more from Rudolph Carnap

Single Idea 8960

[catalogued under 7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 4. Abstract Existence]

Full Idea

Carnap's verdict is that questions regarding the existence of abstracta tend to be trivial when taken as internal and deeply problematic when taken as external.


'Internal' here means within a given theory

Gist of Idea

Internal questions about abstractions are trivial, and external ones deeply problematic


report of Rudolph Carnap (Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology [1950]) by Zoltán Gendler Szabó - Nominalism 6

Book Reference

'The Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics', ed/tr. Loux,M /Zimmerman,D [OUP 2005], p.41

A Reaction

If the internal aspect of the problem is 'trivial', this would put Carnap in league with fictionalists, who are only committed to entities while playing the current game. What is the status of the theory? Carnap wanted flowers to bloom.