Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Engineers and Drifters: Carnap's Ideal of Explication and its Critics
André Carus, Open Court Publishing
12:05 pm, 817R Cathedral of Learning
Abstract: Carnap's early writings, especially the Aufbau and Logical Syntax, have enjoyed a lot of attention recently. But the central thread of Carnap's philosophy -- that holds these two books and his other writings together -- is often lost from sight. This talk characterizes that central thread, the "ideal of explication" or engineering ideal, and discusses various ways it has been criticized over the years. Among other examples, it focuses on a recent critique of the engineering ideal by Mark Wilson, appraises the damage, and provides a rough cost estimate for reconstruction.