The present article purports to show that the protocol sentence debate, pursued by some leading members of the Vienna Circle in the mid-1930s, was essentially a controversy over the explanation and the real significance of the concept of truth. It is further shown that the fundamental issue underlying the discussions about the concept of truth was the relationship between form and content, as well as between logic/language and the world. R. Carnap was the philosopher who most explicitly and systematically attempted to come to grips with this problem. It is shown that the form-content distinction pervades the three most important phases of Carnap's philosophical development: the structuralist (in Der logische Aufbau der Welt), the syntactical and the semantical. His final semantical stance is essentially determined by the concept of linguistic frameworks. The article purports to demonstrate that this concept cannot be dispensed with in philosophy, but that Carnap failed to work out its ontological implications. Finally, the concept of an internal ontology is briefly delineated.
Keywords concept of truth  criterion of truth  protocol sentence  linguistic framework  formal and material mode of speech  ontology  structure  logical syntax  semantics  internal and external questions  existence  fact  reality  world  Carnap  Hempel  Neurath  Schlick
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DOI 10.1023/A:1008286204460
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