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Gavagai.pl Autorzy Rudolf Carnap

Sentencje w bazie Gavagai:

W nauce nie ma nic "głębokiego" - wszędzie jest tylko powierzchnia.

In science there are no 'depths'; there is surface everywhere.

Rudolf Carnap Zobacz Głębia: -

Logika jest ostatnią składową Filozofii; jej usunięcie pozostawia jedynie chaos nienaukowych pseudo-problemów.

Logic is the last scientific ingredient of Philosophy; its extraction leaves behind only a confusion of non-scientific, pseudo problems.

Rudolf Carnap Zobacz Głębia: -

Omówienia dzieł 0

Opracowanie dorobku

Podsumowanie ogólne dorobku

Główne dzieła – Logiczna struktura świata, Filozofia jako analiza języka nauki.

1. Strukturalne deskrypcje określone

Sposób funkcjonowania ludzkiej świadomości i nauki.

„Ślepa mapa”.

Zagadnienia nauki są strukturalne, nie dotyczą konkretnych przedmiotów.

Każda nazwa przedmiotu, która pojawia się w twierdzeniach naukowych może być zastąpiona przez strukturalną deskrypcję określoną tego przedmiotu ze wskazaniem, do jakiej dziedziny przedmiotów deskrypcja ta się odnosi.

Przedmiot jako struktura charakteryzowana przez relacje.

Teoria konstrukcji istnieje tylko jedna dziedzina przedmiotów i każde twierdzenie nauki do niej się odnosi

Wskazanie dziedziny przedmiotów zbędne – każde twierdzenie naukowe może być tak przekształcone, że będzie jedynie twierdzeniem strukturalnym – Jedność języka nauki

Nauka ma mówić o tym, co jest obiektywne, a wszystko, co nie należy do struktury, lecz do materiału (czyli da się wskazać przy użyciu konkretnej definicji ostensywnej) jest subiektywne (knowledge by acquaintance).

Każda deskrypcja musi być określona i strukturalna (wpływ Russella).

2. Kręgi podobieństwa

Definiujemy ekstensjonalną relację podobieństwa (np. przynajmniej 1 wspólna barwa).

Opis ma się opierać na relacji (kręgach podobieństwa), a nie konkretnej interpretacji

Przestrzenna symbolizacja elementarnych doznań i ich składników (bliskość dwóch punktów w przestrzeni będzie reprezentowana przez relację podobieństwa między wybranymi jakościami)

Czysta świadomość działa przez budowę strukturalnych deskrypcji określonych i ze względu na wyróżnione jakości buduje kręgi podobieństwa. Emocje są nieistotne, intersubiektywnie niekomunikowalne.

3. Teoria konstrukcyjna

Celem – stworzenie systemu konstrukcyjnegowarstwowo uporządkowanego systemu przedmiotów (pojęć). Przedmioty na każdym poziomie są „konstruowane”z przedmiotów z niższych poziomów.

Dwa wielkie kręgi podobieństwa – krąg przedmiotów fizycznych i krąg przedmiotów psychicznych.

(trzeba zredukować)

Cztery podstawowe dziedziny (ze względu na pierwszeństwo epistemiczne):

autopsychiczna

fizyczna

heteropsychologiczna

kulturowa

4. Logiczna struktura języka – formalna teoria form lingwistycznych danego języka

Opis formalnych reguł oraz wskazanie ich konsekwencji, bez odwoływania się do znaczenia symboli (wyrażeń), lecz wyłącznie do ich rodzaju i porządku

Struktura jest wszystkim, treść niczym. Znaczenie słów jest nieistotne.

5. Jedność nauki. Język fizykalny

Predykaty pierwotne języka fizykalnego J muszą być obserwacyjne

Język J zbudowany zgodnie z wymogami empiryzmu, ale bez zdań spostrzeżeniowych – interubiektywny

Podstawowy język predykatów obserwacyjnych jest językiem prywatnym, ale musimy posługiwać się językiem fizykalnym, bo jest intersubiektywny.

Terminy wszystkich gałęzi nauk logicznie jednorodne

Fizykalizm i teza o jedności języka nauki nie mówią o świecie, lecz o języku.

Spór o zdania protokolarne (Schlick-Neurath) – atomizm konstrukcyjny Neuratha jest niewykonalny.

Zdania fizyki sprowadzone przez wyprowadzenie ich konsekwencji za pomocą reguł transformacji do zdań o formie zdań protokolarnych, które zostały porównane ze zdaniami protokolarnymi faktycznie ustanowionymi i potwierdzone lub obalone.

(Ale same zdania protokolarne nie wystarczą – stąd warstwy)

Niektóre pojęcia są nienaukowe nie dlatego, że są nieredukowalne do terminów zdań obserwacyjnych (bo taki charakter ma wiele naukowych pojęć teoretycznych, np. grawitacja), ale dlatego, że nie podają praw umożliwiających ich sprawdzenie

6. Język etyki

- Wypowiedzi wartościujące to tylko nakazy podane w zwodniczej formie gramatycznej.

- Nie są sprawdzalne i nie mają żadnego sensu poznawczego (nie są prawdziwe ani fałszywe) – metafizyczne.

Opracowanie po angielsku

Table of Contents (Clicking on the links below will take you to that part of this article)

Life

Carnap wrote an intellectual autobiography published in The Philosophy of Rudolf Carnap, ed. by Paul Arthur Schillp, La Salle, Ill. : Open Court Pub. Co., 1963. That autobiography is the main source of the following biographical notes. Rudolf Carnap was born on May 18, 1891, in Ronsdorf, Germany. In 1898, after his father's death, his family moved to Barmen, where Carnap studied at the Gymnasium. During the years between 1910 and 1914 he studied philosophy, physics and mathematics at the University of Jena and Freiburg. Among his teachers was neo-Kantian philosopher Bruno Bauch, with whom he studied Kantian philosophy. In his intellectual autobiography, Carnap remembers that The Critique of Pure Reason was carefully discussed through a whole year. Carnap was especially interested in the Kantian theory of space. In 1910, Carnap attended Gottlob Frege's lectures on logic (Frege was professor of mathematics at Jena). Carnap attended a second course by Frege in 1913 – there were only three students at that course – and a third course in 1914. During those courses, Frege explained his system of logic and some applications in mathematics. However, during those years, Carnap was mainly interested in physics; in 1913 he planned to write his dissertation on a problem of experimental physics, namely thermionic emission. World War I frustrated the project. Carnap served at the front until 1917, when he was moved to Berlin. There he studied the theory of relativity. At the time, Albert Einstein was professor of physics at the University of Berlin. After the war, Carnap sketched a dissertation on an axiomatic system for the physical theory of space and time. He submitted the draft to physicist Max Wien, director of the Institute of Physics at the University of Jena, and to Bruno Bauch. Both found the work interesting, but Wien told Carnap the dissertation was pertinent to philosophy, not to physics, while Bauch said it was relevant to physics. Eventually, in 1921, Carnap wrote his dissertation under the direction of Bauch. His work dealt with the theory of space from a philosophical point of view. The work – entitled Der Raum (Space) – is evidently influenced by Kantian philosophy. Der Raum was published in 1922 in a supplemental issue of Kant-Studien. Carnap's first works were concerned with the foundations of physics; he wrote essays on causality and the theory of space-time. In 1923 he met Hans Reichenbach at a conference on philosophy held at Erlangen. Reichenbach introduced him to Moritz Schlick, professor of the theory of inductive science at Vienna. Carnap visited Schlick – and the Vienna Circle – in 1925. The following year he moved to Vienna and became assistant professor at the University of Vienna. He took part in the Vienna Circle's meetings, where he met Hans Hahn, Otto Neurath, Kurt Gödel and, in 1926, Ludwig Wittgenstein; he also met Karl Popper. He became one of the leading members of the Vienna Circle – and, of course, of logical positivism – and, in 1929, he wrote, with Hahn and Neurath, the manifesto of the Circle. In 1928 Carnap published The Logical Structure of the World, in which he developed a formal version of empiricism: according to him, all scientific terms are definable by means of a phenomenalistic language. The great merit of that work is the rigor with which Carnap developed his theory. In the same year he published Pseudoproblems in Philosophy, in which he asserted that many alleged philosophical problems are meaningless. In 1929 the Vienna Circle and the Berlin Circle – the latter was founded in 1928 by Reichenbach – organized the First Conference on Epistemology, held in Prague. In 1930, Carnap and Reichenbach founded the journal Erkenntnis. In the same year Carnap met Tarski, who was developing his semantical theory of truth. Carnap was also interested in mathematical logic and wrote a manual of logic, entitled Abriss der Logistik (1929). In 1931, Carnap moved to Prague, where he became professor of natural philosophy at the German University. In those years, his most important contribution to logic was The Logical Syntax of Language (1934). In 1933, Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany; two years later – in 1935 – Carnap moved to the United States, helped by Charles Morris and Willard Van Orman Quine, whom he had met in Prague in 1934. He became an American citizen in 1941. In the years between 1936 and 1952, he was a professor at the University of Chicago (during 1940-41 he was a visiting professor at Harvard University); in 1952-54 he was a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and, from 1954, professor at the University of California at Los Angeles. In the 1940s, stimulated by Tarskian model theory, Carnap became interested in semantics. During those years he wrote several books on semantics: Introduction to Semantics (1942), Formalization of Logic (1943), Meaning and Necessity: A Study in Semantics and Modal Logic (1947). In Meaning and Necessity, Carnap used semantics to explain modalities. Afterwards he thought about the structure of scientific theories: his main interests were (i) to give an account of the distinction between analytic and synthetic statements and (ii) to give a suitable formulation of the verifiability principle, that is, to find a criterion of significance appropriate to scientific language. Two other important works are „Meaning postulates”(1952) and „Observation Language and Theoretical Language”(1958). The latter states Carnap's definitive view on the analytic-synthetic distinction. „The Methodological Character of Theoretical Concepts”(1958) is an attempt to give a tentative definition of a criterion of significance for scientific language. Carnap was also interested in formal logic (Introduction to Symbolic Logic, 1954) and in inductive logic (Logical Foundations of Probability, 1950; The Continuum of Inductive Methods, 1952). The Philosophy of Rudolf Carnap, ed. by Paul Arthur Schillp, was published in 1963; and Philosophical Foundations of Physics, ed. by Martin Gardner, was published in 1966. Carnap was working on the theory of inductive logic when he died on September 14, 1970, at Santa Monica, California.
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The Structure of Scientific Theories

A scientific theory – in Carnap's opinion – is an interpreted axiomatic formal system. It consists of:

  • a formal language, including logical and non-logical terms; a set of logical-mathematical axioms and rules of inference; a set of non-logical axioms, expressing the empirical portion of the theory; a set of meaning postulates, stating the meaning of non-logical terms; they formalize the analytic truths of the theory;
  • a set of rules of correspondence; they give an empirical interpretation of the theory.
Note that the set of meaning postulates and the set of rules of correspondence may be included in the set of non-logical axioms, i.e., it is not necessary that meaning postulates and rules of correspondence be explicitly stated. Indeed, meaning postulates and rules of correspondence usually are not explicitly distinguished from non-logical axioms; only one set of axioms is formulated and one of the main purposes of the philosophy of science is to show the difference between the various kinds of statements. Now I shall examine Carnap's view on different constituents of a theory.
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The Language of Scientific Theories

The language consists of (i) a set of symbols and (ii) effective rules that determine whether a sequence of symbols is a well-formed formula, i.e., correct with respect to syntax. Among the symbols of the language of a scientific theory are logical and non-logical terms. The set of logical terms contains both logical symbols, e.g., connectives and quantifiers, and mathematical symbols, e.g., numbers, derivatives, and integrals. Non-logical terms are symbols denoting physical entities or properties or relations, e.g., 'blue', 'cold', 'more warm than', 'proton', 'electromagnetic field'. Non-logical terms are divided into observational terms and theoretical terms. Formulas are divided into: (i) logical statements, which do not contain non-logical terms; (ii) observational statements, which contain observational terms but no theoretical terms; (iii) purely theoretical statements, which contain theoretical terms but no observational terms and (iv) rules of correspondence, which contain both observational and theoretical terms.

Classification of statements in a scientific language
type of statementobservational terms theoretical terms
logical statementsNo No
observational statementsYes No
purely theoretical statementsNo Yes
rules of correspondenceYes Yes

The observational language contains only logical and observational statements; the theoretical language contains logical and theoretical statements and rules of correspondence. The distinction between observational terms and theoretical terms is a main principle of logical positivism; Carnap's view on scientific theories depends on this distinction. In his book Philosophical Foundations of Physics (1966), Carnap bases the distinction between observational and theoretical terms on the distinction between two kinds of scientific laws, namely empirical laws and theoretical laws. An empirical law deals with objects or properties that can be observed or measured by means of simple procedures. Empirical laws can receive a direct confirmation by empirical observations. That is, they can be justified by observations of facts, and can be thought to be an inductive generalization of such observations. This kind of law can explain and forecast facts; it deals with facts and joins facts to facts. Ideally, an empirical law which deals with measurable physical quantities, can be discovered by means of measuring such quantities in suitable cases and then interpolating a simple curve between the measured values. For example, a physicist could measure the volume V, the temperature T and the pressure P of a gas in diverse experiments, and he could find the law PV=RT, for a suitable constant R. On the contrary, a theoretical law is concerned with objects or properties we cannot observe or measure but we can only infer from direct observations. There is no way of justifying a theoretical law by means of direct observation, and theoretical laws are not inductive generalizations: they are hypotheses that go far beyond the experience. While an empirical law can explain and forecast facts, a theoretical law can explain and forecast empirical laws. The method of justifying a theoretical law is indirect: a scientist does not test the law itself, but he tests the empirical laws that are among its consequences. The distinction between empirical and theoretical laws entails the distinction between observational and theoretical properties, and thus also the distinction between observational and theoretical terms. Carnap admits that the distinction is not always clear and the line of demarcation between the two kinds of terms is often arbitrary. To some extent, the distinction between observational and theoretical terms is similar to the distinction between macro-events, which are characterized by physical quantities that are constant in a large portion of space and time, and micro-events, where physical quantities change rapidly in space or time. However, in many situations, the distinction between observational and theoretical terms is clear; for example, the laws that deal with the pressure, the volume and the temperature of a gas are empirical laws and the corresponding terms are observational, while the laws of quantum mechanics are theoretical.
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Analytic and Synthetic

One of the main principles of the logical empiricism is the disintegration of the synthetic a priori. All statements can be divided into two classes: analytic a priori statements and synthetic a posteriori statements. Thus synthetic a priori statements do not exist. Now I shall briefly trace the history of Carnap's efforts to give a precise definition of the distinction between analytic and synthetic statements. In his book The Logical Syntax of Language, published in 1934, Carnap studies a formal language which can express classical mathematics and scientific theories. For example, classical physics can be formulated in that language. When Carnap published The Logical Syntax of Language, Gödel had already published (in 1931) his work on the incompleteness of mathematics; thus Carnap was aware of the substantial difference between the two concepts of proof and consequence: some statements, in spite of being a logical consequence of the axioms of mathematics, are not provable by means of these axioms. The English version of Tarski's essay on semantics was published in 1935 (the Polish original was published in 1933); so Carnap did not know the logical theory of the semantics of a formal language. These circumstances explain the fact that Carnap, in The Logical Syntax of Language, gives a purely syntactic formulation of the concept of logical consequence (after the publication of Tarski's essay, the notion of logical consequence is regarded as a semantic concepts and is defined by means of model theory). However, Carnap defines a new rule of inference, now called the omega-rule, but formerly called the Carnap rule: from premises A(1), A(2), ... , A(n), A(n+1) ,... we can infer the conclusion (x)Ax

Carnap defines the notion of logical consequence: a statement A is a logical consequence of a set S of statements if and only if there is a proof of A based on the set S; it is admissible to use the omega-rule in the proof of A. The definition of the notion of provable is: a statement A is provable by means of a set S of statements if and only if there is a proof of A based on the set S, but the omega-rule is not admissible in the proof of A. Note that a formal system which admits the use of the omega-rule is complete, that is Gödel's incompleteness theorem does not apply to such formal systems. Finally, Carnap defines some kinds of statements: (i) a statement is L-true if and only if is a logical consequence of the empty set of statements; (ii) a statement is L-false if and only if all statements are a logical consequence of it; (iii) a statement is analytic if and only if is L-true or L-false; (iv) a statement is synthetic if and only if is not analytic. Carnap thus defines analytic statements as logically determined statements: their truth depends on logical rules of inference and is independent of experience. That is, analytic statements are a priori; on the contrary, synthetic statements are a posteriori, because they are not logically determined. In Testability and Meaning (1936), Carnap gave a very similar definition. A statement is analytic if and only if it is logically true; is self-contradictory if and only if it is logically false; otherwise the statement is synthetic. Note the fact that Carnap, in Testability and Meaning, used the notion of true and false; that is, he used semantic notions. Meaning and Necessity was published in 1947. In this work Carnap gave a similar definition. He first defines the notion of L-true (a statement is L-true if its truth depends on semantic rules) and then defines the notion of L-false (a statements if L-false if its negation is L-true). A statement is L-determined if it is L-true or L-false; analytic statements are L-determined, while synthetic statements are not L-determined. This definition is very similar to the definition Carnap gives in The Logical Syntax of Language; however, in The Logical Syntax of Language Carnap uses only syntactic concepts, while in Meaning and Necessity he uses semantic concepts. In 1951, the American philosopher Quine published the article „Two dogmas of empiricism,”in which Quine criticizes the distinction between analytic and synthetic statements. As a consequence of Quine's criticism, Carnap partially changed his point of view on this problem. Carnap's reply to Quine was first expressed in „Meaning postulates”(1952), in which Carnap suggests that analytic statements are those which are derivable from a set of appropriate sentences that he called meaning postulates – those sentences define the meaning of non logical terms; thus the set of analytic statements is not equal to the set of logically true statements. Afterwards he wrote „Observation language and theoretical language”(1958), in which he expressed a general method of determining a set of meaning postulates for the language of a scientific theory. Carnap expressed the very same method also in his reply to Carl Gustav Hempel in The Philosophy of Rudolf Carnap (1963), and subsequently in Philosophical Foundations of Physics (1966). Now I briefly explain Carnap's method. Suppose the number of non-logical axioms is finite; let T be the conjunction of all purely theoretical axioms, let C be the conjunction of all correspondence postulates and let TC be the conjunction of T and C. The theory is equivalent to the single axiom TC. Carnap formulates the following problems: how can we find two statements, say A and R, so that A expresses the analytic portion of the theory (i.e., all consequences of A are analytic) while R expresses the empirical portion (i.e., all consequences of R are synthetic)? The empirical content of the theory is formulated by means of a Ramsey sentence, named after Frank Plumpton Ramsey (1903-1930), English philosopher, who discovered it. A Ramsey sentence is built by means of the following instructions:

  1. Replace every theoretical term in TC with a variable.
  2. Add at the beginning of the sentence an appropriate number of existential quantifiers.
Look at the following example. Let TC(O1,..,On,T1,...,Tm) be the conjunction of T and C; in TC there are observational terms O1...On and theoretical terms T1...Tm. The Ramsey sentence (R) is EX1...EXm TC(O1,...,On,X1,...,Xm) Every observational statement which is derivable from TC is also derivable from R and vice versa; that is, R expresses exactly the empirical portion of the theory. Carnap proposes the statement R --> TC as the only meaning postulate; this statement is known as the Carnap sentence. Note that every empirical statement which is derivable from the Carnap sentence is logically true, and thus the Carnap sentence lacks empirical consequences. So – according to Carnap – a statement is analytic if it is derivable from the Carnap sentence; otherwise the statement is synthetic. I list the requirements of Carnap's method: (i) non-logical axioms must be explicitly stated, (ii) the number of non-logical axioms must be finite and (iii) observational terms must be clearly distinguished from theoretical terms.
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Meaning and Verifiability

Perhaps the most famous tenet of the logical empiricism is the verifiability principle, according to which a synthetic statement is meaningful only if it is verifiable. It is very interesting to trace Carnap's effort to give a logical formulation of this principle. In The Logical Structure of the World (1928) Carnap asserts that a statement is meaningful only if every non-logical term is explicitly definable by means of a very restricted phenomenalistic language. A few years later, Carnap realized that this thesis is untenable; a phenomenalistic language is too poor to define physical concepts. Thus he choose an objective language ("thing language”) as the basic language; in this language every primitive term is a physical term. All other terms (biological, psychological, cultural) must be defined by means of basic terms. Carnap also realized that an explicit definition is often impossible. There are dispositional concepts, which can be introduced by means of reduction sentences. For example, if A, B, C and D are observational terms and Q is a dispositional concept, then (x)[Ax --> (Bx --> Qx)] (x)[Cx --> (Dx --> ~Qx)] are reduction sentences for Q. In Testability and Meaning (1936) Carnap gives an account of the new verifiability principle: all terms must be reducible, by means of definitions or reduction sentences, to the observational language. This principle was proved inadequate: K. R. Popper proved not only that some metaphysical terms can be reduced to the observational language, so they fulfil Carnap's requirements, but also that some genuine physical concepts are forbidden by Carnap's version of the verifiability principle. Carnap acknowledged that criticism. In „The Methodological Character of Theoretical Concepts”(1956) Carnap gives a new criterion of significance. The definition is rather involved, so I will mention only the main philosophical properties of Carnap's new principle. First of all, the significance of a term becomes a relative concept: a term is meaningful with respect to a given theory and a given language. The meaning of a concept thus depends on the theory in which that concept is used – this is a very important modification in empiricism's theory of meaning. Secondly, Carnap explicitly acknowledges that some theoretical terms can be not reduced to the observational language: they acquire an empirical meaning by means of the links with other theoretical terms which are reducible. Thirdly, Carnap realizes that the principle of operationalism is too restrictive. The operationalism was formulated by Nobel-prize-winning American physicist Percy Williams Bridgman (1882-1961) in his book The Logic of Modern Physics (1927). According to Bridgman, every physical concept is defined by the operations a physicist uses to apply it. Bridgman asserted that the curvature of space-time, a concept used by Einstein in his general theory of relativity, is meaningless, because it is not definable by means of operations. However, Bridgman subsequently changed his philosophical point of view, and he admitted there is an indirect connection with observations. Perhaps moved by Popper's criticism, or moved by the unreasonable consequence of a strict operationalism (the exclusion of Einstein's theory of curvature of space-time from legitimate physics), Carnap changed his earlier point of view and freely admitted a very indirect connection between theoretical terms and the observational language.
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Probability and Inductive Logic

A variety of interpretations of probability have been proposed:

  • Classical interpretation. The probability of an event is the ratio of the favorable outcomes to the possible outcomes. Example: a die is cast; the event is „the score is five”; there are six outcomes and only one favorable; thus the probability of „the score is five”is one sixth. Axiomatic interpretation. The probability is whatever fulfils the axioms of the theory of probability. In the early 1930s, the Russian mathematician Andrei Nikolaevich Kolmogorov (1903-1987) formulated the first axiomatic system for probability. Frequency interpretation, which is now the favourite interpretation in empirical science. The probability of an event in a sequence of events is the limit of the relative frequency of that event. Example: throw a die several times and record the scores; the relative frequency of „the score is five”is about one sixth; the limit of the relative frequency is exactly one sixth. Probability as a degree of confirmation, supported by Carnap and by students of inductive logic. The probability of a statement is the degree of confirmation the empirical evidence gives to the statement. Example: the statement „the score is five”receives a partial confirmation by the evidence; its degree of confirmation is one sixth. Subjective interpretation. The probability is a measure of the degree of belief. A special case is the theory that the probability is a fair betting quotient – this interpretation was supported by Carnap. Example: suppose you bet that the score would be five; you bet a dollar and, if you win, you will receive six dollars: this is a fair bet.
  • Propensity interpretation, due to K. R. Popper. The probability of an event is an objective property of the event. Example: the physical properties of a die [the die is homogeneous; it has six sides; on every side there is a different number between one and six; etc] explain the fact that the limit of the relative frequency of „the score is five”is one sixth.
Carnap devoted himself to giving an account of the probability as a degree of confirmation. The technical details of Carnap's works are very involved, so I shall only mention the most philosophically significant consequences of his research. He asserted that the probability of a statement, with respect to a given body of evidence, is a logical relation between the statement and the evidence. Thus it is necessary to build an inductive logic; that is, a logic which studies the logical relations between statements and evidence. The inductive logic would give us a mathematical method of evaluating the reliability of an hypothesis; therefore the inductive logic would give an answer to the problem raised by David Hume's analysis of induction. Of course, we cannot be sure that an hypothesis is true; but we can evaluate its degree of confirmation and we can thus compare alternative theories.

In spite of the abundance of logical and mathematical methods Carnap used in his own research on the inductive logic, he was not able to formulate a theory of the inductive confirmation of scientific laws. In fact, in Carnap's inductive logic, the degree of confirmation of every universal law is always zero. Carnap tried to employ the physical-mathematical theory of thermodynamics entropy to develop a comprehensive theory of the inductive logic, but his plan remained in a sketchy state. His works on entropy were published posthumously.
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Modal Logic and the Philosophy of Language

The following table, which is an adaptation of a similar table Carnap used in Meaning and Necessity, shows the relations between modal properties such as necessary, impossible, and logical properties such as L-true, L-false, analytic, synthetic. The symbol N means „necessarily”, so that Np means „necessarily p”.

Modal and logical properties of statements
ModalitiesFormalization Logical status
p is necessary Np L-true, analytic
p is impossible N~p L-false, contradictory
p is contingent ~Np & ~N~p Factual, synthetic
p is not necessary ~Np Not L-true
p is possible ~N~p Not L-false
p is not contingent Np v N~p L-determined, not synthetic

Carnap identifies the necessity of a statement p with its logical truth: a statement is necessary if and only if it is logically true. Thus modal properties can be defined by means of the usual logical properties of statements, Carnap asserts. Np, i.e., „necessarily p”, is true if and only if p is logically true. He defines the possibility of p as „it is not necessary that not p”. That is, „possibly p”is defined as ~N~p. The impossibility of p means that p is logically false. I stress that, in Carnap's opinion, every modal concept is definable by means of logical properties of statements so that modal concepts are explicable from a classical point of view (classical means „using classical logic”, e.g., first order logic). Note that Carnap was aware of the fact that the symbol N is definable in the meta-language, not in the object language. Np means „p is logically true”, and the last statement belongs to the meta-language; thus N is not explicitly definable in the language of a formal logic, and we cannot eliminate the term N (more precisely, we can define N only by means of another modal symbol we assume as a primitive symbol, so that at least one modal symbol is required among the primitive symbols). Carnap's formulation of modal logic is very important from a historical point of view. Carnap gave the first semantic analysis of a modal logic, using Tarskian model theory to explain the conditions in which „necessarily p”is true. Carnap also solved the problem of the meaning of the statement (x)N[Ax], where Ax is a sentence in which the individual variable x occurs. Carnap showed that (x)N[Ax] is equivalent to N[(x)Ax] or, more precisely, he proved we can assume that equivalence without contradictions. From a more general philosophical point of view, Carnap believes that modalities do not require a new conceptual framework; a semantic logic of language can explain the modal concepts. The method Carnap uses in explaining modalities is a typical example of Carnap's philosophical analysis. Another interesting example is the explanation of belief-sentences which Carnap gave in Meaning and necessity. Carnap asserts that two sentences have the same extension if they are equivalent, i.e., if they are both true or both false. On the other hand, two sentences have the same intension if they are logically equivalent, i.e., their equivalence is due to the semantic rules of the language. Let A be a sentence in which another sentence occurs, say p. A is called „extensional with respect to p”if and only if the truth of A does not change if we substitute the sentence p with an equivalent sentence q. A is called „intensional with respect to p”if and only if (i) A is not extensional with respect to p and (ii) the truth of A does not change if we substitute the sentence p with a logically equivalent sentence q. Look at the following examples, due to Carnap.

  • First example. The sentence A v B is extensional with respect to both A and B; we can substitute A and B with equivalent sentences and the truth value of A v B does not change.
  • Second example. Suppose A is true but not L-true; therefore the sentences A v ~A and A are equivalent (both are true) and, of course, they are not L-equivalent. The sentence N(A v ~A) is true and the sentence N(A) is false; thus N(A) is not extensional with respect to A. On the contrary, if C is a sentence L-equivalent to A v ~A, then N(A v ~A) and N(C) are both true: N(A) is intensional with respect to A.
There are sentences which are neither extensional not intensional; for example, belief-sentences. Carnap's example is „John believes that D”. Suppose that „John believes that D”is true; let A be a sentence equivalent to D and let B be a sentence L-equivalent to D. It is possible that the sentences „John believes that A”and „John believes that B”are false. In fact, John can believe that a sentence is true but he can believe that a logically equivalent sentence is false. To explain belief-sentences, Carnap defines the notion of intensional isomorphism. Roughly speaking, two sentences are intensionally isomorphic if and only if their corresponding elements are L-equivalent. In the belief-sentence „John believes that D”we can substitute D with an intensionally isomorphic sentence C.
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Philosophy of Physics

The first and the last of the books Carnap published during his life are concerned with the philosophy of physics; they are respectively the dissertation written for his doctorate (Der Raum, 1921, published in the following year in a supplemental issue of Kant-Studien) and Philosophical Foundations of Physics, ed. by Martin Gardner, 1966. In 1977, Two Essays on Entropy, ed. by Abner Shimony, was published posthumously. Der Raum deals with the philosophy of space. Carnap recognizes the difference between three kinds of theories of space: formal, physical and intuitive space. Formal space is analytic a priori; it is concerned with the formal properties of the space, that is with those properties which are a logical consequence of a definite set of axioms. Physical space is synthetic a posteriori; it is the object of natural science, and we can know its structure only by means of experience. Intuitive space is synthetic a priori, and is known via a priori intuition. According to Carnap, the distinction between three different kinds of space is similar to the distinction between three different aspects of geometry: projective, metric and topological geometry, respectively. Some aspects of Der Raum are very interesting. First of all, Carnap accepts a neo-Kantian philosophical point of view. Intuitive space, with its synthetic a priori character, is a concession to Kantian philosophy. Secondly, in this work Carnap uses the methods of mathematical logic; for example, the characterization of the intuitive space is given by means of Hilbert's axioms for topology. Thirdly, the distinction between formal and physical space is similar to the distinction between mathematical and physical geometry; this distinction, proposed by Hans Reichenbach during those years, was later accepted by Carnap and became the official position of the logical empiricism on the philosophy of space. Carnap also developed a formal system for space-time topology. He asserted (1925) that space relations are based on the causal propagation of a signal, while the causal propagation itself is based on the time order. Philosophical Foundations of Physics is a survey on many aspects of the philosophy of physics; it is an excerpt from Carnap's university lessons. Some theories expressed there are not due to Carnap, but they belong to the common heritage of logical empiricism. This book is very clear and easy to understand. It employs few logical and mathematical formulas, and it is rich in examples. The following is a brief list of the subjects it deals with.

  • The structure of scientific explanation: deductive and probabilistic explanation. Philosophical and physical significance of non-Euclidean geometry; the theory of space in the general theory of relativity. Carnap argues against Kantian philosophy, especially against the synthetic a priori, and against conventionalism. He gives a clear explanation of the main properties of non-Euclidean geometry. Determinism and quantum physics.
  • The nature of scientific language. Carnap deals with (i) the distinction between observational and theoretical terms, (ii) the distinction between analytic and synthetic statements and (iii) quantitative concepts.
As an example of the content of Philosophical Foundations of Physics I shall briefly examine Carnap's thought on scientific explanation. Carnap accepts the classical theory due to Carl Gustav Hempel. The following example of Carnap's explains the general structure of a scientific explanation: (x)(Px --> Qx)
Pa
Qa
where the first statement is a scientific law, the second is a description of the initial conditions and the third is the description of the event we want to explain. The last statement is a logical consequence of the first and the second, which are the premises of the explanation. A scientific explanation is thus a logical derivation of an appropriate statement from a set of premises, which state the general laws and the initial conditions. According to Carnap, there is another kind of scientific explanation, probabilistic explanation, in which at least one universal law is not a deterministic law, but a probabilistic law. An example – due to Carnap – is: fr(Q,P) = 0.8
Pa
Qa where the first sentence means „the relative frequency of Q with respect to P is 0.8”. Qa is not a logical consequence of the premises; therefore this kind of explanation determines only a certain degree of confirmation for the event we want to explain.
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Carnap's Heritage

Carnap's works have raised many debates. A large number of articles is devoted to a careful examination of his thought, sometimes criticizing his point of view, sometimes in defense of his philosophy. I shall mention some researches dealing with developments of Carnap's philosophy. With respect to the analytic-synthetic distinction, Ryszard Wojcicki and Marian Przelecki – two Polish logicians – formulated a semantic definition of the distinction between analytic and synthetic; they proved Carnap sentence is the weakest meaning postulate, i.e., every meaning postulate entails the Carnap sentence. Therefore the set of analytic statements which are a logical consequence of the Carnap sentence is the smallest set of analytic statements. Wojcicki and Przelecki's research is independent of the distinction between observational and theoretical terms, i.e., their suggested definition also works in a purely theoretical language. The requirement of a finite number of non-logical axioms is also removed. The tentative definition of meaningfulness that Carnap proposed in „The Methodological Character of Theoretical Concepts”was proved to be untenable. See, for example, David Kaplan, „Significance and Analyticity”in Rudolf Carnap, Logical Empiricist or Marco Mondadori's introduction to Analiticità, Significanza, Induzione, in which Mondadori suggests a possible correction of Carnap's definition. With respect to inductive logic, I mention only Jaakko Hintikka's generalization of Carnap's continuum of inductive methods. In Carnap's inductive logic, the probability of every universal law is always zero. Hintikka succeeded in formulating an inductive logic in which universal laws can obtain a positive degree of confirmation. In Meaning and Necessity, 1947, Carnap was the first logician to use a semantic method to explain modalities. However, he used Tarskian model theory, so that every model of the language is an admissible model. In 1972 the American philosopher Saul Kripke was able to prove that a full semantics of modalities can be attainable by means of possible-worlds semantics. According to Kripke, not all possible models are admissible. You can read J. Hintikka's essay „Carnap's heritage in logical semantics”in Rudolf Carnap, Logical Empiricist, which explains that Carnap came extremely close to possible-worlds semantics but was not able to go beyond classical model theory. I must stress that the omega-rule, which Carnap proposed in The Logical Syntax of Language, is now widespreadly used in metamathematical research – usually very involved – on many different subjects.
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Suggestions for Further Reading

In The Philosophy of Rudolf Carnap (1963) there is the most complete bibliography of Carnap's work. I will only mention Carnap's main works, arranged in chronological order.

    • 1922 Der Raum: Ein Beitrag zur Wissenschaftslehre, dissertation, in Kant-Studien, Ergänzungshefte, n. 56 1925 „Über die Abhängigkeit der Eigenschaften der Raumes von denen der Zeit”in Kant-Studien, 30 1926 Physikalische Begriffsbildung, Karlsruhe : Braun, (Wissen und Wirken ; 39) 1928 Scheinprobleme in der Philosophie, Berlin : Weltkreis-Verlag 1928 Der Logische Aufbau der Welt, Leipzig : Felix Meiner Verlag (English translation The Logical Structure of the World; Pseudoproblems in Philosophy, Berkeley : University of California Press, 1967) 1929 (with Otto Neurath and Hans Hahn) Wissenschaftliche Weltauffassung der Wiener Kreis, Vienna : A. Wolf 1929 Abriss der Logistik, mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der Relationstheorie und ihrer Anwendungen, Vienna : Springer 1932 „Die physikalische Sprache als Universalsprache der Wissenschaft”in Erkenntnis, II (English translation The Unity of Science, London : Kegan Paul, 1934) 1934 Logische Syntax der Sprache (English translation The Logical Syntax of Language, New York : Humanities, 1937) 1935 Philosophy and Logical Syntax, London : Kegan Paul 1936 „Testability and meaning”in Philosophy of Science, III (1936) and IV (1937) 1938 „Logical Foundations of the Unity of Science”in International Encyclopaedia of Unified Science, vol. I n. 1, Chicago : University of Chicago Press 1939 „Foundations of Logic and Mathematics”in International Encyclopaedia of Unified Science, vol. I n. 3, Chicago : University of Chicago Press 1942 Introduction to Semantics, Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press 1943 Formalization of Logic, Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press 1947 Meaning and Necessity: a Study in Semantics and Modal Logic, Chicago : University of Chicago Press 1950 Logical Foundations of Probability, Chicago : University of Chicago Press) 1952 „Meaning postulates”in Philosophical Studies, III (now in Meaning and Necessity, 1956, 2nd edition) 1952 The Continuum of Inductive Methods, Chicago : University of Chicago Press 1954 Einführung in die Symbolische Logik, Vienna : Springer (English translation Introduction to Symbolic Logic and its Applications, New York : Dover, 1958) 1956 „The Methodological Character of Theoretical Concepts”in Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, vol. I, ed. by H. Feigl and M. Scriven, Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press 1958 „Beobacthungssprache und theoretische Sprache”in Dialectica, XII (English translation „Observation Language and Theoretical Language”in Rudolf Carnap, Logical Empiricist, Dordrecht, Holl. : D. Reidel Publishing Company, 1975) 1966 Philosophical Foundations of Physics, ed. by Martin Gardner, New York : Basic Books
    • 1977 Two Essays on Entropy, ed. by Abner Shimony, Berkeley : University of California Press
    • 1962 Logic and Language: Studies Dedicated to Professor Rudolf Carnap on the Occasion of his Seventieth Birthday, Dordrecth, Holl. : D. Reidel Publishing Company 1963 The Philosophy of Rudolf Carnap, ed. by Paul Arthur Schillp, La Salle, Ill. : Open Court Pub. Co. 1970 PSA 1970: Proceedings of the 1970 Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association: In Memory of Rudolf Carnap, Dordrecth, Holl. : D. Reidel Publishing Company 1971 Analiticità, Significanza, Induzione, ed. by Alberto Meotti e Marco Mondadori, Bologna, Italy : il Mulino 1975 Rudolf Carnap, Logical Empiricist. Materials and Perspectives, ed. by Jaakko Hintikka, Dordrecht, Holl. : D. Reidel Publishing Company 1986 Joëlle Proust, Questions de Forme: Logique at Proposition Analytique de Kant a Carnap, Paris, France: Fayard (English translation Questions of Forms: Logic and Analytic Propositions from Kant to Carnap, Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press) 1990 Dear Carnap, Dear Van: The Quine-Carnap Correspondence and Related Work, ed. by Richard Creath, Berkeley : University of California Press 1991 Maria Grazia Sandrini, Probabilità e Induzione: Carnap e la Conferma come Concetto Semantico, Milano, Italy : Franco Angeli 1991 Erkenntnis Orientated: A Centennial Volume for Rudolf Carnap and Hans Reichenbach, ed. by Wolfgang Spohn, Dordrecht; Boston : Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991 Logic, Language, and the Structure of Scientific Theories: Proceedings of the Carnap-Reichenbach Centennial, University of Konstanz, 21-24 May 1991 Pittsburgh : University of Pittsburgh Press; [Konstanz] : Universitasverlag Konstanz
    • 1995 L'eredità di Rudolf Carnap: Epistemologia, Filosofia delle Scienze, Filosofia del Linguaggio, ed. by Alberto Pasquinelli, Bologna, Italy : CLUEB

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