The New Collection 14:68-87 (2020)

In Der logische Aufbau der Welt, first published in 1928, Carnap aims to rationally reconstruct all objects of cognition by logico-definitional means. As a result, he intends to obtain a fully objective framework in which scientific discourse can take place. This is made possible by the novel method of ‘purely structural definite description’ of all scientifically relevant objects, which is first introduced in the Aufbau. Key to the attainment of this goal is the notion of ‘foundedness’, which Carnap presents as a new basic notion of logic, in order to establish a link between the purely conventional world of logical and mathematical knowledge and the empirical world of knowledge of scientific objects. This idea experienced major criticism by Friedman (1999a,b) since he considers it to lead to the demolition of the boundary between those two worlds. In this essay, we want to defend foundedness against Friedman’s critique by arguing that its introduction is necessary within Carnap’s logicist world of thought to deal with a more fundamental problem: the demarcation of the empirical parts of the Aufbau. In the last section, we will give an outlook on the actual cause for the failure of the Aufbau, the lack of a principle to determine the truth of the instances of the basic relation in the Aufbau, and we will show how this can contribute to the explanation of Carnap’s future philosophical development and retrospective self-evaluation. This essay serves as a dense informal sketch for a later extensive formal treatment of this reading of foundedness and focuses on its implications for the interpretation of Carnap’s post-Aufbau development.
Keywords foundedness  Carnap  Aufbau  Vienna Circle  structural description  definite description  verificationism
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

New Life for Carnap’s Aufbau?Hannes Leitgeb - 2011 - Synthese 180 (2):265-299.
Empiricist and Neo-Kantian Elements in the Aufbau.Saniye Vatansever - 2020 - Beytulhikme An International Journal of Philosophy 10 (2):451-468.
The Justification of Concepts in Carnap's Aufbau.Jonathan Y. Tsou - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (4):671-689.
Was Carnap a Complete Verificationist in the Aufbau?Richard Creath - 1982 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:384 - 393.
A Reserved Reading of Carnap's Aufbau.Christopher Pincock - 2005 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 86 (4):518–543.
Carnap and Lewis on the External World.Ivan Ferreira da Cunha - 2014 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 18 (2):243.


Added to PP index

Total views
94 ( #117,916 of 2,462,044 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
40 ( #21,983 of 2,462,044 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes