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Mauro Murzi's pages on Philosophy of Science - Logical Positivism
Biographical Notes: Herbert Feigl
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[5. Biographical Notes.]


Herber Feigl.

The philosopher of science Herbert Feigl (Reichenberg, Austria, now in Czech Republic, 1902 - Minneapolis, Minn., 1988) studied physics and chemistry at the University of Munich and in 1922 moved to Vienna, where he was an early member of the Vienna Circle. At Vienna, he studied mathematics, philosophy, physics, and psychology, and received his degree in philosophy in 1927. In 1929 he met K. R. Popper whose ideas he found interesting, so he encouraged Popper to write a book which became the Logik der Forschung. In 1930 Feigl immigrated to the USA. His article (written with A. E. Blumberg), "Logical positivism: A New Movement in European Philosophy" in The Journal of Philosophy, 28, 1931, was one of the first reports on logical positivism published in the USA, which promoted the spread of logical positivism. Between 1931 and 1940 he taught at the University of Iowa and from 1940 at the University of Minnesota, where in 1953 he founded the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science, the oldest center for philosophy of science in the World. Between 1966 and 1973 he was president of the Institute of the Unity of Science. Feigl supported a materialistic theory of mind - the Identity Theory of mind - according to which mental events are identical with states in the brain ("The Mind-Body Problem in the Development of Logical Positivism" in Revue International de la Philosophie, 4, 1950; "The Mental and the Physical" in Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, II, 1958).

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