Realism in Carnap’s Aufbau vs Antirealism in Goodman’s The Structure of Appearance

Ryo Osada [PDF]

Article info.
RAP-0006 – Research article
Received September 8, 2020
Accepted March 22, 2021
Online published April 23, 2021


Although Nelson Goodman’s The Structure of Appearance is the only contemporary successor of Rudolf Carnap’s Der logische Aufbau der Welt, a comparison between them has not yet been sufficiently made. In this paper, I provide a comparison to find their fundamental, ontological difference. First, the differences concerning the following four formal aspects are determined: (1) the scope of the system, (2) formal tools allowed in constructing the system, (3) extralogical primitives of the system, and (4) the criterion of accuracy of definition given in the system. I argue that (4) is most related to their ontological difference. That is, this kind of difference is based on the further, more fundamental difference in their vision of system construction: Carnap constructs a system to objectively specify objects, whereas Goodman does it to make a world. This difference indicates their ontological difference, namely, the more realist Carnap vs the more antirealist Goodman.


Realism, Antirealism, Logical construction, Rudolf Carnap, Nelson Goodman


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