Yang Zhouwanyue Nata

March 01, until August 27, 2024


Research for a study about:



On the Neutrality of Carnap’s Tolerance — A Reconstruction of Beth’s Critique in Terms of Understanding

Philosophy of Science Colloquium

Date:  2024/05/02

Time: 16h45 pm (CET)

Venue: New Institute Building (NIG), Universitätsstraße 7, 1010 Wien, HS 3F


Carnap's conception of philosophy underscores that the tools used by philosophers shape the problems that intrigue or bother them. Particularly, the ambiguity in the linguistic tools often manifests in philosophical debates about concepts, where philosophers are talking at cross purposes because they cannot clearly formulate the concepts in question. Carnap sought to address this phenomenon of talking at cross purposes by clearly defined linguistic frameworks that clarify explicanda. The present investigation reflects the success condition for Carnap's approach by questioning what is the proportional attitude toward the outcomes of such linguistic frameworks. By considering the propositional attitude as understanding, it argues that these frameworks fail to eliminate the phenomenon of talking at cross purposes if the users of the frameworks cannot initially understand the explicanda. Two parts of the argument will be presented: First, it re-emphasizes that according to Carnap's conception of explicanda in Logical Foundations of Probability (1950), the main source of explicanda is one's intuition, which implies that an understanding of explicanda precedes an explication of explicanda through one's choice of an apt framework. And second, it introduces Beth's 1963 critique of Carnap to demonstrates the impossibility of understanding explicanda solely through the choice of a linguistic framework.