Dictionary of Arguments

Philosophical and Scientific Issues in Dispute

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The author or concept searched is found in the following 1 entries.
Disputed term/author/ism Author
Atomic Sentences Popper I 117
PopperVsWittgenstein/Tractatus: any "meaningful sentence" should be logically reducible to ’elementary propositions’. All meaningful sentences are "images of reality". His sense criterion thus coincides with the demarcation criterion of induction logic. This fails due to the problem of induction. The positivist radicalism destroyed metaphysics and natural science: the laws of nature are not logically reducible to elementary empirical propositions. >Protocol sentences, >Atomism, > Elementary Sentences, >Induction/Popper.
After Wittgenstein’s criterion of meaning even the laws of nature are meaningless, i.e. not true (legitimate) sentences. This is not a distinction but an identification with metaphysics.

Po I
Karl Popper
The Logic of Scientific Discovery, engl. trnsl. 1959
German Edition:
Grundprobleme der Erkenntnislogik. Zum Problem der Methodenlehre
Wahrheitstheorien, Gunnar Skirbekk Frankfurt/M. 1977

The author or concept searched is found in the following 3 controversies.
Disputed term/author/ism Author Vs Author
Carnap, R. Stalnaker Vs Carnap, R. I 43
Def Liberal Platonism/LP/terminology/Stalnaker: I developed the liberal platonism (LP) earlier to explain the difference between reference to numbers and normal things. But it is not a defense of the MR: thesis: one starts with facts of mathematical discourse e.g. existence of a practice that contains among others assertions, inference, arguments. If we then have Tarskian semantics (and require a domain of goods we are talking about) then this explains the facts about the discourse. Thesis: when we say that our practice is legitimate it is not a sufficient reason to say that we really make assertions and the semantics really tells us what the statements say? ((s) >content, >assertion). ((s) short: LP: thesis: practice is sufficiently without immaterial realm).
I 44
Problem: then the LP says carelessly, that the existence of numbers is constituted by the fact that there is a legitimate practice. FieldVsStalnaker: that is a kind of linguistic idealism.
Field pro Carnap: (Carnap: "Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology", 1950): as an external issue what numbers are it violates Carnap's principle.
Platonism/Field: two theses:
1. numbers, functions and sets exist
2. they are mind-independent.
Stalnaker: if I had formulated more cautiously, I would have set up a real platonism.
Empiricist sense criterion/Carnap/Stalnaker: would say as we all: if the language did not exist, the statements would not be meaningful. Stalnaker: but that is still compatible with the fact that it still could be true.
Internal issues: within a frame
External issues: purely practical questions of whether to accept the frame.
QuineVsCarnap/Stalnaker: thesis: all questions are asked in any linguistic context, and questions such as "Is it reasonable to accept a frame of numbers?" and "Are there numbers?" are not easy to separate.

Stalnaker I
R. Stalnaker
Ways a World may be Oxford New York 2003
Carnap, R. Stroud Vs Carnap, R. I 182
External/internal/Carnap/Quine/Stroud: Quine seems to interpret Carnap this way. That the distinction between "category questions" and "subsets questions" corresponds to the distinction. External/QuineVsCarnap: this is nothing more than two ways of formalizing the language. If we have only one kind of bound variable for all things, it will be an external question: "Is there such and such?" if the variable goes over the whole range. (This is a question of category).
Internally: if there is a variable for every kind of thing, it will be a subset question. Then the question does not refer to all the things that can exist.
I 183
Philosophy/QuineVsCarnap: differs from the sciences only in the range of its categories. (Quine, Word and Object, p. 275). External/internal/QuineVsCarnap: Category questions differ from internal questions only in their generality from subset questions. We can get to the generality by letting some kind of variable go over all things.
I 191
StroudVsCarnap: this introduces a "we", and something that happens to us, called "experience". That we exist and have experience cannot simply be seen as an "internal" truth of the thing language.
One cannot then see the meaning of experience as the common goal of all "real alternatives", because then it is assumed that there are external things.
Problem: the question of the common goal of all genuine alternatives cannot be regarded as an external question of all reference systems either, because then it becomes meaningless.
But if it were "internal", what would be the difference if one were to switch from one reference system to another that does not even contain this goal?
Carnap does not answer that.
I 192
This makes it difficult to grasp his positive approach. CarnapVsSkepticism: misunderstands the relation between linguistic frame of expression about external objects and the truths expressed within this system of reference.
StroudVsCarnap: but what exactly is his own non-sceptical approach to this relation?
1. To which system does Carnap's thesis belong that assertions of existence in the language of things are neither true nor false?
2. What does the thesis express at all then?
Knowledge/internal/Carnap: for example the geometer in Africa really comes to knowledge about the mountain.
StroudVsCarnap: but what does it mean in addition to the fact that this is not a truth that is independent of a reference system?
Suppose for some reason we did not have the thing language and could freely choose another language. Does it follow from this that, for example, the sentence about the mountain in Africa would no longer be true?
Surely we would express something completely different in a completely different language without thing expressions. But would the sentence we can make now not be true in this other language?
I 193
And could it never be true if we had never accidentally adopted the thing language. Existence/Language/Skepticism/StroudVsCarnap: that cannot be right and it leads to an extreme idealism that Carnap just rejects. It is absurd because we already know enough about mountains to see that they are not influenced by a chosen language.
Language/object/Stroud: things were there long before language came into being in the world. And that again is something we know "internally" in the thing language.
StroudVsCarnap: then his thesis, understood as "internal" to the language, is wrong. It contradicts what we already assume it as knowledge about ourselves and external things.
Empirically speaking, it leads to idealism that contradicts the known facts.
CarnapVsVs: would say that of course one must not understand his thesis "empirically" and not the thing language "internally".
StroudVsCarnap: but within some reference system it must be internal, otherwise it is meaningless.
Problem: but this is a statement about the relation between a chosen framework and the internal statements within that framework. And if that implies that these internal statements would have been neither true nor false, if a different frame of reference had been chosen, it is still idealism, whether empirical or non empirical idealism.
Truth Value/tr.v./Convention/StroudVsCarnap: the truth value of the internal sentences would depend on the choice of language (of the reference system).
I 194
StroudVsCarnap: it is important to see that if this did not follow, Carnap's thesis would not be different from traditional skepticism! There would then be room for the possibility that statements about things would remain true, even if we abandoned the thing language and truth would again be independent of language. Problem: that would again lead to our choice of a linguistic framework being necessary only to formulate or recognize something that would be true anyway ((s) > metaphysical realism) independently of that framework.
Theoretically: according to Carnap this would then be a "theoretical" question about the acceptability of the thing language as a whole. But in terms of objectivity, which we then presuppose.
CarnapVsTradition: it is precisely the incomprehensibility of such theoretical questions that is important in Carnap. Because
Problem: then it could be that even if we carefully apply our best procedures (> Best explanation), things could still be different from what we think they are. This is equivalent to skepticism.
"Conditional Correctness"/Skepticism/Carnap/Stroud: Carnap accepts what I have called the "conditional correctness" of skepticism: if the skeptic could ask a meaningful question, he would prevail.
StroudVsCarnap: if he now would not deny that the "internal" sentences remain true or false when changing the reference system, his approach would be just as tolerant of skepticism as tradition. ((s) So both denial and non-denial would become a problem.)
Kant/Stroud: he also accepts the "conditional correctness" of skepticism. If Descartes' description of experience and its relation to external things were correct, we could never know anything about these things.
Carnap/Stroud: his thesis is a version of Kant's "Copernican Turn". And he obtains it for the same reasons as Kant: without it we would have no explanation, how is it possible that we know anything at all?
Reference system/frame/StroudVsCarnap: a gap opens up between the frame and what is true independently of it. ((s) If a choice between different frames is to be possible).
StroudVsCarnap: in this respect, Carnap's approach is entirely Kantian.
I 196
And he also inherits all the obscurity and idealism of Kant. There are parallels everywhere: for both there can be a kind of distancing from our belief. We can do a philosophical study of everyday life (as far as the conditions of knowledge are concerned).
I 197
Reference system/framework/StroudVsCarnap: to which framework does Carnap's thesis belong that no propositions about external objects are true or false regardless of the choice of a reference system (language)? And is this thesis - analytical or not - itself "internal" in any framework? And whether it is or not, is it not merely an expression of Kantian Transcendental Idealism? Skepticism/StroudVsCarnap: the basic mistake is to develop any competing theory at all to tradition.
I 198
A purely negative approach or deflationary use of the verification principle would simply eliminate skepticism as pointless. If that were possible, scepticism would no longer need to be undermined. But: Verification Principle/StroudVsCarnap: Problem: the status of the verification principle itself, or its acceptability. We can only use it to refute Descartes if we have a good reason to accept it as necessary. But that depends on how it is introduced.
It should serve to prevent the excesses of senseless philosophical speculation.
StroudVsCarnap: 1. Then we can only watch and see how far the principle can lead to a distinction that we have already made before! The only test would be sentences, which we would have recognized as senseless before!
2. But even assuming that the principle would be adequately proven as extensional and descriptive, i.e. it would distinguish between meaningful and senseless, as we do,
I 199
it would not allow us to eliminate something as senseless that we had not already recognized as senseless by other means. Verification Principle/StroudVsCarnap: was incorrectly introduced ((s) with the ulterior motive of producing a result that was already fully known). Early Carnap sketches show that general laws of nature were initially wrongly excluded.
Verification principle/VP/StroudVsCarnap: a correct introduction would provide a strong destructive tool that Kant was already looking for: it would have to explain why the verfication principle is correct. This would probably be identical to an explanation of how knowledge of external things is possible.
Verification Principle/Hempel/Carnap/Stroud: the early representatives had in mind that
1. a sentence is meaningful only if it expresses an "actual content",
2. that understanding a sentence means knowing what would happen if the sentence were true.
Verificationism/Stroud: There is nothing particularly original about this approach. What gives it the verificationist twist is the idea that we cannot even understand anything that cannot be known as true or false, or
weaker: at least to believe as more rational than its opposite.
StroudVsCarnap: that failed, even as an attempt to extract empirically verifiable sentences.
I 205
SkepticismVsVerificationism/StroudVsVerificationism/StroudVsCarnap: even if verificationism is true, we still need an explanation of how and why traditional philosophical ((s) non-empirical) inquiry fails. ((s) should correspond here to skepticism). (>Why-question).
I 207
StroudVsVerificationism/StroudVsCarnap/StroudVsHempel: it is more plausible to reject the verification principle ((s) > empiricist sense criterion) than to claim that Descartes never said anything meaningful. StroudVsVerification Principle: it will remain implausible as long as it is not understood why the traditional distinction internal/external should not be correct.
I 214
Formal manner of speaking: ""Wombat" applies to (is true of) some living beings in Tasmania". QuineVsCarnap: misunderstands the semantic ascent when he speaks of external issues. But this does not reject Carnap's pragmatic approach to simplicity and fertility of theories.

Stroud I
B. Stroud
The Significance of philosophical scepticism Oxford 1984
Carnap, R. Stegmüller Vs Carnap, R. Stegmüller IV 342
StegmüllerVsPositivism: because of the laws of nature contained in the statements, statements by natural scientists cannot be verified!
IV 343
Planning must also be based on assumptions that are not verifiable at the moment of planning. Criteria/sense criterion/Theology/VsCarnap/Stegmüller: instead of a questionable criterion of meaning, we have to look at the definitions of God and ask whether our intuitive prior understanding is sufficient.
Theologians make claims of validity independent of criteria of meaning.
Example: an incorporeal person can at least be thought of!
Example: likewise that something was created from nothing does not represent mental difficulties!
IV 344
For example a problem forms only the concept of the necessary being.

Carnap V
W. Stegmüller
Rudolf Carnap und der Wiener Kreis
Hauptströmungen der Gegenwartsphilosophie Bd I, München 1987

St I
W. Stegmüller
Hauptströmungen der Gegenwartsphilosophie Bd I Stuttgart 1989

W. Stegmüller
Hauptströmungen der Gegenwartsphilosophie Bd 2 Stuttgart 1987

W. Stegmüller
Hauptströmungen der Gegenwartsphilosophie Bd 3 Stuttgart 1987

W. Stegmüller
Hauptströmungen der Gegenwartsphilosophie Bd 4 Stuttgart 1989