Russell’s Influence On Carnap’s Aufbau

Synthese 131 (1):1-37 (2002)
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This paper concerns the debate on the nature of Rudolf Carnap'sproject in his 1928 book The Logical Structure of the Worldor Aufbau. Michael Friedman and Alan Richardson haveinitiated much of this debate. They claim that the Aufbauis best understood as a work that is firmly grounded inneo-Kantian philosophy. They have made these claims in oppositionto Quine and Goodman's ``received view'' of the Aufbau. Thereceived view sees the Aufbau as an attempt to carry out indetail Russell's external world program. I argue that both sidesof this debate have made errors in their interpretation ofRussell. These errors have led these interpreters to misunderstandthe connection between Russell's project and Carnap's project.Russell in fact exerted a crucial influence on Carnap in the1920s. This influence is complicated, however, due to the factthat Russell and Carnap disagreed on many philosophical issues. Iconclude that interpretations of the Aufbau that ignoreRussell's influence are incomplete.



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Christopher Pincock
Ohio State University

Citations of this work

Vienna circle.Thomas Uebel - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Philipp Frank’s Austro-American Logical Empiricism.Thomas Mormann - 2017 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 7 (1): 56 - 86.

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References found in this work

The logical structure of the world.Rudolf Carnap - 1967 - Chicago and La Salle, Ill.: Open Court. Edited by Rudolf Carnap.
The Philosophy of Rudolf Carnap.P. A. Schilpp - 1963 - Philosophy 42 (161):291-293.
Russell.Peter Hylton - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (1):121.

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