Roman Ingarden and Verificationism

Volume 6.6 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

This is issue deals with Roman Ingarden’s critique of verificationism. It begins with a translation, by Bernard Linsky, of Ingarden’s “The Logical Attempt at a New Formulation of Philosophy: A Critical Remark”. Here is an abstract:

This is the first English translation of Roman Ingarden’s paper presented at the 8th World Congress of Philosophy held in Prague in 1934: “Der Logistische Versuch einer Neugestaltung der Philosophie: Eine Kritische Bemerkung”, translated here as “The Logical Attempt at a New Formulation of Philosophy: A Critical Remark”. Also translated here are brief discussions by Rudolf Carnap and Otto Neurath. These essays were published in the original German in the Proceedings of the Congress in 1936. This statement of Ingarden’s criticisms of the doctrines of the Vienna Circle has been mentioned in print, but his views have not been discussed, or indeed accurately reported to date.

Secondly, the volume contains a companion paper by Francis Jeffry Pelletier and Bernard Linsky, entitled “Verification: The Hysteron Proteron Argument”:

This paper investigates the strange case of an argument that was directed against a positivist verification principle. We find an early occurrence of the argument in a talk by the phenomenologist Roman Ingarden at the 1934 International Congress of Philosophy in Prague, where Carnap and Neurath were present and contributed short rejoinders. We discuss the underlying presuppositons of the argument, and we evaluate whether the attempts by Carnap (especially) actually succeed in answering this argument. We think they don’t, and offer instead a few sociological thoughts about why the argument seems to have disappeared from the profession’s evaluaton of the positivist criterion of verifiability.

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