Carnap’s Opposition to Logic of the Geisteswissenschaften

In Christian Damböck & Gereon Wolters (eds.), Der Junge Carnap in Historischem Kontext: 1918–1935 / Young Carnap in an Historical Context: 1918–1935. Springer Verlag. pp. 55-73 (2021)
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In this paper I argue that Carnap in the Aufbau and in his later writings consistently conceives the humanities and the social sciences as domains of knowledge that are epistemically equal to the natural sciences. I show that Carnap was skeptical about the philosophical theories of Dilthey, Rickert and Windelband which aimed to distinguish the natural sciences from the humanities through a logical criterion. Although Carnap in the Aufbau integrated some terminology from Dilthey, Windelband and Rickert, he never accepted their philosophical questions about the humanities as legitimate. In his later writings, following Otto Neurath, he openly distanced himself from terminology that could be associated with such questions, and he never again spoke in a programmatic fashion about cultural concepts, like he had done in the Aufbau.



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Fons Dewulf
Tilburg University

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