Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology. Rudolph Carnap. [In this essay Carnap is concerned with the question of the “reality” of the sorts of what he calls “abstract. Rudolf Carnap’s article “Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology” deals with the implications of accepting language which refers to abstract entities. Empiricists. Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology. Rudolf Carnap. Revue Internationale de Philosophie 4 (): Reprinted in the Supplement to. Meaning and.

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But this demand for theoretical justification is wrongly applied to the acceptance of a system of entities. However, if we look at the basic anti-metaphysical and pro-scientific attitude of most nominalists and the same holds for many materialists and realists in the modern sensedisregarding their occasional pseudo-theoretical formulations, then it is, of course, true to say that the Vienna Empidicism was much closer to those philosophers than to their opponents.

The statement “There are propositions” may be meant in the sense of d ; in this case it is analytic since it follows from a and even trivial. A nominalistic opponent says there are no numbers.

notes on “Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology”

The non-cognitive character of the questions which we have called here external questions was recognized and emphasized already by the Vienna Circle under the leadership of Moritz Schlick, the group from which the movement of logical empiricism originated. It leads to the absurd consequence, that the position of everybody who accepts swmantics language of physics with its real number variables as a language of communication, not merely as a calculus would be called Platonistic, even if he is a strict empiricist who rejects Platonic metaphysics.

Richard Boyd – – Philosophical Studies 61 With these new forms in the language, you can now devise empirical or logical questions and possible answers to them.

While “Fido” is a name, expressions like “red,” “five,” etc. Among those philosophers who have carried out semantical analyses and thought about suitable farnap for this work, beginning with Plato and Aristotle and, in a more technical way on the basis of modern logic, with C. This is one of the main tasks of a pure, as distinguished from a psychological, epistemology. Therefore our judgment must be that they have not succeeded in giving to the external question and to the possible answers any cognitive content.


Kane – – International Philosophical Quarterly 7 1: Into a language containing the framework of natural numbers we may introduce first the positive and negative integers as relations among natural numbers and then the rational numbers as relations among ccarnap. We have to make the adn whether or not to accept and use the forms of expression in the framework in question. But this must not be interpreted as ontokogy it meant his acceptance of a belief in the reality of the thing world; there is no such belief or assertion or assumption, because it is not a theoretical question.

To construe the numbers as classes or properties of the second level, according to the Frege-Russell method, does, of course, not solve the empiricsim, because the first philosopher would affirm and the second deny the existence of ekpiricism system of classes or properties of the second level.

Rudolf Carnap, Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology – PhilPapers

More probably he will just speak about all these things like anybody else but with an uneasy conscience, like a man who in his everyday life does with qualms many things which are not in accord with the high moral principles he professes on Sundays. It seems smeantics me due to a neglect of this important distinction that some contemporary nominalists label the admission of variables of abstract types as “Platonism.

An external question is of a problematic character which is in need of closer examination. Further, to make the statement a possible, L must contain an expression like “designates” or “is a name of” for the semantical relation of designation. These questions are to be answered by empirical investigations. anx

I will briefly summarize this framework again: Therefore the word “number” and numerical variables must not be used unless ontoligy way were found to introduce them as merely abbreviating devices, a way of translating them into the nominalistic thing language. Because of space, I will not go into further details Carnap discusses about the systems of integers, rational numbers and real numbers that is a little too heavy for evening philosophy anyway! The step from the system of things which anr not contain space-time points but only extended objects with spatial and temporal relations between them to the physical coordinate system is again a matter of decision.

Both the nominalistic critics, who refuse the status of designators or names to expressions like “red,” “five,” etc. Let us learn from the lessons of history. In spite of this, the controversy concerning the external question of the ontological reality of the system of numbers continues.


The purposes for which the language is intended to be used, for instance, the purpose of communicating factual knowledge, will determine which factors are relevant for the decision. For those who want to develop or use semantical methods, the decisive question is not the alleged ontological question of the existence of abstract entities but rather the question whether the rise of abstract linguistic foms or, in technical terms, the use of variables beyond those for things or phenomenal datais expedient and fruitful for the purposes for which semantical analyses are made, viz.

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The demand for a theoretical justification, correct in the case of internal assertions, is sometimes wrongly applied to the acceptance of a system of entities. Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology.

The latter is the name given by Gilbert Ryle 8 to the criticized belief, which, in his view, arises by a naive inference of analogy: Science Logic and Mathematics. He might, for example, tell him to ontoloby the atoms of a gas as small balls rushing around with great speed, or the electromagnetic field and its oscillations as quasi-elastic tensions and vibrations in an ether.

Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology

He says that the acceptance and use of thing language should not be interpreted as meaning onhology one believes in the reality of the thing world, but merely as an acceptance of a certain form of language; to accept rules for forming statements and for testingaccepting, or rejecting them. Darren Bradley – – Synthese 5: Majid Davoody Beni – – Philosophia Scientiae 19 1: The new entities are the space-time points.

But to be meaningful is not the same as aand a meaning in the sense of an entity designated.

Others object, claiming that this designation violates the basic principle of empiricism and leads back to a metaphysical ontology of the platonic kind. Shamik Dasgupta – – Philosophical Review 3: