that, not only did the logical empiricists not pay adequate attention to the life sciences but, also, when they did, they focused on largely irrelevant problems such as those of holism and mechanism. The purpose of this paper is to challenge both claims in this thesis.