The Kraft Circle was a student society of philosophers at the Institut für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung of the University of Vienna devoted to "considering philosophical problems in a nonmetaphysical manner and with special reference to the findings of the sciences". Its chairman and leading professor was Viktor Kraft, a former associate of the Vienna Circle, to which the Kraft Circle is sometimes viewed as a post-Second World War extension. The Circle was a part of the Austrian College Society founded in 1945 by Austrian resistance fighters.
The club was founded in 1949 by science and engineering students interested in the philosophical foundations of their disciplines. In the first year Ludwig Wittgenstein gave a talk. The members were mainly students, but there were occasional faculty attendees and even "foreign dignitaries" made appearances. Meetings of the circle took place during the academic year, while international meetings of the Austrian College Society took place during the summer at Alpbach. The circle disbanded in 1952/53. Feyerabend's paper "An Attempt at a Realistic Interpretation of Experience" (Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society ) is "a condensed version of the discussions in the Kraft Circle".
- Viktor Kraft, chairman
- Paul Feyerabend, founder
- Erich Jantsch, astrophysicist
- Johnny Sagan, later professor of mathematics at the University of Illinois
- Heinrich Eichhorn, later director of New Haven Observatory at Yale College
- Rudolf Goldberger de Buda, later professor of communications and electrical engineering at McMaster University
- Peter Schiske, physicist
- Paul Feyerabend, “Herbert Feigl: A Biographical Sketch”, in P. K. Feyerabend and Grover Maxwell (eds.), Mind, Matter, and Method: Essays in Philosophy and Science in Honor of Herbert Feigl (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1966), 1–2, quoted in Preston 2009.
- An early leader was Otto Molden, brother of Fritz Molden of publishing house fame (Feyerabend 1988, 274).
- He "took a long time to make up his mind and then appeared over an hour later [and] gave a spirited performance and seemed to prefer our disrespectful attitude to the fawning admiration he encountered elsewhere" (Feyerabend 1988, 274).
- Feyerabend 1988, 274, lists the Hungarian Béla Juhos, the Austrians Erich Heintel and Walter Hollitscher, the Finn Georg Henrik von Wright and the Englishwoman G. E. M. Anscombe.
- Preston 2009.
- He "met members of our circle at the astronomical observatory and later became a guru of dissident or pseudo-dissident scientists, trying to use old traditions to new purposes" (Feyerabend 1988, 274 n.2).
- Paul Feyerabend. Against Method. Revised edition. London: Verso, 1988.
- John Preston. "Paul Feyerabend". The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Published 1 June 2009.
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