The culture of Viennese science and the riddle of Austrian liberalism
Vienna's scientific culture has long attracted historians' attention. Impressive though the scientific accomplishments of Viennese scientists were, and recognized by numerous Nobel prizes, they alone do not account for the historians' interest. Rather, Vienna's culture of science was imbedded in broader humanistic visions and invested in political and educational projects of major historical significance. Viennese philosophy placed humanity's hopes in science and articulated its historical ramifications to the public, drawing out the political implications of competing scientific methodologies and tying them to dramatic historical events. This philosophy of science still reverberates nowadays in debates on liberty, markets, and government that quickly reveal their underpinning in the methodology of science. Vienna's scientific culture, it seems, has never ceased to capture the imagination, far beyond Austria. © 2009 Cambridge University Press.
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