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. Carnap, “Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology”. Major Premise: Accepting the existence abstract entities involves a pragmatic decision to use a certain linguistic.

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But, Carnap warns, it concerns a matter of degree, and a formulation in the form “real or not? He stresses that no theoretical justification is needed for our linguistic frameworks because they do not imply a belief or assertion. We apply the term ‘proposition’ to any entities of a certain logical type, namely, those that may be expressed by declarative sentences in a language” p.

Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology. —

The latter fact shows that the occurrence of constants of the type in question — regarded as names of entities of the new kind after the new framework is introduced — is not a sure sign of the acceptance of the new kind of entities. This question is here neither decided nor even discussed. But it is possible, in a rational reconstruction, to lay down explicit rules for the evaluation.

Derogatory labels like “Platonic realism” “hypostatization,” or “‘Fido’-Fido principle” are attached to it. A look at the rules shows us that they are not, because otherwise existential statements would be of the form: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology.

However, within certain scientific contexts it seems hardly possible to avoid them. However, it would be wrong to describe this situation by saying: The system of thing properties The thing language contains words like “red,” “hard,” “stone,” “house,” etc.


The Problem of Universals. He might, for example, tell him to imagine 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.

Therefore the answers are here analytic, i. The acceptance cannot be judged as being either true or false because it is not an assertion.

They are not yes-no questions but questions of degree. On the other hand, the external questions of the reality of physical space and physical time are pseudo-questions. ontopogy

A Note on Ontology and Ordinary Language. For example, if the whole of mathematics were treated as a mere calculus, a formal system where no interpretation can be given, then the mathematician speaks not about numbers, functions and infinite classes, but about meaningless symbols carnzp formulas manipulated according to given formal rules.

Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology

The answers may be found either by purely logical methods or by empirical methods, depending rmpiricism whether the framework is a logical or a factual one. Marc Alspector-Kelly – – Philosophical Studies 1: Then, variables of the new type are introduced.

Existence or reality is ascribed only to the data; the constructs are not real entities; the corresponding linguistic expressions are merely ways of speech not actually designating anything reminiscent of the nominalists’ flatus vocis. Some semanticists say that certain expressions designate certain entities, and among these designated entities they include not only concrete material things but also abstract entities e.

The first two are internal assertions of existence.


Rudolf Carnap, Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology – PhilPapers

Our previous discussion concerning the acceptance of frameworks enables us now to clarify the situation with respect to abstract entities as designata. Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology. But the thesis of the reality of the thing world cannot be among these statements, because it cannot be formulated in the thing language or, it seems, in any other theoretical language.

Prinz – – In Brian L Keeley ed. Revue International de Philosophie 4 The fact that no such reference occurs in the existential statements here, shows that propositions are not linguistic entities.

For example, are propositions mental events as in Russell’s theory? It can only be judged as being more or less expedient, fruitful, conducive to the aim for which the language is intended. Therefore nobody who meant the question “Are there numbers?

Carnap, “Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology”

Problems and Changes in the Empiricist Criterion of Meaning. Richard Boyd – – Philosophical Studies 61 1: These types Carnap calls internal questions. If the latter condition is not fulfilled, the expression is not a statement.

We have to make the choice whether or not to accept and use the forms of expression in the seamntics in question. The acceptance of a new kind of entities is represented in the language by the introduction of a framework of new forms of expressions to be used according to a new set of rules.