Carnap’s Logical Syntax in the Context of the Vienna Circle
Rudolf Carnap’s Logical Syntax of Language constitutes one of the towering achievements of the second generation of the philosophers of the ‘new’ logic, not far behind Kurt Gödel’s work on the incompleteness of arithmetic or Alfred Tarski’s on the semantic conception of truth. But the publication of Logical Syntax in 1934 was a significant event not only for philosophy generally — though widely recognized as such only much later — but also for the Vienna Circle. Moreover, it was clearly understood to be such an event. In this chapter, Logical Syntax will be considered not so much in systematic but in historical terms, in the context of a discursive field with numerous voices, the Vienna Circle and its collaborators. Even thus delimited, not all of Carnap’s interlocutors can be considered and Gödel and Tarski, whose role is discussed in other chapters, must be disregarded. Instead the focus lies on how Carnap’s Logical Syntax fits into the dynamic of the overall development of the Vienna Circle.
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