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[Related Event] The Tokyo Forum for Analytic Philosophy (TFAP)

17:00-19:00, Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Bld. 18, 4F, Collaboration Room 2, The University of Tokyo, Komaba

The Tokyo Forum for Analytic Philosophy (TFAP) is a forum for research in analytic philosophy broadly conceived---including research in the empirical/formal sciences that is of philosophical interest. We are inviting speakers from Japan and abroad. Meetings are held in English. Anybody who is interested is welcome.

Title: From Chaos to Reality: How Carnap Built Worlds in the 1920s
Speaker: Thomas Mormann (University of the Basque Country)

Abstract: Rudolf Carnap's first opus magnum The Logical Construction of the World (Der Logische Aufbau der Welt, 1928) aimed for a characterization of the world in terms of a minimal vocabulary, from which all concepts of all sciences could be defined. In Carnap's own - Neo-Kantian jargon - the Aufbau aimed at the construction of a comprehensive constitutional system for all sciences (at least in principle) within a single comprehensive formal system the only primitives of which were the concepts of elementary experiences and (recollection of) similarity. Since the incisive criticisms of Quine, Goodman, and others the Aufbau project has been considered by many as definitely failed. The aim of this talk is to show that this verdict may have been premature. In particular, I’d like to show that Carnap's attempt of applying his notorious method of "quasi-analysis" to the task of defining properties (or qualities) in terms of similarity does not fall prey to Goodman's "difficulties". To argue for this claim some new mathematical devices are introduced (not available to Goodman), and some arguments are taken into account that can be unearthed from some of Carnap's early unpublished manuscripts of the 1920s in which he dealt with various issues of "world-building".

Hosted by the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, the University of Tokyo

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