Logic and theory of science in the 19th century philosophy


Yu. Yu. Chernoskutov


In the paper I discuss some key milestones of the program, which strived, in the 19th century, to reduce the general theory of science to (formal) logic. Projects of this kind were inconsistent with the basic tenets of the Kantian theory of knowledge. Therefore, the former developed most under the traditions that were least influenced by the latter. Most attention is paid to the historical development of this program in Austria. We have shown that the basic principles of this approach were laid down by B. Bolzano, who identified the ``Wissenschaftslehre'' project with logic. The originality of the Bolzanian concept of logical form is analyzed. It is shown in particular that the Kantian opposition of form and content is not relevant to the sense in his doctrine. Further, I consider the reception and development of the Leibnizean project of ``Characteristica universalis'' by philosophers from the Bolzano circle, namely F. Exner and R. Zimmermann. Unlike the influential Trendelenburg interpretation, these two authors very firmly and decisively associated the project with progress in formal logic. Exner had in fact set the goal of creating a pure logical calculus which would be based on the Bolzanian method of variation of representations. Zimmermann, among other things, proposed that any kind of traditional category should not be used as a primitive conceptual basis for such a calculus; rather some special expressive means that can be used to construct structures of knowledge from units should serve for this goal. I also consider the role of R. Zimmermann’s textbook for gymnasiums titled ``Formal Logic'', in particular the second edition. We try how he believes he can achieve the assumed purpose of logic, which, in his view, consists in elaborating the unification of the methods of science and the full ordering of knowledge. DOI: 10.21146/2074-1472-2018-24-2-144-150






Больцано Б. Учение о науке. СПб.: Наука, 2003. 520 с.
Риль А. Логика и теория познания // Философия в систематическом изложении В. Дильтея, А. Риля, В. Оствальда, В. Вундта. М.: Территория будущего, 2006. C. 85–116.
Bolzano B. Wissenschaftslehre. Sulzbach: Seidelschen Buchhandlung, 1837. 4 Bde.
Exner F. Uber Leibnitz’ens Universal-Wissenschaft. Prag, 1843. 46 S.
Husserl E. Uber den Begriff der Zahl: psychologische Analysen. [Habilitationsschrift]. Halle a. S.: Heynemann’sche Buchdruckerei (F. Beyer), 1887. 64 S.
Zimmermann R. Besprechung: Exner, F. Uber Leibnitz’ens Universal-Wissenschaft // Osterreichische Blatter fur Literatur und Kunst, dritter Jahrgang. Nr. 102, Wien, 25 August 1846. S. 794–798.
Zimmermann R. Philosophische Propadeutik. Wien: Wilhelm Braumuller, 1860 (2 aufl.). 417 S.