Speaking of Logical Form: The Tractatus and Carnap’s Logical Syntax of Language


Authors
Eric J. Loomis
University of South Alabama
Abstract
Carnap’s Logical Syntax of Language was one of the first philosophical applications of the results in logical metatheory that appeared in the early 1930s. In using these results, Carnap claimed that he stood in general agreement with Wittgenstein’s Tractatus, but had overcome the limits on the scope of logic that Wittgenstein believed he had found. I argue that Carnap had in fact presupposed a conception of linguistic meaning fundamentally at odds with that presented in the Tractatus, and that he had no non-questioning-begging way of defending this presupposition. As a result Carnap had not so much extended the conception of language and logic present in the Tractatus as he had fundamentally reoriented it, and this reorientation continued with Carnap’s later move to semantics
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