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11 - The ideal of explication

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 September 2009

A. W. Carus
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
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Summary

We have traced the steps, over the past ten chapters, by which Carnap progressed from a position within the mainstream of scientific neo-Kantianism, strongly influenced – as that tradition was – by positivism, to the embrace of tolerance in 1932. The full application of the new principle was impeded for many years by lingering prejudices from earlier stages in his development. This delay, combined with Carnap's predilection for working on particular language projects rather than the architectonic of the overall ideal, meant that he never fully spelled out his ideal of explication as an account of reason, and it is left to those following in his footsteps to piece together the hints he left. Inevitably, we round out and supplement those fragments with new materials of our own, suiting his ideas to fit our very different environment. In keeping with the discussion of Carnapian pragmatics at the end of Chapter 10, the following sketch is placed in a naturalistic context. The ideal of explication is meant to be an ideal, not a descriptive theory, but to convey how it could be relevant to real life, it has to be given some social and historical texture.

To vindicate the approach of situating the development toward this ideal in a larger context, and to give some indication how it can indeed be employed as an ideal of reason in a broader sense, I will conclude, in the final section, by applying it in a more ill-structured and quite different context of discourse: the realm of political interaction in democratic societies.

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Carnap and Twentieth-Century Thought
Explication as Enlightenment
, pp. 273 - 309
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2007

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  • The ideal of explication
  • A. W. Carus, University of Cambridge
  • Book: Carnap and Twentieth-Century Thought
  • Online publication: 22 September 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511487132.014
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  • The ideal of explication
  • A. W. Carus, University of Cambridge
  • Book: Carnap and Twentieth-Century Thought
  • Online publication: 22 September 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511487132.014
Available formats
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  • The ideal of explication
  • A. W. Carus, University of Cambridge
  • Book: Carnap and Twentieth-Century Thought
  • Online publication: 22 September 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511487132.014
Available formats
×