His first book, Logical Positivism (1981), remains the best non-partisan introduction to the 20th century’s most important philosophical school, in some respects the equivalent in philosophy of high modernism in architecture and design. The book was written a decade or so after logical positivism had been authoritatively declared “as dead as any philosophical movement ever becomes”, and Hanfling did not try to revive it. But he did justice to the freshness and intellectual courage of the movement, as well as exploring the weaknesses and inconsistencies in its main ideas.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
From the Times obituary: