Architectural Theory and Analytic Philosophy in the Interwar Period


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.

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