Who is Rudolf Carnap?June 26, 2021
German philosopher who lived from 1891 to 1970.
Carnap was born near Barmen, Germany. He died in Los Angeles. He completed his secondary education in Barmen, his higher education between 1910-1914, the University of Freiburg and the University of Jena. He went through an education that focused on physics, mathematics and philosophy, meanwhile, he became a student of Frege. After World War I, in 1921, he received his doctorate of philosophy in Jena. This doctoral work, which includes his view on the theory of science, was later published in Kantstudien. Although this study does not carry the principles of Logicist: Positivism, it forms the basis of Carnap’s philosophy.
Carnap, one of the most distinguished members of the Vienna Circle, founded in the 1930s by a group of scientists, philosophers and mathematicians who developed the logical positivism movement, made important contributions to logic and philosophy of science, and to inductive inference with probability theory.
He tried to analyze the formations and structures of scientific theories by applying contemporary logic to the philosophy of science, and criticized the traditionalist philosophy. Carnap went to Vienna University in 1926, following Moritz Schlick’s call. At the university he entered as an associate professor, he began to participate in the discussions of the Vienna Circle. In 1928 his most important work, Der Logische Aufbau der Welt (“The Logical Structure of the Universe”) was published. He was on the editorial board of a magazine with Hans Reichenbach, who was in Berlin at that time. The journal, which was published between 1930 and 1940, was a discussion platform for “scientific philosophy”. Again at this time. Carnap transferred to the Chair of Natural Philosophy upon the call he received from the German University in Prague. Without breaking his ties to the Vienna Circle, he shifted his field of study to the foundations of logic, language and mathematics. In 1934 he published his second major work, “Logische Syntax der Sprache” (“The Logical Syntax of Language”), which examines the logical syntax of language.
Unable to stay in Prague with the spread of Nazism, Carnap went to the USA in 1935. He first served as a professor of philosophy at the University of Chicago. He continued his studies on semantics here as well. After 1941 his interest gradually shifted to probabilistic problems and induction. In 1950, Logical Fondations of Probabilicy was published. In 1954, he moved to the chair of philosophy in Los Angeles, which was vacated by Reichenbach’s death, and held that position until 1961.
– The life and works of Carnap
– Carnap and logical language
– Carnap and science as a product
– Carnap and logical syntax
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook