Rudolf Carnap's 'Theoretical Concepts in Science'

Rudolf Carnap delivered the hitherto unpublished lecture ‘Theoretical Concepts in Science’ at the meeting of the American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division, at Santa Barbara, California, on 29 December 1959. It was part of a symposium on ‘Carnap’s views on Theoretical Concepts in Science’. In the bibliography that appears in the end of the volume, ‘The Philosophy of Rudolf Carnap’, edited by Paul Arthur Schilpp, a revised version of this address appears to be among Carnap’s forthcoming papers. But although Carnap started to revise it, he never finished the revision,1 and never published the unrevised transcript. Perhaps this is because variants of the approach to theoretical concepts presented for the first time in the Santa Barbara lecture have appeared in other papers of his (cf. the editorial footnotes in Carnap’s lecture). Still, I think, the Santa Barbara address is a little philosophical gem that needs to see the light of day. The document that follows is the unrevised transcript of Carnap’s lecture.2 Its style, then, is that of an oral presentation. I decided to leave it as it is, making only very minor stylistic changes—which, except those related to punctuation, are indicated by curly brackets.3 I think that reading this lecture is a rewarding experience, punctuated as the lecture is with odd remarks and autobiographical points. One can almost envisage..
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DOI 10.1016/S0039-3681(99)00031-X
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References found in this work BETA
David Lewis (1970). How to Define Theoretical Terms. Journal of Philosophy 67 (13):427-446.
R. Carnap (1956). The Methodological Character of Theoretical Concepts. Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 1 (1):38--76.
Rudolf Carnap (1937). The Logical Syntax of Language. London, K. Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd..

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