Arts & Humanities, Philosophy; philosophy; epistemology; empirio-criticism; neuroscience; brain
The French-Swiss Professor in inductive philosophy Richard Avenarius (1843-1896), the father of empirio-criticism together with Ernst Mach, is one of the most underrated and misunderstood philosophers ever. It mostly depends upon his terminology, which displays an insurmountable difficulty. However, influenced by the most innovative proposals of his times of transition between the idealistic/rationalist legacies and the new Materialism/scientific interpretation of reality – i.e, by cultural evolutionism, linguistics, biomechanics, entropy/energy and, above all, by the newborn experimental psychology-, he produced a complete system of philosophy and innovative methods of investigation of the laws of knowledge. Hints (chunk, scrap, fragments) of his original ideas can be found not only in philosophers of mind after him - such as Gestalt, phenomenalism, behaviourism, functionalism and cybernetics, autopoiesis, dynamical systems theory, embedded/embodied mind, free-energy principle of the brain – but also in recent neuroscientific theories – nervous transduction, electric spikes, cracking of neural code, multisensory integration -. Our aim is to provide the first chronological English summary of his masterpiece, the “Kritik”, to give the possibility to the (almost) totally unaware English speakers to appreciate such a neglected and innovative thinker.