To assume that life or some form of being existed prior to the world, and was artificer of that world, is to make the erroneous conclusions of the philosophical idealists, the theologians, the fideists. However, the philosophy discussed here is one that puts forward an obscure form of the mentioned conceptions. The variant of idealism known as neo-positivism, or logical positivism. This philosophy is itself only a modern or current form of empirio-criticism or ‘Machism’. In order to see the views of neo-positivists one must be acquainted with the preceding positivists and empirio-empiricists. The main attempt of the neo-positivists was to try and combine science and semantics with Machism. All three variants and types of views are in reality an attempt to lay down a third- line in philosophy, a middle of the road between idealism and materialism. When in fact it is revealed upon closer examination that the neo-positivists, Machians, and positivists are in fact obscure forms of idealists.
The question of the prior existence of man or ideas before nature is one of the main themes of difference in philosophies down the ages. The neo-positivists do not provide the answer. Natural science itself gives the answer in part when it tells us that the earth once existed in a form upon which no form of life cold live on. Organic matter came long after, the result of a long period of evolution. And, also it must be noted, that man himself did not appear in his most primitive form until a long time after the appearance of the most rudimentary organic life. Thus it is obvious that prior to the existence of life there were no ‘sensation’, no ‘ideas’, of ‘self’ that moulded the world. Therefore there was no ‘divine will’. Matter is primary, and consciousness is the result a high development, the long evolution of the brain in animals, and man with his ability to think and use the world around him has the highest development of all life forms.
Now to examine the rise of neo-positivism we must study briefly the philosophies of the positivists and the Machians. The positivists stated that science must confine itself to facts that can be observed, and must not attempt to find an underlying basis. By insisting that they stand above materialism and idealism, as well as refusing to answer the fundamental questions of life and philosophy they isolate themselves from the truth and the material world and thus it is then obvious that they are idealists in attempted disguise. They lay great stress on their conception that all that we cannot experience is then beyond scientific solution.
A trend of positivism was created by the Austrian Ernst Mach at the turn of the 20th century. He called his philosophy ’empirio-criticism’ or the criticism of experience. Mach proceeded to state that the world was a complex of elements, and that the primary elements were sense impressions. And that everything about the world was a sequence of elements that man arranged when thinking about the world. The obvious conclusion reached by Mach from his erroneous view was that everything can be reduced to our sense impressions. Well on the road to solipsism.