The leading purpose of this paper is to provide an answer to the question whether Karl Marx belongs to philosophy and history of philosophy, and whether placing him in these categories gives a fair picture of what he really intended to achieve. When analyzing Marx’s thought, one should remember that is his own eyes he was not a philosopher but a researcher who goes beyond the horizon of philosophy in order to undertake scientific and not ideological work aimed at organizing political battles of that time. Of course, what a particular thinker believes of himself cannot be an ultimate criterion for interpreting his/her academic output. The doubts are augmented when we consult Leszek Kołakowski’s Main Currents of Marxism – a book that is based on the assumption that “Karl Marx was a German philosopher”, and this starting point supports the critique of Marx’s thought. The problem arises from the fact that Leszek Kołakowski, who was a post-Marxist, despises science and philosophy, and sees myth as the basis of thought dynamics. Thus the question of the adequacy of his presentation of Marx aris es and strengthens the suspicion that Kołakowski did not present the real Marx’s philosophy but rather a myth of Marx’s theory centered on the idea of making people happy against their will and nature.
I investigate Husserl’s long-term research on revealing/constructing a proper idea of science. For Husserl this idea was of tremendous importance: it had to be the basis of forming a (the) proper philosophy (phenomenology), that is, a philosophy which was to be an exact science, a new and higher form of science. According to Husserl, the idea of science is not a free project of individual researchers, scientific communities, but the very essence of science—changeless, universal, nontransformable, non-culturally and socially loaded, ahistorical, and non-relativized to scientific praxis. It was attempt to determine a new status of philosophy which led Husserl’s to the consideration of a universal idea of science.
Gaston Milhaud (1858–1918) was a French modern philosopher, who, having started from mathematics, came to philosophy (especially epistemology) and history of science. His works on the history of science were devoted to Greek science and modern science. Milhaud in his papers claimed that important concepts and principles of science (in different disciplines) result from decisions that simultaneously transcend both experience and logic. He emphasized the role of free creation and activity of the mind. The author discusses central problems of Milhaud’s thought, especially the problem of the relationship between science and philosophy.
I give arguments supporting the claim that one of the most prominent methodological results of French conventionalism – rejection of the possibility of a crucial experiment in mature empirical sciences – was formulated simultaneously by Pierre Duhem and Gaston Milhaud in 1894. Thus, I attempt to question the standard approach in philosophy and methodology of science, which attributes the said result exclusively to Duhem. I am building my case of Milhaud’s true contribution to the debate on the rejection of the existence of the experimentum crucis, made in his PhD thesis Essai sur les conditions et les limites de la certitude logique.
Positivism is a family of philosophical views characterized by a highly favorable account of science. The characteristic theses of positivism are that science is the only valid knowledge and that philosophy does not possess a method different from science (scientism). Positivists attempted to eliminate all metaphysical components in the area of philosophy. Wolniewicz was one of the most original Polish analytical philosophers of second part of 20th century and he was a strong opponent of anti-metaphysical tendencies. The author discusses the problem of the relationship between science and philosophy and presents Wolniewicz’s arguments against positivism and scientism.
The end of the nineteenth century was the period when revolutionary scientific discoveries challenged well-established theories, forcing both philosophers and scientists to ask questions about the nature and certainty of scientific knowledge. A group of French scientists not only performed a thorough critique of contemporary science and its history but proposed a new model that adequately described the development of scientific knowledge. Gaston Milhaud made a significant contribution to this new description of knowledge creation. He is however rarely mentioned in the context of the theory of knowledge and remains overshadowed by his famous colleagues. Despite the fact that more than a hundred years have passed since the conventionalist philosophy of science was formulated, H. Poincaré’s, P. Duhem’s and G. Milhaud’s positions have not gained much popularity beyond the circle of philosophers of science. This article briefly outlines personal relationships within French conventionalist circle, presents important results of Milhaud’s analysis, and the reasons why philosophers do not recognize the role he played in creating a new model for the development of scientific knowledge.