Carnap's Construction of the World: The Aufbau and the by Alan W. Richardson

By Alan W. Richardson

This booklet is an enormous contribution to the background of analytic philosophy normally and logical positivism particularly. It presents the 1st designated and accomplished examine of Rudolf Carnap, some of the most influential figures in twentieth-century philosophy. This e-book fills an important hole within the literature at the background of twentieth-century philosophy, and should be of specific significance to historians of analytic philosophy, philosophers of technological know-how, and historians of technological know-how.

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1 Most particularly, we must try to understand what is at stake in the claim that structure yields objectivity. The main purpose of this chapter is to present Carnap's major motivating ideas as an introduction to his thought on objectivity. In Chapter Three, we shall examine his particular solutions to the problem of objectivity in the Aufbau. The point is to emphasize the crucial interpretative issues raised by the work on their own terms, while freeing ourselves from the need to cram their significance into ready-made philosophical pigeonholes.

Individual experience is, however, the paradigm of the subjective; the qualitative particularities of any stream of experience are wholly private to the person whose experience it is. As such, the peculiarities of that experience cannot be communicated to any other agent. The problem is, then, to show how "it is still possible . . to attain to an intersubjective, objective world that is conceptually comprehensible and, indeed, as one identical for all subjects" (ยง2). Carnap's solution to this problem is twofold.

The individual in its peculiarity is threatened only by the universality of the blurred generic image, while the universality of a definite law of relation confirms this peculiarity and makes it known on all sides. This kind of functional connection first determines the identity of the object. As a functionally unique member of a system of relations, the object is rationally constituted. Cassirer writes (1910/1953, p. 149): The chaos of impressions becomes a system of numbers . . It is true that, in the symbolic designation, the particular property of the sensuous impression is lost; but all that distinguishes it as a member of a system is retained.

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