Talk:Positivism dispute

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Can someone explain/clarify/correct this sentence: "Also discussed were the questions of whether Popper's and Albert's critical rationalism has contributed to ethical problems and whether it is possibly capable to such contributions." --BIsopp (talk) 03:14, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

its been changed to "had exacerbated" which is still unclear [imperfect possessive "had" vs. pluperfect exacerbate]. If it's pluperfect then what ethical problems had it exacerbated, and how/when? if it's the imperfect, then what ethical problems did it have? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:40, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Has anyone else noticed that this article doesn't tell you anything about what the debate was about? Who took what position? What arguments did they use? ... – Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 01:12, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I came to this page to find out what the debate was about and came away extremely bemused! Blackmetalbaz (talk) 10:55, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
What was the debate about? The answer taken from the original article is: " discuss the differences between social and natural sciences and the status of values in the social sciences." - Amused? If you know better, feel animated to contribute. The principle of Wiki is to participate. Unfortunately I haven't got the time to write on this article. So who knows better has his or her chance. Greetings hjn (talk) 10:42, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
Actually, the purpose of an encyclopedia should be to answer questions, disseminate knowledge, etc. Your answer probably says more about Wikipedia than you intended. After all, if I have to research a subject elsewhere and create, correct, or fill in the Wiki page every single time I come to Wikipedia to find something out, then it becomes useless as an encyclopedia, but it might make a fine hobby. Thanks for providing even more amusement, especially with your comment about not having enough time. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:57, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

This page says: "Positivism means that things like facts, results of experiments, and the real world are "given", and prior to theories." This sounds more like the definition of Objectivism, and only adds to the general confusion of all the other definitions of positivism on the web, and doesn't really coincide with definitions, explicit or implied, on the Wikipedia Positivism page. The most accurate one-line definition might be "Positivism is a philosophy that holds that the only authentic knowledge is that based on actual sense experience." As noted above, there is so little information about the actual Positivism dispute that we can't even know what the implied definitions of Positivism might be within the context of the arguments that might have been made by the actual disputants.

I have added a section on the Elements of the Dispute - corrections welcome. Guidod (talk) 23:22, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

The article says "The precursor of the debate about positivism can be traced back to Max Horkheimer's essay "Der neueste Angriff auf die Metaphysik" published in 1937 that criticizes the Logical positivism of the Vienna Circle. The prolonged criticism led to the formation of two camps". This cannot be true, since Popper's Logic of Scientific Discovery, the foundation of critical rationalism and itself a heavy, even polemical attack on positivism and its anti-metaphysical views, was published in 1934, way before Horkheimer's essay. There is no source given that says anything like the statement in the article. Popper was not a member of the Vienna Circle. --rtc (talk) 14:25, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Simple: Popper was not received widely until after WWII. Adorno and Habermas considered Popper's philosophy an offshoot, revenant, residue, or reincarnation of Logical positivism, even if he did not realize it. And BTW, it's funny that somebody above (who incorrectly defines positivism rather as empiricism, while positivism is really conscious and unconscious parroting/endorsing of the status quo, i. e. what everybody traditionally believes/says/does) said that the Frankfurt School definition of positivism as ignoring or dismissing the influence of society and history would be wrong for sounding too much like objectivism, when Popper did just that by accusing the Frankfurters of "historicist ideology" as any Randist would. -- (talk) 23:13, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

Instrumental reason and psychoanalytical Sozialcharakter[edit]

The article mainly glosses over the issues of instrumental reason and psychoanalysis aka Sozialcharakter. The Frankfurt charge against Popper is that he practices instrumental reason since he lacks any notion of its inherent problem: He never questions traditional ends and values, his entire pursuit is how to meet them more efficiently. Popper's response to that charge clearly shows that he has no idea what an end is or how it differs from a means so that he believes that the means would be all that anybody could legitimitely critique. Basically, while Adorno tells us that we need to think whether mutually-assured destruction is really necessary, Popper's entire "critique of society" consists of asking how to build faster, more reliable missiles. To Popper, it's entirely anathema to speculate whether we need missiles at all since he's demonizing the mere notion to question the necessity of nukes as "disruptive, violent revolution".

Same about issues of environmental pollution, the related issue of capital over-accumulation, or problems of social conflicts between social groups: To question the status quo is anathema for Popper, because questioning it would supposedly cause the downfall of public order and society, so we need only concern ourselves with how to pollute and accumulate more efficiently. This entire issue is why there used to be a popular joke among many German sociologists and political scientists, and not only among the Left-wingers among them, that the original title to his book had really been The open society *BY* one of its enemies, before the publisher thought it a good idea to change that into The open society and its enemes.

Finally, the issue of instrumental reason and traditional values is closely related to how Popper and the Frankfurt position cannot agree on the validity of psychoanalysis and Sozialcharakter (socially-induced personality type). That's why Popper believes that any scientist's POV and judgment would be entirely untarnished and objective or that it would be quite easy for them to gain such universal objective insight, while Adorno, Horkheimer, and Marcuse remind Popper of the vital role of ideology, society, material conditions, and psychology, basically all forms of subjectivity within h8uman perception, cognition, and the overall scientific process. This Frankfurt position is far from irrational obscurantism as found in postmodernism, since the Frankfurt position maintains that reality is intelligible in principle, but that it takes certain rigorous, i. e. scientific methodologies both in theory and empirical practice, in order to gain insight on the nature of things, reality, and society. These scientific methodologies are of a similar category as Occam's razor, Hegelian dialectics among them. Popper fails to understand dialectics because he is unable to tell between logical inconsistencies and social conflict (within the material base), since in German they both happen to bear the homonymous label of Widersprüche or paradoxes, giving rise to Popper's misunderstanding of Hegelian dialectics as pure nonsense based on logical absurdities, as well as Popper's misunderstanding of Adorno's methodogically dialectical use of language in order to demonstrate the falsehood of specific traditional notions or labels (which is Adorno's Dialektik als Begriffsarbeit). Alan Posener has similar problems to understand Hegel and Marx because they're using the term Wesen to mean 'essence', 'nature', or 'objective properties' and the term of Erscheinung to mean '(subjective) appearance' (which explains why Wesen and Erscheinung can often be in conflict with each other), while Posener thinks Hegel and Marx would be talking about 'beings', 'creatures', 'monsters', 'ghosts', or 'spectres' instead, only because the labels for those happen to be the homonyms of Wesen and Erscheinung in German. This is part of a much wider philosophical issue of epistemology which Popper fails to acknowledge or address, and which is addressed not only by Freud's psychoanalysis, Marx's dialectical materialism, or Hegel's dialectics, but also by Nietzsche's perspectivist critique of epistomology in his On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense, which is why Berger and Luckmann were able to create Marxo-Nietzschean social constructionism as laid down in their 1966 The Social Construction of Reality, which is very close to the Frankfurt position, both sharing the primacy and reality of the intelligible material base in relation to the distorted after-the-fact nature of ideological superstructure (unlike in postmodern thought which gives full primacy to language and ideology, dogmatically denying either all reality outside of those or the intelligibility of any extra-lingual, extra-ideological reality).

This latter issue is far from addressed appropriately in the article, which makes it look like Popper would be victorious simply by declaring the mind of scientists entirely autonomous and objective, or far from as dependent upon material, social, historical conditions, thus to a large degree he illegitimately, even naively equals nature and appearance. --2003:71:4F40:3A23:D134:7647:9925:EA4B (talk) 04:21, 10 August 2018 (UTC)