Carnap and Incommensurability

Philosophical Inquiry 30 (1-2):135-156 (2008)
Abstract
Relatively recent work on Carnap, based on his published papers and books as well as on his unpublished correspondence and other material, has suggested that Carnap and Kuhn might not have been miles apart when it comes to the issue of theory-change. Two prevailing thoughts are that a) Kuhnian ‘paradigms’ might be taken to be very similar to Carnapian ‘linguistic frameworks’ and b) Kuhnian ‘ incommensurability ’ between competing paradigms is consonant with Carnap’s thesis that when a linguistic framework is replaced by another, there is a change of language and the analytic-synthetic distinction needs to be redrawn within the new framework. Irzik and Grunberg have gone on to note that Carnap endorsed “semantic incommensurability ”. They base their claim on the theses that a) Carnap endorsed meaning holism; b) Carnap endorsed the thesis of ‘theory-ladenness of observation’. They are certainly right in saying that “without semantic holism semantic incommensurability would be groundless; without theory-ladenness it would be severely restricted to the theoretical terms”. But, I think, they are wrong in claiming that Carnap endorsed either meaning holism or the theory-ladenness of observation. The aim of this paper is to show how Carnap avoided the alleged problem of incommensurability. Better put, Carnap’s view about the language of science is such that this problem does not arise. Drawing on his published and unpublished material, I highlight some connections between his work on semantics and his mature work on the structure of scientific theories, which was based on his re-invention of the Ramsey-sentences.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.5840/philinquiry2008301/226
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 19,646
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-04-01

Total downloads

160 ( #20,858 of 1,789,999 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #264,810 of 1,789,999 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.