On the Ontology of Linguistic Frameworks Toward a Comprehensive Version of Empiricism

Philodophia Scientiae 19 (1):115-126 (2015)
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Abstract

Can the abstract entities be designated? While the empiricists usually took the positive answer to this question as the first step toward Platonism, in his ``Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology’’ [Carnap 1950], Carnap tried to make a reconciliation between the language referring to abstract entities on the one hand, and empiricism on the other. In this paper, firstly, I show that the ingenuity of Carnap’s approach notwithstanding, it is prone to criticism from different aspects. But I also show how, even without leaving the empiricist research program, the shortcomings could be amended. Following Carnap’s 1950 outset, and adding some apparently untasteful (Meinongian) ingredients, I will sketch a refined way for dealing with the problem of existence of abstract entities within the framework of the philosophy of empiricism.

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Majid D. Beni
Middle East Technical University

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