Coming from a natural science viewpoint I find that logical positivism is much more important for scientific research than is critical theory. I've read the critics/flaws of logical positivism and while I think some of them are valid (e.g. Quine) these are only minor deficiencies. On the other hand I have not found anything critical theory has ever provided for the advancement of scientific knowledge. Can somebody point to discoveries / methodologies put forward by proponents of critical theory which are clearly superior to logical positivism. From my current viewpoint it seems that logical positivism is the school of thought which yielded all the progress in the natural science and technology today while critical theory is more of a programmatic ideology.

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    Why are you contrasting logical positivism with critical theory? Do you take the latter to be some sort of an alternative to the former? – Eliran May 13 at 21:14
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    @Eliran Indeed. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… – CuriousIndeed May 13 at 21:17
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    Logical positivism certainly yielded none of the progress in natural sciences, nor did positivists ever have such an ambition. They sought to give a philosophical account (cleaned up, idealized version) of how scientists work. Their account turned out to be so off that most philosophers of science abandoned positivism after 1960-s. Critical theory is aimed at social sciences rather than natural ones, so it is largely moot. The currently most popular version of what replaced positivism is probably scientific structuralism. – Conifold May 13 at 21:30
  • @Conifold. So it would be correct to say the logical positivism laid the foundation of how science works? Could you point at some accomplishments by Critical Theory? I honestly could not find any... – CuriousIndeed May 14 at 8:41
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    No. It would be correct to say that positivists attempted to develop a theory of the methodology of science (mostly of physics and mathematics), unsuccessfully. But more successful theories that came in its wake in academia were influenced by it. Critical theory (I assume you mean the Frankfurt school) is a post-Marxist mix of a philosophical theory of society with a movement to promote social change. Your comparison of the two is a bit bizarre. But they (e.g. Habermas), did influence a different side of academia, particularly socio-economic, communication, and law studies. – Conifold May 14 at 9:00

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