We discuss in this paper the question of the scope of the principle of tolerance about languages promoted in Carnap's The Logical Syntax of Language and the nature of the analogy between it and the rudimentary conventionalism purportedly exhibited in the work of Poincaré and Hilbert. We take it more or less for granted that Poincaré and Hilbert do argue for conventionalism. We begin by sketching Coffa's historical account, which suggests that tolerance be interpreted as a conventionalism that allows us complete freedom to select whatever language we wish—an interpretation that generalizes the conventionalism promoted by Poincaré and Hilbert which allows us complete freedom to select whatever axiom system we wish for geometry. We argue that such an interpretation saddles Carnap with a theory of meaning that has unhappy consequences, a theory we believe he did not hold. We suggest that the principle of linguistic tolerance in fact has a more limited scope; but within that scope the analogy between tolerance and geometric conventionalism is quite tight.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 1994
DOI 10.1016/0039-3681(94)90039-6
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,464
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Logical Syntax of Language.Rudolph Carnap - 1936 - Philosophical Review 46 (5):549-553.
The Logical Syntax of Language. [REVIEW]E. N. - 1937 - Journal of Philosophy 34 (11):303.
Truth in a Structure.Wilfrid Hodges - 1986 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 86:135 - 151.
The Re-Evaluation of Logical Positivism.Michael Friedman - 1991 - Journal of Philosophy 88 (10):505-519.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Carnap's Conventionalism: The Problem with P-Rules.Thomas Oberdan - 2005 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 68 (1):119-137.
Carnap, the Principle of Tolerance, and Empiricism.Robert Hudson - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (3):341-358.
Carnap's Principle of Tolerance, Empiricism, and Conventionalism.Thomas Ricketts - 1994 - In Peter Clark & Bob Hale (eds.), Reading Putnam. Blackwell. pp. 176--200.
Conventionalism: From Poincare to Quine.Yemima Ben-Menahem - 2006 - Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Conventionalism: From Poincare to Quine.Yemima Ben-Menahem - 2006 - Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Carnap's Metrical Conventionalism Versus Differential Topology.Thomas Mormann - 2004 - Proc. 2004 Biennial Meeting of the PSA, vol. I, Contributed Papers 72 (5):814 - 825.
Conventionalism, Structuralism and Neo-Kantianism in Poincaré’s Philosophy of Science.Milena Ivanova - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 52 (Part B):114-122.
Conventionalism: From Poincare to Quine.Yemima Ben-Menahem - 2006 - Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Carnap’s Conventionalism in Geometry.Stefan Lukits - 2013 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 88 (1):123-138.
Carnap's Empiricism, Lost and Found.Robert G. Hudson - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 43:81-88.
Convention: Poincaré and Some of His Critics.Yemima Ben‐Menahem - 2001 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (3):471-513.


Added to PP index

Total views
127 ( #93,404 of 2,520,753 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #405,623 of 2,520,753 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes