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Philosophy: In Austria, the year 1874 is generally regarded as the beginning of an independent school of philosophy, when F. Brentano was called to Austria. With his work he initiated the development of a philosophical school at the University of Vienna which was in clear opposition to the speculative idealism prevailing in the German-speaking universities of that time. Precursor of this movement was B. Bolzano, a logician of the Biedermeier period from Bohemia. Brentano aimed at developing a philosophy exclusively oriented on methods of the natural sciences. In his wake, 2 philosophical groups took shape: on the one hand, the circle around A. Marty, including E. Arleth, J. Eisenmeier, F. Hillebrand, A. Kostil, O. Kraus and E. Utitz, who adhered to the theories of Brentano, while on the other hand scholars such as C. v. Ehrenfels, the founder of gestalt theory, the phenomenologist E. Husserl, T. G. Masaryk, the future president of Czechoslovakia, and A. Meinong, who founded the "Graz School" and made great advances in the fields of Gegenstandstheorie (theory of objects) and experimental psychology, took different directions. After the collapse of the Habsburg Empire the philosophical movement of Logical Empiricism (also called Neopositivism) was formed, which soon became known the world over under the name "Wiener Kreis" or Vienna Circle. Central figures of the Wiener Kreis were M. Schlick and O. Neurath, who were surrounded by well-known representatives of the social and mathematical sciences, such as R. Carnap, H. Feigl, P. Frank, K. Goedel, H. Hahn, F. Kaufmann, V. Kraft, K. Menger, F. Waismann and E. Zilsel. L. Wittgenstein and K. Popper, who were both born in Vienna, spent most of their working life in Great Britain, but were closely linked to the Wiener Kreis for some time. The physicist E. Mach exercised a profound influence on the development of the positivist movement. The main objectives of the Wiener Kreis were the strictly scientific orientation of philosophical thinking and its justification through logical methods of linguistic analysis, hence opposing all forms of metaphysics. This meant, in particular, a general rejection of the doctrines of Kant and of German Idealism.


J. C. Marek et al. (eds.), Oesterreichische Philosophen und ihr Einfluss auf die analytische Philosophie der Gegenwart, 1977; J. C. Nyiri (ed.), Von Bolzano zu Wittgenstein, 1986; P. Kruntorad (ed.), Jour fixe der Vernunft. Der Wiener Kreis und seine Folgen, 1991; J. Valent and T. Binder, Oesterreichische Philosophie, exhibition catalogue, Graz 1992.