The role of universal language in the early work of Carnap and Tarski

Synthese 194 (1):15-31 (2017)

Authors
Iris Loeb
VU University Amsterdam
Abstract
It is often argued that by assuming the existence of a universal language, one prohibits oneself from conducting semantical investigations. It could thus be thought that Tarski’s stance towards a universal language in his fruitful Wahrheitsbegriff differs essentially from Carnap’s in the latter’s less successful Untersuchungen zur allgemeinen Axiomatik. Yet this is not the case. Rather, these two works differ in whether or not the studied fragments of the universal language are languages themselves, i.e., whether or not they are closed under derivation rules. In Carnap’s case, axiom systems are not closed under derivation rules, which enables him to adopt a substitutional concept of models. His approach is directly rooted in the tradition of formal axiomatics, we argue, and in this contrary to Tarski’s. In comparing these works by Carnap and Tarski, our aim will be to qualify the connection between Tarski’s approach and the tradition of formal axiomatics, which has been overemphasized in the literature.
Keywords Universal language  Carnap  Tarski  Model theory
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-014-0601-4
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References found in this work BETA

The Logical Syntax of Language.Rudolf Carnap - 1937 - London: K. Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co..
Principia Mathematica.A. N. Whitehead - 1926 - Mind 35 (137):130.

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