Carnap on Abstract and Theoretical Entities


Authors
Gregory Lavers
Concordia University
Abstract
Carnap’s ‘Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology’ (Carnap (1950a), ESO hereafter) is certainly a classic of twentieth century analytic philosophy. For decades now, most undergraduates are expected to read it at some point in their studies. Lately, it is being seen as the inspiration for a host of positions in the field of metaontology. Despite the widespread agreement on the importance of the paper, there is a lack of agreement on what Carnap attempts to do in the paper. My main aim in this chapter is to defend an interpretation of ESO by displaying its relation to Carnap’s earlier works. My secondary goal will be to draw a lesson from this discussion for Carnap’s later work on unobservable entities in science.
Keywords Rudolf Carnap  Unobservable entiteis  Abstract Objects
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