Rudolf Carnap

  • Early Life

    Born May 18, 1891 in Ronsdof (now Wuppertal) Germany. Enrolled at the University of Jena with intent to become a high-school science teacher. Spent three years on the German front in World War I, after became involved in an anti-war socialist political group.
  • The Aufbau Program

    Carnap was having trouble finding deductive relations between sense perceptions and the abstract concepts of the advanced sciences(Leitgeb et al., 2020). Just before his book "Der Raum" was published he came across Bertrand Russell's book, "Our Knowledge of the External World" that drastically changed what would become know as the Aufbau Project drastically.
  • Wittgenstein's Tractatus

    The first draft of the Aufbau project was finished in 1925, when Carnap left for Vienna to become a lecturer. Became involved in a group that would become known as the "Vienna Circle", where they were currently attempting to fuse Wittgenstein's Tractatus with their logical positivism ideals.
  • The Aufbau

    The original intent of the book changed widely throughout it's development but the central goal of forming all concepts into a single deductive system prevailed. "Everything is accessible. If someone now claims that a thing of a particular kind exists, I can demand of him that he show me the path from me to the claimed thing."(Leitgeb et al., 2020)
  • Syntax

    In 1931 Carnap and the Vienna Circle dropped Wittgenstein and focused on Hilbertain's approach to "Meaning". Which in turn spilt the Vienna Circle into two sides.
  • Logical Syntax of Language

    The Syntax is Carnap's best-known novel, around the time it was published the Vienna Circle was collapsing as members fled from political persecution. It received little to no attention when it was published, it was only till much later was the radical concepts and ideas appreciated.
  • Fleeing to America

    After fleeing to America in 1936, although Carnap claimed to feel "comfortable" in the States, his support of socialist causes in Europe had earned him the ire of the the FBI along with many of his other Vienna Circle friends.
  • Inductive Logic

    At the age of 52, Carnap drastically changed directions in his philosophical thinking to inductive logic. Reichenbach's "Disparity Conception" was the driving force for this change. In 1950 he published his largest book to date "Logical Foundations of Probability"
  • Work Citied

    Leitgeb, H. L., Carus, A. C., & Zalta, E. Z. (2020, May 5). Rudolf Carnap (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved October 21, 2021, from