The Logico-Analytic Method in Philosophy
The Task of Philosophy
In Reply to Quine
|Whereas Frege had the strongest influence on me in the fields of logic and semantics, in my philosophical thinking in general I learned most from Bertrand Russell. In the winter of 1921 I read his book, Our Knowledge of the External World, as a Field For Scientific Method in Philosophy. Some passages made an especially vivid impression on me because they formulated clearly and explicitly a view of the aim and method of philosophy which I had implicitly held for some time. In the Preface he speaks about "the logical-analytic method of philosophy" and refers to Frege's work as the first complete example of this method. And on the very last pages of the book he gives a summarizing characterization of this philosophical method in the following words:||I felt as if this appeal had been directed to me personally. To work in this spirit would be my task from now on! And indeed henceforth the application of the new logical instrument for the purposes of analyzing scientific concepts and of clarifying philosophical problems has been the essential aim of my philosophical activity.|
|from his "Intellectual autobiography" in The Philosophy of Rudolf Carnap [Carnap63], p13.|
|The only proper task of Philosophy is Logical Analysis.||
What kind of sentences are those which express the results of logical Analysis?
...sentences of logical syntax ...
|from "Philosophy and Logical Syntax" [Carnap35] , I.7 p35 and III.1 p68.|
|I should make a distinction between two kinds of readjustment in the case of a conflict with experience, namely, between a change in the language, and a mere change in or addition of, a truth-value ascribed to an indeterminate statement (i.e. a statement whose truth value is not fixed by the rules of language, say by the postulates of logic, mathematics and physics).||A change of the first kind constitutes a radical alteration, sometimes a revolution, and it occurs only at certain historically decisive points in the development of science. On the other hand, changes of the second kind occur every minute. A change of the first kind constitutes, strictly speaking, a transition from a language Ln into a new language Ln+1.|
|"Replies and Systematic Expositions," Schilpp, The Philosophy of Rudolf Carnap [Carnap63], p921|