Ideas of Rudolph Carnap, by Theme

[German, 1891 - 1970, Born at Ronsdorf, Germany. Pupil of Frege. Taught at the University of California. Quine and Kaplan were pupils.]

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1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 2. Possibility of Metaphysics
No possible evidence could decide the reality of numbers, so it is a pseudo-question
1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 6. Against Metaphysics
Metaphysics uses empty words, or just produces pseudo-statements
5. Theory of Logic / B. Logical Consequence / 1. Logical Consequence
Carnap defined consequence by contradiction, but this is unintuitive and changes with substitution
5. Theory of Logic / C. Ontology of Logic / 4. Logic by Convention
Each person is free to build their own logic, just by specifying a syntax
6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 6. Logicism / a. Early logicism
Questions about numbers are answered by analysis, and are analytic, and hence logically true
Logical positivists incorporated geometry into logicism, saying axioms are just definitions
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 1. Nature of Existence
Existence questions are 'internal' (within a framework) or 'external' (concerning the whole framework)
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 6. Abstract Existence
Internal questions about abstractions are trivial, and external ones deeply problematic
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 2. Reality
To be 'real' is to be an element of a system, so we cannot ask reality questions about the system itself
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 10. Ontological Commitment / a. Ontological commitment
A linguistic framework involves commitment to entities, so only commitment to the framework is in question
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 6. Nihilism about Objects
We only accept 'things' within a language with formation, testing and acceptance rules
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 8. Conditionals / c. Truth-function conditionals
In the truth-functional account a burnt-up match was soluble because it never entered water
12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 1. Empiricism
Empiricists tend to reject abstract entities, and to feel sympathy with nominalism
12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 3. Pragmatism
New linguistic claims about entities are not true or false, but just expedient, fruitful or successful
14. Science / B. Scientific Theories / 1. Scientific Theory
Carnap tried to define all scientific predicates in terms of primitive relations, using type theory
14. Science / B. Scientific Theories / 3. Instrumentalism
All linguistic forms in science are merely judged by their efficiency as instruments
14. Science / D. Explanation / 1. Explanation / b. Aims of explanation
Good explications are exact, fruitful, simple and similar to the explicandum
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 4. Structure of Concepts / g. Conceptual atomism
All concepts can be derived from a few basics, making possible one science of everything
19. Language / F. Communication / 6. Interpreting Language / a. Translation
All translation loses some content (but language does not create reality)