Carnap, Tarski, and Quine at Harvard: Conversations on by Greg Frost-Arnold

By Greg Frost-Arnold

During the educational yr 1940-1941, a number of giants of analytic philosophy congregated at Harvard, retaining normal deepest conferences, with Carnap, Tarski, and Quine. Carnap, Tarski, and Quine at Harvard permits the reader to behave as a fly at the wall for his or her conversations. Carnap took distinct notes in the course of his yr at Harvard. This booklet contains either a German transcription of those shorthand notes and an English translation within the appendix part. Carnap’s notes hide quite a lot of themes, yet strangely, the main well known query is: If the variety of actual goods within the universe is finite, what shape should still clinical discourse take? this query is heavily attached to an abiding philosophical challenge: what's the courting among the logico-mathematical realm and the cloth realm? Carnap, Tarski, and Quine’s makes an attempt to respond to this query contain concerns crucial to philosophy today.This publication specializes in 3 such matters: nominalism, the team spirit of technology, and analyticity. briefly, the publication reconstructs the strains of argument represented in those Harvard discussions, discusses their old importance (especially Quine’s holiday from Carnap), and relates them while attainable to modern remedies of those issues.

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For C hwistek , t he axio m of extensio n al i ty is: “ a ny two p roposi t io n al f u nct io ns t hat ag ree i n extensio n are iden t ical ” ( C hwistek 1935 / 1949, 133). 26. C hwistek ’s character izat io n of se m a n t ics is n o n-st a n dard: for h i m , se m a n t ics is “ t he st u dy of t he str uct u ral a n d co nstr uct io n al p roper t ies of exp ressio ns ( p r i m ar i ly of m at he m at ics) ” ( C hwistek 1935 / 1949, 83). T h is is m uch closer to what we (a n d m ost of C hwistek ’s co n te m porar ies) wou ld co nsider syntax.

1, Carnap assimilates the finitist-nominalist endeavor to his work on the semantics of scientific language and relation between observational and theoretical languages, which began explicitly in 1936 with “Testability and Meaning” and continued well after 1941, to “The Methodological Character of Theoretical Concepts” and beyond (Carnap 1956b). , non-Millian) empiricist view of mathematics appeared possible. For this reason, the finitist-nominalist project involves the notion of analytic truth, the issue that perhaps looms largest in historical hindsight.

However, two letters he writes to Carnap in the 1940s provide hints about the meaning Quine attaches to ‘intelligibility’ during this period. In a 1947 letter to Carnap, Quine writes that he considers an ‘exclusively concrete ontology’ intelligible: I am not ready to say, though, that when we fix the basic features of our language. . our guiding consideration is normally convenience exclusively. , some vague but seemingly ultimate standard of intelligibility or clarity. (Creath 1990, 410) Two points about this quotation are relevant for present purposes.

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