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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Therefore I feel compelled semantice regard the external question as a pseudo-question, until both parties to the semanyics offer a common interpretation of the question as a cognitive question; this would involve an indication of possible evidence regarded as relevant by both sides.

A brief historical remark may here be inserted. The latter introduction, they believe, is legitimate only if it can be justified by an ontological insight supplying an affirmative answer to the question of reality. For example, Newton’s laws of aand suffice for practical engineering work like building and bridge design, even though the more ‘fundamental’ theory of the Standard model of elementary particle physics is available.

Propositions are not mental entities. Science Logic and Mathematics. The new entities are values of these variables; the constants and the closed compound expressions, if any are substitutable for the variables.

Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology

Glen Hoffmann – – Synthese 2: The non-cognitive character of the questions which we have called here external questions was recognized and emphasized already by the Vienna Circle under the leadership of Moritz Schlick, the group from which the movement of logical empiricism originated.

In the case of mathematics some empiricists try to find a way out by treating the whole of mathematics as a mere calculus, a empirciism system for which no interpretation is wmpiricism, or can be given.


Meaning in Philosophy of Language. The distinction between ‘internal’ and ‘external’ arguments is not as obvious as it might appear.

The following three constructs are included within this framework: The psychological question as to which kinds of entities do and which do not occur as immediate data is entirely irrelevant for semantics, just as it is for physics, mathematics, economic;, etc.

Thus, according to this way of thinking, the existence of abstract entities could be asserted only if one could show either that some abstract entities fall within the given, or that abstract entities can be defined in terms of the types of entity which are given. Internal questions and possible answers to them are formulated with the help of the new forms of expressions.

Internal–external distinction

Some contemporary philosophers, especially English philosophers following Bertrand Russell, think in basically similar terms. The empirical aspect concerns the application of the semaantics in some or another practical situation.

This page was last edited on 3 Marchat The latter is the name given by Gilbert Ryle 8 to the criticized belief, which, in his view, arises by a naive inference of analogy: If, however, the statement is meant in an external sense, then it is non-cognitive.

In physics it is more difficult to shun the suspected entities because the language of physics serves for the communication of reports and predictions and hence cannot be taken as a mere calculus. The fact that no such reference occurs in the existential statements here, shows that propositions are not linguistic entities.

A new general term number is introduced for the entity which incorporates all the named particulars five, ten ; new expressions and rules about the entities are developed; then with the help of variables, general sentences about the new entities are constructed.

Our choice of certain features, although itself not theoretical, is suggested by theoretical knowledge, either logical or factual. Revue Internationale de Philosophie. An alleged statement of the reality of the system of entities is a pseudo-statement without cognitive content.


notes on “Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology”

The restriction to rational coordinates would not be in conflict with any experimental knowledge we have, because the result of any measurement is a rational number.

Our previous discussion concerning the acceptance of frameworks enables us now to clarify the situation with respect to abstract entities as designata.

They do, of course, not mean the internal question; the affirmative answer to this question is analytic and trivial and too obvious for doubt or denial, as we have seen. In Robert Barnard; Neil Manson.

Let us take as example the natural numbers as cardinal numbers, i. We have to make the choice whether or not to accept and use the forms of expression in the framework in question. 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.

The internal—external distinction is a distinction used in philosophy to divide an ontology into two parts: Find it on Scholar. Thus it is clear that the acceptance of a linguistic framework must not be regarded as implying a metaphysical doctrine concerning the reality of xemantics entities in question. Added ejpiricism PP index Total downloads 2, of 2, Recent downloads 6 months 1, of 2, How can I increase my downloads?

I said that the term “proposition” “is used neither for a linguistic expression nor for a subjective, mental occurrence, but rather for something objective that may or may not be exemplified in nature.