Donnerstag, 07. November 2013, 17:00 - 19:00 iCal

Ilkka Niiniluoto: Eino Kaila and the Vienna Circle

21st Vienna Circle Lecture and as part of the Philosophy Lectures

Senatssaal der Universität Wien
Universitätstring 1, 1010 Wien


Eino Kaila and the Vienna Circle

Eino Kaila (1890-1958) was the leading Finnish philosopher in the first half of the twentieth century. During the time he sought personal contact with Reichenbach, Schlick, and Carnap, he had already in 1926 formulated his own position of “logical empiricism”. For Kaila, philosophy is “the alpha and omega of science”: philosophical reflection has to be based upon the results of the best current work in physics, biology, and psychology. Even though Kaila was a consistent critic of metaphysics, who admired exact methods in philosophy, his philosophical passion to solve the riddle of reality differed from the program of logical positivists and later analytic philosophers of language. As a result, his encounter with the Vienna Circle in his visits in 1929, 1932, and 1934 was dramatic, even stormy.

Curriculum vitae

ILKKA NIINILUOTO was born in Helsinki in 1946. After studies in mathematics and philosophy at the University of Helsinki, he defended his doctoral dissertation in 1973 on theoretical concepts and inductive inference. In 1973-77 Niiniluoto was Associate Professor of Mathematics, teaching logic and the foundations of mathematics, and since 1977 Professor of Theoretical Philosophy. Since 1975 he has been the President of the Philosophical Society of Finland, and since 1980 the editor of Acta Philosophica Fennica, the leading philosophical publication in Finland. Since 2000 Niiniluoto has been the chair of the Finnish Federation of Scientific Societies. In 2003-2008 he worked as the Rector of the University of Helsinki, and in 2008-2013 as the Chancellor of the University. Niiniluoto’s main field of research is philosophy of science, but he has also written on philosophical logic, epistemology, philosophy of technology, ethics of science, and philosophy of culture. His main works include Is Science Progressive? (D. Reidel, 1984), Truthlikeness (D. Reidel. 1987), and Critical Scientific Realism (Oxford University Press, 1999, paperback 2002).


Institut Wiener Kreis


Sabine Koch
Fakultät für Philosophie und Bildungswissenschaft
Institut Wiener Kreis
+43 1 4277-41229