In his recent article "Carnapian Frameworks" (Synthese, 2021), Gabriel Broughton criticizes my discussions of Carnap on ontology and puts forward his own interpretation of what Carnap’s external/internal distinction amounts to. I here first argue that Broughton’s main claims about me are based on a misinterpretation. Then I turn to some issues of broader interest. I argue that Broughton’s own, potentially interesting interpretation of Carnap’s external/internal distinction does not work. And in light of Broughton’s discussion I present a sharpened version of (...) what I have earlier said about Carnap’s this distinction. (shrink)
In the early Analytic Philosophy, the concept of a pseudosentence was used as a polemical device. To try and formalize a sentence without success was a means to ›debunk‹ it as a pseudosentence. The classical example is Heidegger’s dictum of the nothing which noths. But, according to Carnap, not only did Carnap not understand what Heidegger said, but also Heidegger himself must have misunderstood his own utterances! Does Carnap's diagnosis remain intact if one admits the possibility of a misunderstanding and (...) misconstrual on Carnap’s side, too? Should not Carnap's concept of formalization be substituted by that of logico-hermeneutical reconstruction in order to obviate any such infelicities? In everyday communication, we very rarely ever feel the need to undertake a significant effort to understand each other. This attitude is at odds with Friedrich Schleiermacher’s view that misunderstandings are ubiquitous and that one has to actively invest into the establishment of correct understandings. Therefore, one should ask: Are there good reasons to reject the view that we misunderstand ourselves all the time? Or: Is there any worth in the view that misunderstandings are prevalent? The answers developed in this paper are generalized so that they apply to philosophical contexts and a maxim of escalating formalization is formulated. The debate about peer disagreement is adduced as an illustration of philosophical practices that evade the maxim and thus stagnate cognitively. (shrink)
A characterization of epistemic rationality, or epistemic justification, is typically taken to require a process of conceptual clarification, and is seen as comprising the core of a theory of (epistemic) rationality. I propose to explicate the concept of rationality. -/- It is essential, I argue, that the normativity of rationality, and the purpose, or goal, for which the particular theory of rationality is being proposed, is taken into account when explicating the concept of rationality. My position thus amounts to an (...) instrumentalist position about theories of epistemic rationality. Since there are different purposes, or goals, for which theories of rationality are proposed, the method of explication leaves room for different characterizations of rationality. I focus on two such (kinds of) purposes: first, the purpose of guiding the formation (or maintenance) of doxastic states and, second, the purpose of assessing (the formation or maintenance of) doxastic states. I conclude by outlining a pluralistic picture concerning rationality. (shrink)
In an imagined dialogue between two figures called “Carnap*” and “Quine*” that appeared in the Library of Living Philosophers volume in 1986, certain proposals and clarifications of the linguistic doctrine were offered by Carnap* answering Quinean objections, but these were brushed aside rather breezily in a reply to this dialogue in the same volume by Quine himself. After a brief summary of the questions at issue in that earlier dialogue, Carnap* is here allowed a final reply, introducing yet another variant (...) on his series of more precise formulations of the linguistic doctrine of logical truth and touching on other issues raised both by Quine* in the earlier dialogue and by Quine himself in his reply. (shrink)
The important switch from the so-called old B-theory to the new tenseless theory of time (NTT), which had significant implications for the field of tense and indexicals, occurred after Carnap’s era. Against this new background, Carnap’s original inter-translatability thesis can no longer be upheld. The most natural way out would be to modify Carnap’s position according to the NTT; but this is not compatible with Carnap’s metaphysical neutrality thesis. Even worse, Carnap’s work on measurement theory can be used to develop (...) an argument in favour of the A-theory. I argue that there are tensed basic sentences which are needed in order to construct a tenseless system and thus cannot be translated without loss of meaning into tenseless ones (old B-theory) or made true by tenseless facts (NTT). (shrink)
Most commentators have overlooked the impact of Russell on Quine, focusing instead on the influence of Carnap. In what follows, I will argue that the early Quine’s engagement with Russell’s logicism was a crucial stage in the development of his philosophy. More specifically, we can see Quine’s naturalism as developing out of a certain strand of Russell’s thought concerning scientific philosophy. In addition to giving us a better sense of the origins of Quine’s philosophy, this reading also shows how his (...) early work, focusing mostly on technical areas of logic, is deeply related to his later and more famous philosophical views. In particular, his reworking of Principia Mathematica can be understood as the technical working-out of his view that the purpose of philosophy is the clarification our conceptual scheme. (shrink)
During the academic year 1940-1941, several giants of analytic philosophy congregated at Harvard, holding regular private meetings, with Carnap, Tarski, and Quine. Carnap, Tarski, and Quine at Harvard allows the reader to act as a fly on the wall for their conversations. Carnap took detailed notes during his year at Harvard. This book includes both a German transcription of these shorthand notes and an English translation in the appendix section. Carnap’s notes cover a wide range of topics, but surprisingly, the (...) most prominent question is: If the number of physical items in the universe is finite, what form should scientific discourse take? This question is closely connected to an abiding philosophical problem: What is the relationship between the logico-mathematical realm and the material realm? Carnap, Tarski, and Quine’s attempts to answer this question involve issues central to philosophy today.This book focuses on three such issues: nominalism, the unity of science, and analyticity. In short, the book reconstructs the lines of argument represented in these Harvard discussions, discusses their historical significance (especially Quine’s break from Carnap), and relates them when possible to contemporary treatments of these issues. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is make a contribution to the ongoing search for an adequate concept of the a priori element in scientific knowledge. The point of departure is C.I. Lewis’s account of a pragmatic a priori put forward in his "Mind and the World Order" (1929). Recently, Hasok Chang in "Contingent Transcendental Arguments for Metaphysical Principles" (2008) reconsidered Lewis’s pragmatic a priori and proposed to conceive it as the basic ingredient of the dynamics of an embodied scientific reason. (...) The present paper intends to further elaborate Chang’s account by relating it with some conceptual tools from cognitive semantics and certain ideas that first emerged in the context of the category-theoretical foundations of mathematics. (shrink)
Consciousness, Reductionism and the Explanatory Gap: Investigations in Honor of Rudolf Carnap Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11406-010-9272-7 Authors Leon de Bruin, Institut für Philosophie II, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universitätsstr. 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany Albert Newen, Institut für Philosophie II, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universitätsstr. 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany Journal Philosophia Online ISSN 1574-9274 Print ISSN 0048-3893 Journal Volume Volume 39 Journal Issue Volume 39, Number 1.
Pierre Wagner (ed.): Carnap’s logical syntax of language . Palgrave-MacMillan, 2009, 288pp, £57.00 HB Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9522-8 Authors Alan Richardson, Department of Philosophy, University of British Columbia, 1866 Main Mall—E370, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1 Canada Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
I examine why Carnap ended his "The Overcoming of Metaphysics" with admiration for Nietzsche, and contextualize his admiration for Nietzsche within their shared commitment to 'modernism.' I show that Carnap's modernism helps explain his enthusiasm for symbolic logic and his attitude towards metaphysics. However, I also argue that Nietzsche's critique of metaphysics may also apply to Carnap's own distinction between what is essential to language and how language appears.
The logical empiricists often appear as a foil for feminist theories. Their emphasis on the individualistic nature of knowledge and on the value-neutrality of science seems directly opposed to most feminist concerns. However, several recent works have highlighted aspects of Carnap's views that make him seem like much less of a straightforwardly positivist thinker. Certain of these aspects lend themselves to feminist concerns much more than the stereotypical picture would imply.
G h merrill's recent attempt to sort out various versions of scientific realism and to impugn well-Known anti-Realist arguments turns crucially on carnap's distinction between internal and external statements of existence. Focusing on carnap's distinction, And the notion of a framework which underlies it, I attempt to show that carnap's work is far too unclear and unpersuasive to underwrite this effort.
Timothy Smiley’s wonderful paper ‘Rejection’ (1996) is still perhaps not as well known or well understood as it should be. This note first gives a quick presentation of themes from that paper, though done in our own way, and then considers a putative line of objection – recently advanced by Julien Murzi and Ole Hjortland (2009) – to one of Smiley’s key claims. Along the way, we consider the prospects for an intuitionistic approach to some of the issues discussed in (...) Smiley’s paper. (shrink)
Carnap and Twentieth-Century Thought: Explication as En lighten ment is the first book in the English language that seeks to place Carnap's philosophy in a broad cultural, political and intellectual context. According to the author, Carnap synthesized many different cur rents of thought and thereby arrived at a novel philosophical perspective that remains strik ing ly relevant today. Whether the reader agrees with Carus's bold theses on Carnap's place in the landscape of twentieth-century philosophy, and his even bolder claims concerning (...) the role that philosophy in Carnap's style should play in the thought of our century, does not matter so much as the excellent opportunity Carus's book offers to thoroughly rethink one's ideas about Carnap's philosophy. One reason why Carnap and Twentieth-Century Thought might change one's ideas is that Carus has unearthed much hitherto unknown material from the archives that sheds new light on Carnap's early life and thought. Indeed, the many archival findings presented in CTT for the first time suffice to make the book re warding reading for philosophers and historians of philosophy alike. CTT exhibits a high standard of historical scholarship, and the book itself is a beautiful example of high-quality academic publishing. Up to now, Carnap has remained a controversial figure on the philo sophical scene. On the one hand, he has a solid reputation as a leading figure of logical positivism . According to conventional wisdom, this was a school of thought characterized by its formal and technical philosophy, as well as being rather dismissive of other ways of doing philosophy, dogmatically sticking to its own theses. As a typical example of this arrogant logical empiricist attitude, one usually refers to Carnap's notorious Overcoming Metaphysics by Logical Analysis of Language , written when the Vienna Circle's Logical Empiricism had entered its most radical phase. Self-proclaimed postpositivist philosophers of science dismissed logical positivism, in particular Carnap's, as the dogmatic and orthodox “received view.” The tendency to portray logical empiricism as an obsolete doctrine centering around certain “dogmas” started with Quine's Two Dogmas of Empiricism and reached its somewhat ridiculous culmination in the early 1980s when allegedly “six or seven dogmas” were discovered . Thereby an allegedly un brid geable gap between classical “dogmatic” logical em pi ricism and its modern “enlightened” suc ces sors was construed. (shrink)
I argue that Goodman’s philosophy should not be characterised in opposition to the philosophy of the logical empiricists, but is more fruitfully interpreted as a continuation of their philosophical programme. In particular, understanding Goodman’s philosophy as a continuation of the ideal language tradition makes explicable how a radical ontological relativist could be such a staunch nominalist at the same time.
This paper considers George A. Reisch’s account of the role of Cold War political forces in shaping the apolitical stance that came to dominate philosophy of science in the late 1940s and 1950s. It argues that at least as early as the 1930s, Logical Empiricists such as Rudolf Carnap already held that philosophy of science could not properly have political aims, and further suggests that political forces alone cannot explain this view’s rise to dominance during the Cold War, since political (...) forces cannot explain why a philosophy of science with liberal democratic, anti-communist aims did not flourish. The paper then argues that if professionalization is understood in the right way, it might point toward an explanation of the apolitical stance of Cold War philosophy of science. (shrink)
Recent scholarship resuscitates the history and philosophy of a ‘left wing’ in the Vienna Circle, offering a counterhistory to the conventional image of analytic philosophy as politically conformist. This paper disputes the historical claim that early logical empiricists developed a political philosophy of science. Though some individuals in the Vienna Circle, including Rudolf Carnap and Otto Neurath, believed strongly in the importance of science to social progress, they did not construct a political philosophy of science. Both Carnap and Neurath were (...) committed to forms of political neutralism that run strongly against a political reading of their logical empiricism. In addition, Carnap and Neurath sharply differ on precisely the subject of the place of politics in logical empiricism, throwing into question the construct of the ‘Left Vienna Circle’ as a coherent, sociohistorical, programmatic unit within the Vienna Circle.Keywords: Vienna Circle; Rudolf Carnap; Otto Neurath; Logical empiricism; History of philosophy of science; Political philosophy of science. (shrink)
This volumes aim is to provide an introduction to Carnaps book from a historical and philosophical perspective, each chapter focusing on one specific issue. The book will be of interest not only to Carnap scholars but to all those interested in the history of analytical philosophy.
Rudolf Carnap is widely regarded as one of the most important philosophers of the twentieth century. Born in Germany and later a US citizen, he was a founder of the philosophical movement known as Logical Empiricism. He was strongly influenced by a number of different philosophical traditions, and also by the German Youth Movement, the First World War, and radical socialism. This book places his central ideas in a broad cultural, political and intellectual context, showing how he synthesised many different (...) currents of thought to achieve a philosophical perspective that remains strikingly relevant in the twenty-first century. Its rich account of a philosopher's response to his times will appeal to all who are interested in the development of philosophy in the twentieth century. (shrink)
Graham and Maitzen think my CORNEA principle is in trouble because it entails “intolerable violations of closure under known entailment.” I argue that the trouble arises from current befuddlement about closure itself, and that a distinction drawn by Rudolph Carnap, suitably extended, shows how closure, when properly understood, works in tandem with CORNEA. CORNEA does not obey Closure because it shouldn’t: it applies to “dynamic” epistemic operators, whereas closure principles hold only for “static” ones. What the authors see as an (...) intolerable vice of CORNEA is actually a virtue, helping us see what closure principles should—and shouldn’t—themselves be about. (shrink)
The first aim of this paper is to elucidate Russell’s construction of spatial points, which is to be <br>considered as a paradigmatic case of the "logical constructions" that played a central role in his epistemology and theory of science. Comparing it with parallel endeavours carried out by Carnap and Stone it is argued that Russell’s construction is best understood as a structural representation. It is shown that Russell’s and Carnap’s representational constructions may be considered as incomplete and sketchy harbingers of (...) Stone’s representation theorems. The representational program inaugurated by Stone’s theorems was one of the success stories of 20th century’s mathematics. This suggests that representational constructions à la Stone could also be important for epistemology and philosophy of science. More specifically it is argued that the issues proposed by Russellian definite descriptions, logical constructions, and structural representations still have a place on the agenda of contemporary epistemology and philosophy of science. Finally, the representational interpretation of Russell’s logical constructivism is used to shed some new light on the recently vigorously discussed topic of his structural realism. (shrink)
Nach gängiger Auffassung nahm das Thema „Werte” in Carnaps Philosophie nur einen geringen Stellenwert ein. In dieser Arbeit soll gezeigt werden, daß diese Einschätzung der Korrektur bedarf: So wird der im „Aufbau“ vorgetragene Entwurf eines Konstitutionssystems mit Werten als der höchsten Schicht des Konstitutionssystems abgeschlossen. Auch die Quasianalyse als allgemeine Konstitutionsmethode steht in enger Beziehung zur Unterscheidung zwischen „Sein“ und „Gelten“, die für den werttheoretisch orientierten Neukantianismus der südwest-deutschen Schule charakteristisch war. Allgemein erlaubt die Wertthematik einen Blick auf Unterströmungen des (...) carnapschen Denkens, die in den offiziellen logisch-empiristischen Darstellungen seines Denkens meist vernachlässigt werden. Die Wertthematik, so die These dieser Arbeit, eröffnet überdies eine neue Perspektive auf die spezifisch Jenaer Konstellation von Neukantianismus und Lebensphilosophie, die Carnaps Philosophie wesentlich geprägt hat. (shrink)
Some philosophers, such as Kai Nielsen, view Rawls's rejection of metaphysical claims, encapsulated in his method of avoidance, as being compatible with the "anti-philosophical" stance, the view that metaphysical debates are sterile and should be abandoned to be replaced by practically viable forms of thinking. This paper shows that this reading of the method of avoidance is incorrect and argues that the method of avoidance is in fact comparable to Carnap's higher-order standpoint of neutrality with regards to different frameworks. This (...) sheds new light on Rawlsian theory and situates it within the empiricist tradition. (shrink)
In this paper I will compare the concept of explication à la Carnap and the concept of explication à la Kant. This essay should primarily be seen as a comparison of two different philosophical styles, but it is also intended as a vindication of what Kant wrote and what Carnap forgot to read.
This collection, with essays by Graham H. Bird, Jaakko Hintikka, Ilkka Niiniluoto, Jan Wolenski, will interest graduate students of the philosophy of language and logic, as well as professional philosophers, historians of analytic philosophy, and philosophically inclined logicians. Language, Truth and Knowledge brings together 11 new essays that offer a wealth of insights on a number of Carnap's concerns and ideas. The volume arose out of a symposium on Carnap's work at an international conference held in Vienna in 2001. The (...) essays are written from a variety of perspectives: -some essays aim at rebutting influential criticisms directed at Carnap's views; -others examine and assess his thought in the light of recent developments in the neurosciences; -still others are historical and describe the development of Carnap's thought; -they all shed light on the relation of this thought and different philosophical traditions. These essays form a collection that will prove a valuable resource for our understanding of the historic Carnap and the living philosophical issues with which he grappled. (shrink)
James Conant, a proponent of the ‘New American Wittgenstein’, has argued that the standard inter- pretation of Wittgenstein is wholly mistaken in respect of Wittgenstein’s critique of metaphysics and the attendant conception of nonsense. The standard interpretation, Conant holds, misascribes to Wittgenstein Carnapian views on the illegitimacy of metaphysical utterances, on logical syntax and grammar, and on the nature of nonsense. Against this account, I argue that (i) Carnap is misrepresented; (ii) the so-called standard interpretation (in so far as I (...) have contributed to it) is misrepresented; (iii) Wittgenstein’s views, early and late, are misrepresented. I clarify Wittgen- stein’s conception of logical syntax and of the nonsense that results from transgressing it. (shrink)
This is a critical examination of the astonishing progress made in the philosophical study of the properties of the natural numbers from the 1880s to the 1930s. Reassessing the brilliant innovations of Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, and others, which transformed philosophy as well as our understanding of mathematics, Michael Potter places arithmetic at the interface between experience, language, thought, and the world.
Idealist Heresies in Philosophy of Science: Cassirer, Carnap, and Kuhn. As common wisdom has it, philosophy of science in the analytic tradition and idealist philosophy are incompatible. Usually, not much effort is spent for explaining what is to be understood by idealism. Rather, it is taken for granted that idealism is an obsolete and unscientific philosophical account. In this paper it is argued that this thesis needs some qualification. Taking Carnap and Kuhn as paradigmatic examples of positivist and postpositivist philosophies (...) of science it is shown that these accounts share important features with Cassirer's idealist philosophy of science developed in the first half of this century. As it turns out, often Cassirer is more modern than those classical philosophers of (post)posivitist philosophy of science. For instance, Quine's criticism against Carnap's empiricist philosophy of science launched in Two Dogmas of Empiricism is anticipated by Cassirer for several decades. (shrink)
Karl Popper is widely regarded as the twentieth century’s greatest critic of Marxism. This article, based upon his 1942-47 correspondence with Rudolf Carnap, shows that Popper’s critique of scientific socialism had less to do with Marx’s social goals than with the attitudes that Marxists adopted toward their means of achieving them. It also reveals how Carnap, who tried to keep his politics separate from his epistemology, managed to mix the two when refusing to give Popper his wholehearted support in finding (...) both a publisher for The Open Society and Its Enemies and a position that would give him greater opportunities for research. (shrink)