Russell's influence on Carnap's aufbau

Synthese 131 (1):1 - 37 (2002)
Abstract
This paper concerns the debate on the nature of Rudolf Carnap''sproject in his 1928 book The Logical Structure of the Worldor Aufbau. Michael Friedman and Alan Richardson haveinitiated much of this debate. They claim that the Aufbauis best understood as a work that is firmly grounded inneo-Kantian philosophy. They have made these claims in oppositionto Quine and Goodman''s ``received view'''' of the Aufbau. Thereceived view sees the Aufbau as an attempt to carry out indetail Russell''s external world program. I argue that both sidesof this debate have made errors in their interpretation ofRussell. These errors have led these interpreters to misunderstandthe connection between Russell''s project and Carnap''s project.Russell in fact exerted a crucial influence on Carnap in the1920s. This influence is complicated, however, due to the factthat Russell and Carnap disagreed on many philosophical issues. Iconclude that interpretations of the Aufbau that ignoreRussell''s influence are incomplete.
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