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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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.
Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology
Prinz – – In Brian L Keeley ed. In a semantical meaning analysis certain expressions in a language are often said to designate or name or denote or signify or refer to certain extra-linguistic entities.
These are answered by empirical investigations, their results evaluated according to certain rules as confirming or disconfirming evidence for possible answers.
But canrap is possible, in a rational reconstruction, to lay down explicit rules for the evaluation.
From the internal questions we must clearly distinguish external questions, i. If they are given, they should be understood, not as ingredient parts of the system, but merely as marginal notes with the purpose of supplying to the reader helpful hints or convenient pictorial associations which may make his learning of the use of the expressions easier than the bare system of the rules would do. Those who raise the question of the reality of the thing world itself have perhaps in mind not a theoretical question as their formulation seems to suggest, but rather a practical question, a matter of a practical decision concerning the structure of our language.
Find it on Scholar. For him, the numerals may still be used as meaningful expressions, but they are not names and there are no entities designated by them. Physics In our last example, the new entities are space-time points in the spatio-temporal coordinate system for physics.
With respect to the basic attitude to take in choosing a language form an “ontology” in Quine’s terminology, which seems to me misleadingthere appears now to be agreement between us: It is rather the practical decision to accept certain frameworks. Carnap – – Revue Internationale de Philosophie 4: Above all, it must not be interpreted as referring to an assumption, belief, or assertion of “the reality of the entities.
In contrast to the former questions, this question is raised neither by the man in the street nor by scientists, but only by philosophers.
However, let us look at a few different examples. Therefore, for him, the word “number” and numerical variables must not be used – unless there was a way to use them as merely abbreviating devices; i. Added to PP index Total downloads 3of 2, Recent downloads 6 months 1of 2, How can I increase my downloads?
Whoever makes an internal assertion is certainly obliged to justify it by providing evidence, empirical evidence in the case of electrons, logical proof in the case of the prime numbers.
Some nominalists label the admission of variables of abstract types as “Platonism. In order to facilitate the understanding of the systematic development, I added some informal, extra-systematic explanations concerning the nature of propositions. Are there really numbers, properties, space-time points, propositions, and even things themselves? Revue International de Philosophie 4 Majid Davoody Beni – – Philosophia Scientiae 19 1: The fact that no such reference occurs in the existential statements here, shows that propositions are not linguistic entities.
The purposes for which the language is intended to be used, for instance, the purpose of communicating factual knowledge, will determine which seantics are relevant for the decision. Are there properties classes, numbers, propositions?
But if this conception leads to the view that other philosophers carnxp scientists who accept abstract entities thereby assert or imply their occurrence as immediate data, then such a view must be rejected as a misinterpretation. The acceptance of new linguistic forms cannot be judged as being either true or false, since it is not an assertion, rather it can only be judged as being more or less expedient than with prior forms. Internal questions are here, in general, empirical questions to be answered by empirical empirocism.
No keywords specified fix it. From these questions we must distinguish the external question of the reality of the thing world itself.
The new entities are values of these variables; the constants and the closed compound expressions, if any are empiricim for the variables. Generally speaking, if someone accepts a framework for a certain kind of entities, then he is bound to admit the entities as possible designata.
Carnap, “Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology”
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 integers. But this demand for theoretical justification is wrongly applied to the acceptance of a system of entities.
The third may mean “There are propositions” – which can be analytic, but if meant in an external sense, it is, according to Carnap, non-cognitive. Carnap is saying that the question of admissibility of abstract entities as designata is the same as acceptability of the linguistic framework for those entities.
Let us learn from the lessons of history. A physicist who is suspicious of abstract entities may perhaps try to declare a certain part of the language of physics as uninterpreted and uninterpretable, that part which refers to real numbers as space-time coordinates or as values of physical magnitudes, to functions, limits, etc. We have to make the choice whether or not to accept and use the forms of expression in the framework in question. Further, the general term “proposition” is introduced.
In the case of mathematics some empiricists try to find a way out by treating the whole of mathematics as a mere calculus, a formal system for which no interpretation is given, or can be given. A question of this kind may be either empirical or logical; accordingly a true answer is either factually true or analytic. 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.
This entry has no external links. Richard Boyd – – Philosophical Studies 61 1: 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.
It is hoped that the clarification of the issue will be useful to those who would like to accept abstract entities in their work in mathematics, physics, semantics, or any other field; it may help them to overcome nominalistic scruples. The spatio-temporal coordinate system for physics.
And the same holds for references to abstract entities as designata in semantics. Shamik Dasgupta – – Philosophical Review 3: