The paper will explore the arguments presented by Rudolf Carnap on the consideration of abstract entities in semantics in his works; Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology. Next, I will discuss the rules that an expression must meet for it to be considered as an abstract reality…
The concern on the use of abstract entities in semantics comes from the two divergent views held by semanticists. One group of semanticists; especially those inclined to science hold that some expressions refer to entities including both concrete materials and abstract entities. Concrete materials refer to tangible objects such as trees. However, other semanticists oppose such a view and argue that such a perspective goes against the principles of empiricism and takes semantics back to the “Metaphysical Ontology of the Platonic Kind” (Carnap 242). By saying that such a perspective takes semantics to “Metaphysical of the Platonic Kind” implies that the approach reduces semantics to imitation where semantics can only refer to observable objects. The paper will therefore explore the best approach that may used in inclusion of abstract entities into semantics and avert a controversy as one brought out by Carnap. It will be achieved by first discussing linguistic frameworks, numbers as abstract realities and the implication of accepting a new kind of entities.
To dispel the controversy presented above, Carnap begin by discussing the linguistic frameworks. Carnap poses a question on whether there exist classes, properties and propositions and goes ahead to assert that such can only be understood by recognizing the distinction between two forms of questions touching on the reality of entities (242). Firstly, Carnap discusses about internal questions that are formulated using new structures of expression. Answers to internal questions may only be achieved by following a logical sequence or empirical methods based on whether the framework is a factual or logical one (242). Logical sequencing refers to finding answers through a series of questions. Empirical method refers to answering question using theories. On the other hand, external questions are in complex forms and require closer evaluation. The reason ...
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