As a student of philosophy, it's hard not to notice the similarities between a school of philosophy know as Logical Positivism and Vulcan Culture.

See the following definitions:

logical positivism, also called logical empiricism, a philosophical movement that arose in Vienna in the 1920s and was characterized by the view that scientific knowledge is the only kind of factual knowledge and that all traditional metaphysical doctrines are to be rejected as meaningless. (Encyclopædia Britannica)


Logical positivism is a school of philosophy that emerged out of the Vienna Circle in the early 20th century. Its proponents emphasize materialism, empiricism, philosophical naturalism and the scientific method as the highest pursuits of rational thought. The most famous principle of logical positivism is that any statement that is not inherently verifiable is meaningless and can be safely ignored. (Rational Wiki)

The similarities to Vulcan thought are striking (at least to me).

My question: Was Gene Roddenberry officially influence by Logical Positivism and the Vienna Circle when he came up with Spock and Vulcan Culture? Or is it a mere coincidence?


1 Answer 1


No, it's just lucky coincidence.

As stated in the comments, Gene Roddenberry intended for Spock to be a Stoic. He was to serve as the emotionless counterpart to Dr. McCoy, who was so empathetic he would often make rash decisions based on feelings.

In a way, this allowed Spock and/or McCoy to act both as Expository characters, by laying out the situation clearly, and as Lampshaders, by "hanging a lamp shade" on an obvious option so Kirk could shoot it down as necessary.

The thing was, despite what Roddenberry may have intended, Spock's actual existence was guided more by the tens of writers who wrote his character and by Leonard Nemoy himself; much of the "Logical Positivism" either came from story necessity or improvisation. Having decided that Spock and Co were "Logical," writers would shoehorn in that whenever they could get away with it.

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