Vienna Circle Exhibit

Vienna Circle Exhibit at HOPOS 2016

The local organizing committee is excited to announce that the first international exhibit of "The Vienna Circle: Exact Thinking in Demented Times" will occur at HOPOS 2016. Portions of the exhibit will be displayed in and around the conference venue and will be viewable throughout the entire conference (e.g., during lunch or coffee breaks). A short video tour of the exhibition is available here. There also will be a short presentation about the exhibit on the first night of the conference (Thursday, 22 June) at the opening reception by Prof. Friedrich Stadler, founder and director of the Vienna Circle Institute at the University of Vienna.


As part of the 650 year anniversary of the University of Vienna, the exhibition "The Vienna Circle" was displayed there from May 20th, 2015 until October 31st, 2015. The Vienna Circle, a group of outstanding thinkers, played an important part in philosophy and science in the 1920s and 1930s. The group's discussions and philosophical approaches set the cornerstones for important developments in a multitude of fields of science. The objects and documents in the exhibition mostly focus on the philosophical questions the Vienna Circle discussed: How can the efficiency of mathematics be explained? What is the role of logical propositions? What is the basis of scientific knowledge?

We are delighted to have the first international display of a portion of "The Vienna Circle" exhibition for HOPOS 2016, in part because of the direct connection between Herbert Feigl and the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science. Feigl was an active member of the Vienna Circle, which met weekly throughout the 1920s to discuss current issues and philosophical approaches to complex fields of science. He studied physics and philosophy at the University of Vienna with Moritz Schlick, receiving his doctorate in 1927. Famously, Feigl argued in favor of adopting the label "logical empiricism" to distinguish contemporary philosophy of science with its more realist orientation from an older, positivist outlook. He emigrated to the United States in 1931 and took up a position at the University of Iowa. In 1940, Herbert Feigl accepted a position as professor of philosophy at the University of Minnesota, where he remained for 31 years. He founded the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science in 1953 and the first installment of the Minnesota Studies in Philosophy of Science appeared in 1956 (Foundations of Science & the Concepts of Psychology and Psychoanalysis). Volume 20, The Language of Nature: Reassessing the Mathematization of Natural Philosophy in the Seventeenth Century, was published in 2016.


Exhibition Curators: Karl Sigmund, Friedrich Stadler, and Christoph Limbeck-Lilienau

Graphic Design: Hermann Czech and Bea Laufersweiler

Minneapolis Financial Sponsors: Center for Austrian Studies, College of Liberal Arts (University of Minnesota), Gary Cohen, Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science, Office for the Vice President of Research (University of Minnesota), and Penny Winton