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.

Author: Meztikora Vudorisar
Country: Costa Rica
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Personal Growth
Published (Last): 4 May 2015
Pages: 87
PDF File Size: 8.24 Mb
ePub File Size: 11.28 Mb
ISBN: 859-7-15482-283-4
Downloads: 41720
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Vizilkree

Carnap and Ontological Pluralism. But, Carnap warns, it concerns a matter of degree, and a formulation in the form “real or not? Internal questions are here, in general, empirical questions to be answered by empirical investigations. Therefore every sentence of the form “. 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.

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.

On Quine on Carnap on Ontology. But to be meaningful is not the same as having a meaning in the sense of an entity designated.

Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology. —

Internal questions and possible answers to them are formulated with the help of the new forms of expressions. Empiricism and Ontology in Rudolf Carnap’s Thought. The acceptance or rejection of abstract linguistic forms, just as the acceptance or rejection of any other linguistic forms in any branch of science, will finally be decided by their efficiency as instruments, the ratio of the results achieved to the amount and complexity of the efforts required.

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 carnwp tensions and vibrations in an ether.


Each empiriclsm is an ordered quadruple ontolovy four real numbers, called its coordinates, of three spatial and one temporal coordinate. Then the special question of the role of abstract entities in semantics will be discussed. And indeed, if we were to ask them: We disregard here the fact that the rules of English grammar require not a sentence but a that-clause as the subject of another sentence; accordingly instead of a we should have to say “That Chicago is large is a proposition.

Carnap, “Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology”

He says that the acceptance and use of thing language should not be interpreted as meaning that 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. Thus it is clear that the acceptance of a linguistic framework must not be regarded as implying a metaphysical doctrine concerning the reality of the entities in question. Realism and the Absence of Value.

Carnap on Abstract and Theoretical Entities.

The use of three spatial coordinates is not forced on us, but is strongly suggested by common observation. However, none of those alternatives are practical, and that is Carnap’s point.

References to space-time points, the electromagnetic field, or electrons in physics, to real or complex numbers and their functions in mathematics, to the excitatory potential or unconscious complexes in psychology, to an inflationary trend in economics, and the like, do not imply the assertion that entities of these otnology occur as immediate data.

But it is certainly wrong to regard my semantical method as involving a belief in the reality of abstract entities, since I reject a thesis of this kind as a metaphysical pseudo-statement. There is a particular kind of misinterpretation of the acceptance of abstract entities in various fields of science and in semantics, that needs to be cleared up.

Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology

Results of observations are evaluated according to certain rules as confirming or disconfirming smantics for possible answers. 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 ontoloyy. Thus, for example, the thing language contains certainly words of the type of “blue” and “house” before the framework of properties is introduced; and it may contain words like “ten” in sentences of the form “I have ten fingers” em;iricism the framework of numbers 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.

Any further explanations as to the nature of the propositions i. Further, a statement of the existence of linguistic entities e. Our previous discussion concerning the acceptance of frameworks enables us now to clarify the situation with respect to abstract entities as designata.

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. Therefore nobody who meant the question “Are there numbers? If, however, a reader should find these explanations more puzzling than clarifying, or even unacceptable, he may disregard them” p.

Unless and until they supply a clear cognitive interpretation, we are justified in our suspicion that their question is a pseudo-question, that is, one disguised in the form of a theoretical question while in fact it is a non-theoretical; in the present case it is the practical problem whether or not to incorporate into the language the new linguistic forms which constitute the framework of numbers.

The decision of accepting the thing language, although itself not of a cognitive nature, will nevertheless usually be influenced by theoretical knowledge, just like any other deliberate decision concerning the acceptance of linguistic or other rules.