Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Logical Positivism in Relation to Family Systems Theory

  • Miranda Smith
  • Eli KaramEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_286

Name of Theory

Logical Positivism


Empiricism; Logical empiricism; Verification; Verificationism


Logical positivism emerged in the 1920s as a philosophical framework for understanding the nature and source of knowledge. Among other tenets, logical positivism emphasized the importance of verification*. Verificationism* essentially theorized that any problem worth solving could be effectively answered using structures of logic and empiricism*. Logical positivism drew much controversy for this dependence on observable evidence to establish legitimate knowledge (Uebel 2016).

Prominent Associated Figures

Logical positivism is primarily associated with the Vienna Circle, a group of philosophers who convened weekly between 1924 and 1936 to discuss “problems in the philosophy of science” (Uebel 2016). The academic group was led by Moritz Schlick, chair of the Department of Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences at University of Vienna. Other prominent members include...

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  1. Dadds, M. R. (1995). Families, children, and the development of dysfunction. Thousand Oaks: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Uebel, T. (2016). Vienna Circle. In E. N. Zalta (ed.). The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2016/entries/vienna-circle/.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Douglas C. Breunlin
    • 1
  1. 1.The Family InstituteNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA