European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (1):71-87 (2011)
|Abstract||This paper seeks to evaluate the potential of the Newman objection to function as an immanent critique of Carnap's use of the Ramsey method of regimenting scientific theories. Stress is laid on the distinctive way in which ramseyfications are used by Carnap to formulate the analytic/synthetic distinction for the theoretical language and on the difference between the ontological and the epistemic readings of the Newman objection. While the former reading of the Newman objection is rejected as trading on an assumption that Carnap did not share, the latter is accepted as critical. It is argued to turn on overlooking that the Ramsey sentence constitutes an idealization concerning which our normal expectations of what theories are like are bound to be frustrated. This idealisation need not reflect Carnap's considered view but can be regarded as adopted solely for the project of semantic explication. The distinctions drawn in the course of the argument also help to motivate Carnap's abstention from the discourse of realism and its denial|
|Keywords||Rudolf Carnap Ramsey sentences Carnap sentences Analytic/synthetic distinction Empirical adequacy Underdetermination|
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