Carnap and Twentieth-Century Thought: Explication as by A. W. Carus

By A. W. Carus

Rudolf Carnap (1891-1970) is greatly considered as some of the most very important philosophers of the 20 th century. Born in Germany and later a US citizen, he used to be a founding father of the philosophical stream often called Logical Empiricism. He used to be strongly prompted via a few assorted philosophical traditions (including the legacies of either Kant and Husserl), and in addition through the German early life move, the 1st international conflict (in which he used to be wounded and decorated), and radical socialism. This booklet areas his critical rules in a large cultural, political and highbrow context, displaying how he synthesised many various currents of notion to accomplish a philosophical viewpoint that is still strikingly proper within the twenty-first century. Its wealthy account of a philosopher's reaction to his occasions will attract all who're attracted to the improvement of philosophy within the 20th century.

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But these people often had only an imperfect understanding of the society to which they had emigrated in middle age. Their command of English was sometimes shaky. And despite a recognisable continuity of message and rhetoric, much of its intended significance was lost on their new audiences. The message became a different one, flatter and more superficial than its old-world predecessor. In the particular case of the Vienna Circle, certain assumptions about the broader cultural and ethical context of their philosophical project were so obvious to them they were never made explicit in their writings.

47 This book was published in 1936, two years after Logical Syntax. Carnap is acknowledged in the preface as the philosopher to whom Ayer owes most and with whom he agrees most closely. 48 It is essentially a popularised account of the pre-1930 Vienna Circle position (the Aufbau and the Tractatus), hardly acknowledging the major obstacles to such a view that had long been discussed in Vienna. 49 And then after 1950, Quine was able to convince the world he had ‘overthrown’ Carnap’s ‘verification theory of meaning’, pinning on Carnap a view he had not held for twenty years.

Languages can be, and have been, set up with or without such a principle. Why not try out different languages and see how they work? The only criterion Carnap required of a candidate language was that its rules be precisely specified. And the only way of judging the merits of a language was pragmatic. Its usefulness for some human purpose was the only ultimate criterion. Whether a realistic or idealistic language is to be preferred, Carnap said, for instance, should be regarded not as a philosophical but as a practical question.

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