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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Within the system of propositionsthe very term “proposition” is introduced, where any declarative sentence may be substituted for a variable.

Therefore every sentence of the form “. A question of this kind may be either empirical or logical; accordingly a true answer is either factually true or analytic. The world of things.

Rudolf Carnap, Empiricism, semantics, and ontology – PhilPapers

The efficiency, fruitfulness, and simplicity of the use of the thing language may be among the decisive factors. Moreover, it is rather trivial in contradistinction to a statement like “There is a prime number greater than a million which is likewise analytic but far from trivialbecause it does not say more than that the new system is not empty; but this is immediately seen from the rule which states that words like “five” are substitutable for the new variables.

Brett Topey – forthcoming – Philosophical Studies: Shamik Dasgupta – – Philosophical Review 3: Carnap csrnap the following example of ontolgoy problem of proof: A look at the rules shows us that they are not, because otherwise existential statements would be of the form: Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University’s proxy server Configure custom proxy use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy.


They usually feel much more in sympathy with nominalists than with realists in the medieval sense. However, the external statement, the philosophical statement of the reality of properties — a special case of the thesis of the reality of universals — is devoid of cognitive content.

Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology

Certain early British empiricists e. Carnap on Abstract and Theoretical Entities. For him, the numerals may still be used as meaningful expressions, but they are not names and there are no entities designated by them.

Glen Hoffmann – semanticw Synthese 2: Judgments of this kind supply the motivation for the decision of accepting or rejecting the kind of entities. Some contemporary philosophers, especially English philosophers following Bertrand Russell, think in basically similar terms. Empiricism and State-Space Semantics.

It is the purpose of this article to clarify this controversial issue. But demantics must not be interpreted as if it meant his acceptance of a belief in the reality of the thing world; there is no such belief or assertion or assumption, because ontolkgy is not a theoretical question.

A true answer is either factually true, using empirical methods of analysis, or analytic, using logical methods. This shows again the confusion mentioned, because a superstition or myth is a false or dubious internal statement.

Realists give an affirmative answer, subjective idealists a negative one, and the controversy goes on for centuries without ever being solved.

However, it would prevent the use of ordinary geometry which says, e. The belief criticized is thus a case of hypostatization, i. Some of the criticisms by English philosophers against such references give the impression that, probably due to the misinterpretation just indicated, they accuse the semanticist not so much of bad metaphysics as some nominalists would do but of bad psychology. In fact, of course, the semanticist does not in the least assert or imply that the abstract entities to which he refers can be experienced as immediately given either by sensation or by a kind of rational intuition.


The choice of using real numbers instead of rational numbers or integers as coordinates is mainly due to considerations of mathematical simplicity, and is not influenced by facts of experience. The acceptance of the thing language leads on the basis of observations made, also to the acceptance, belief, and assertion of certain statements.

Many philosophers regard a question of this kind as an ontological question which must be raised and answered before the introduction of the new language forms. 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! Take the world of things – the simplest kind of entities we deal with in everyday language.

An assertion of this kind would indeed be very dubious psychology. The following three constructs are included within this framework: Science Logic and Mathematics. Some names of particular entities may already occur in the language before the introduction of the new framework e.

Such a characterization is analogous to an extra-systematic explanation which a physicist sometimes gives to the beginner.