In the early 1920's, he was a co-founder of the rigorously empirical Vienna Circle. Neurath and his colleagues, known as the Logical Positivists, declared that metaphysics, religion, and ethics were devoid of cognitive sense, being only expressions of feelings or desires. Only mathematics, logic, and natural sciences, they declared, had any definite meaning. He was without a doubt the most unorthodox Marxist around.
Neurath suggested that since language itself is a physical system, because it is made up of an ordered succession of sounds or symbols, it is capable of describing its own structure without contradiction.
These ideas helped form the foundation of the sort of Physicalism which is still today a dominant position with regard to metaphysics and, especially, the philosophy of mind.
Neurath was especially concerned with making sociology scientific, and to that end he urged the use of physicalist language in that field, and advocated behaviorism in social theory, believing that this would carry out Marx’s claim that historical materialism was empirical.
He thought that human beings, streets, religious books, prisons, and gestures could be described through this empirical method, and that they may be grouped in accord with physicalist theoretical systems However, the language in which these have been described is laden with myth and metaphysical presuppositions, and Neurath tried to eliminate all impure or careless terminology.
He was absolutely sincere in his beliefs. By creating an international picture language as an alternative to written script, Neurath hoped he could satisfy his philosophical, political, and aesthetic views all at once. Not only would it help educate the common Viennese man, but he also believed it might widen the sphere of peaceful cooperation across the world. “The more cooperative man is,” he declared, “the more ‘modern’ he is.”
Now you try to tell a story with pictures. Drag and drop the pictograms below.