Carnap's Early Semantics

Erkenntnis 78 (3):487-522 (2013)
This paper concerns Carnap’s early contributions to formal semantics in his work on general axiomatics between 1928 and 1936. Its main focus is on whether he held a variable domain conception of models. I argue that interpreting Carnap’s account in terms of a fixed domain approach fails to describe his premodern understanding of formal models. By drawing attention to the second part of Carnap’s unpublished manuscript Untersuchungen zur allgemeinen Axiomatik, an alternative interpretation of the notions ‘model’, ‘model extension’ and ‘submodel’ in his theory of axiomatics is presented. Specifically, it is shown that Carnap’s early model theory is based on a convention to simulate domain variation that is not identical but logically comparable to the modern account
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-012-9365-8
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