Architectural Theory and Analytic Philosophy in the Interwar Period

Open access

Abstract

The basis of the connection between analytic philosophy and architecture theory was developed in the interwar period. The results of analytic philosophy – especially the neo-positivism of Vienna Circle – and modern, functionalist architecture theory were utilized in an interdisciplinary approach. The comparison was based on language puzzles, science-based building processes, the method of justification and verification, and designing an artificial language in order to express the theoretical (philosophical) and the practical (architectural) approach as well. The functionality was based on the modern way of architectural thinking that relied on the results of Carnapian neo-positivism. Interpreting modern architecture is possible by referring to the keywords of logical positivism: empiricism, logic, verification, unity of language, and science.

In my paper, I first list the bases of the comparison between the philosophy of the Vienna Circle and the architecture theory of the interwar period – the Bauhaus and Le Corbusier. In the 2nd and 3rd sections, I show the dialectical succession between form and function. After that, I discuss the aesthetic verification of the turn of the century and the scientific justification of the interwar period. I focus on the interwar period with the positivist approach and the theory of the ‘new architecture’. I emphasize the importance of the language of science and the machine paradigm – in contrast to historicism.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • BANHAM Reyner. 1960. Theory and Design in the First Machine Age. London: The Architectural Press.

  • BOYER M. Christine. 2011. Le Corbusier Homme de Lettres. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.

  • CARNAP Rudolf. 2003. The Logical Structure of the World and Pseudoproblems in Philosophy. Chicago and La Salle IL: Open Court.

  • DAHMS Hans-Joachim. 2004. Neue Sachlichkeit in the Architecture and Philosophy of the 1920s. In: AWODEY Steve–KLEIN Carsten (eds) Carnap Brought Home: The View from Jena. Series: Full Circle: Publications of the Archive of Scientific Philosophy Hillman Library University of Pittsburgh. Chicago and La Salle IL: Open Court. 357–376.

  • DÜCHS Martin. 2013. Truth or Revolution: Scrutinizing the Interaction between Morality and Architecture with the Eyes of a Moral Philosopher. In: Duyan E.–Öztürken C. (eds) Interactions in the History of Architecture: Proceedings of the International Conference on History of Architecture (ARCHHIST’12). May 2012 Istanbul Turkey. 275–284.

  • FRAMPTON Kenneth. 1985. Modern Architecture: A Critical History. London: Thames and Hudson.

  • GALISON Peter. 1990. Aufbau/Bauhaus: Logical Positivism and Architectural Modernism Critical Inquiry 16(4): 709–752.

  • HÜBSCH Hermann. 1828. In welchem Style sollen wir Bauen? Karlsruhe: Müller [online] [cited on: 30 January 2018]. Available from: http://www.cloud-cuckoo.net/openarchive/Autoren/Huebsch/Huebsch1828.htm.

  • JOSEPHSON Paul R. 2010. Would Trotzky Wear a Bluetooth? Technological Utopianism under Socialism 1917–1989. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

  • LE CORBUSIER. 1987. The City of To-Morrow and Its Planning. New York: Dover Publications Inc.

  • LE CORBUSIER. 1927. Towards a New Architecture. London: The Architectural Press.

  • LE CORBUSIER/JEANNERET Pierre. 1926. Five Points towards a New Architecture. Art Humanities Primary Source Reading 52 [online] [cited on: 28 February 2018]. Available from: http://www.learn.columbia.edu/courses/arch20/pdf/art_hum_reading_52.pdf.

  • LOOS Adolf. 1997. Ornament and Crime: Selected Essays. Riverside CA: Ariadne Press.

  • LOOS Adolf. 1898. Die Potemkinsche Stadt Ver Sacrum 7: 153–156.

  • MALLGRAVE Harry Francis. 2005. Modern Architectural Theory: A Historical Survey 1673–1968. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • MOOS Stanislaus von. 2009. Le Corbusier: Elements of a Synthesis. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers.

  • RICHARDSON Alan W. 1988. Carnap’s Construction of the World: The Aufbau and the Emergence of Logical Empiricism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • SCHLICK Moritz. 1939. Problems of Ethics. New York: Prentice Hall Incorporated.

  • Vigato Jean Claude. 2013. Between Progress and Tradition. The Regionalist Debate in France. In: Meganck Leen–Van Santvoort Linda–De Maeyer Jan (eds) Regionalism and Modernity: Architecture in Western Europe 1914–1940. Leuven: Leuven University Press 15–38.

  • VOSSOUGHIAN Nader. 2011. Otto Neurath: The Language of the Global Polis. Rotterdam: NAi Publishers.

  • WATKIN David. 2001. Morality & Architecture Revisited. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Search
Journal information
Metrics
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 83 83 7
PDF Downloads 88 88 10