Related Entries 1. In , Vaihinger completed his dissertation under the supervision of the logician Christoph von Sigwart with a prize-winning essay, entitled Recent Theories of Consciousness according to their Metaphysical Foundation and their Significance for Psychology. Later in the same year, he reported to Leipzig for compulsory military service, but was excused due to his poor eyesight. Free of his military duties, Vaihinger had the opportunity to attend lectures at the University from, among others, the founder of empirical psychology Wilhelm Wundt.
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This is an important book of one idea, but that idea is a very important one for the social scientist. According to the author "many thought processes and thought constructs appear to be consciously false assumptions, which either contradict reality or are even contradictory in themselves, but which are intentionally thus formed in order to overcome difficulties of thought by this artificial deviation, and reach the goal of thought by roundabout ways and by paths.
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He then became a tutor and later a philosophy professor at the University of Strasbourg , before moving in to the University of Halle , where from he was a full professor. In particular, he used examples from the physical sciences, such as protons , electrons , and electromagnetic waves. None of these phenomena has been observed directly, but science pretends that they exist, and uses observations made on these assumptions to create new and better constructs. Ogden, at the very end of his life. Thought begins with slight initial deviations from reality half-fictions , and, becoming bolder and bolder, ends by operating with constructs that are not only opposed to the facts but are self-contradictory. One can never be sure that the world will still exist tomorrow, but we usually assume that it does. Kelly credited Vaihinger with influencing his theory, especially the idea that our constructions are better viewed as useful hypotheses rather than representations of objective reality.
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He shows how each of these thinkers contributes to the emergence of "the philosophy of as-if," which is a mode of philosophizing that seeks to face squarely the epistemic implications that emerge from the pervasiveness of illusion in human life. In this view, the fullest lucidity we can have access to as embodied existents is the lucidity Vaihinger provides here, I think, the clearest exposition of the thread that runs from the medieval nominalists, through Hume, Kant, and ultimately, Nietzsche. In this view, the fullest lucidity we can have access to as embodied existents is the lucidity to be found when we peer through the pervasive veneer of illusion that shrouds our lives, and gain thereby a liberating detachment from these by seeing them for the first time for what they really are, i. He argues, via a comparative historical analysis that is focused through the prism of his own synoptic interpretation, that these thinkers taken together show us how knowledge itself is best understood as an edifice of fictional constructs built atop the "optical illusions" and "aesthetic anthropomorpshisms" as Nietzsche called them, in Beyond Good and Evil created by our organismic embodiment in the world. In this view, the clearest view we can attain of the real is the negative, self-reflexive view afforded us when we see our organismic illusions for what they are. Reading back from Nietzsche, Vaihinger casts a new light on the true epistemic function, for organismic existents, of the laws of nature, of causality, of the lines, points, and of axioms of the mathematician, of the independent substances inevitably postulated by the logician, and of the very principle of parsimony posited by Occam as the regulative principle of science. Knowledge is the means whereby we construct a human, cognizable, systematizable world atop the intractable otherness of the real world.