(Residential Fellow, 2019-20)
The Discovery of Truth in Victorian Logic and Philosophy of Science
Jared Neumann is a PhD student in History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine at Indiana University – Bloomington. He obtained his BA (2012) and MA (2014) in History of Science, Medicine, and Technology from the University of Oklahoma. His research focuses on the history of logic, computation, and scientific methodology, especially as they relate to conceptually creative aspects of discovery.
His project is to understand the role of a group of Victorian theologians known as the Oriel Noetics in the abandonment of so-called ‘logics of discovery’. In their campaign to establish Anglicanism as a rational religion, the Noetics successfully revived an ailing syllogistic tradition in logic. There are two components to this revival relevant to this project. First, the Noetics were successful largely because of their polemical defense which relied on demarcating the goals of logic from the goals of psychology and philosophy; in other words, it was no more capable of accounting for the intellectual faculties than it was of aiding in the ‘discovery of truth’. This defense and the subsequent disciplinary divergence are poorly understood. Second, the Noetics carved out a new space for logic in both theological and scientific methodology that was influential in broader Victorian debates and yet is equally as poorly understood. Both components, and the recovery of the Oriel Noetics in general, are necessary to understand the contours of the historical divergence of a multitude of disciplines as well as the complex development of methodological debates in the nineteenth century.