more from Rudolph Carnap

Single Idea 13932

[catalogued under 12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 1. Empiricism]

Full Idea

Empiricists are in general rather suspicious with respect to any kind of abstract entities like properties, classes, relations, numbers, propositions etc. They usually feel more sympathy with nominalists than with realists (in the medieval sense).

Gist of Idea

Empiricists tend to reject abstract entities, and to feel sympathy with nominalism


Rudolph Carnap (Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology [1950], 1)

Book Reference

Carnap,Rudolph: 'Meaning and Necessity (2nd ed)' [Chicago 1988], p.205

A Reaction

The obvious reason is that you can't have sense experiences of abstract entities. I like the question 'what are they made of?' rather than the question 'how can I experience them?'.