Throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, philosophers of various sorts, including Helmholtz, Avenarius, Husserl, Russell, Carnap, Neurath, and Heidegger, were united in promulgating a new, “scientific” philosophy. This article documents some of the varieties of scientific philosophy and argues that the history of scientific philosophy is crucial to the development of analytic philosophy and the division between analytic and continental philosophy. Scientific philosophy defined itself via criticisms of old-fashioned systematic metaphysics and, in the twentieth century, of Lebensphilosophie. It offered a modernist vision of philosophy participating in a progressive, problem-solving, piecemeal, and collaborative scientific ethos. The article argues that the rise of scientific philosophy indicates a change of the conception of science as well as philosophy in the late nineteenth century and notes some tensions in the accounts of science offered by scientific philosophers. The article offers some preliminary lessons for the interpretation of logical empiricism and phenomenology as episodes within a larger history of scientific philosophy.

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