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Schlick on the Source of the ‘Great Errors in Philosophy’

  • MARK TEXTOR (a1)

Moritz Schlick's work shaped logical empiricism and thereby an important part of philosophy in the first half of the twentieth century. A continuous thread that runs through his work is a philosophical diagnosis of the ‘great errors in philosophy’: philosophers assume that there is intuitive knowledge or knowledge by acquaintance. Yet, acquaintance is not knowledge, but an evaluative attitude. In this paper I will reconstruct Schlick's arguments for this conclusion in the light of his early practical philosophy and his reading of Schopenhauer's The World as Will and Idea. Having the historical roots of Schlick's dichotomy between acquaintance (intuition) and knowledge in view will put us in a position to explore and question its presuppositions.

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I presented forerunners of this paper at talks in King's College London in 2016 and the University of Göttingen in 2017. I am grateful to the audiences for discussion. Special thanks go to Bill Brewer and Jørgen Dyrstad for extensive written comments and discussion. I am grateful to two anonymous referees whose comments helped me to improve the paper.

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