Polish Journal of Philosophy

Volume 11, Issue 1, Spring 2017

Adam Tamas Tuboly
Pages 57-78

From ‘Syntax’ to ‘Semantik’ — Carnap’s Inferentialism and Its Prospects

The aim of this paper is to provide context for and historical exegesis of Carnap’s alleged move from syntax to semantics. The Orthodox Received View states that there was a radical break, while the Unorthodox Received View holds that Carnap’s syntactical period already had many significant semantical elements. I will argue that both of them are partly right, both of them contain a kernel of truth: it is true that Carnap’s semantical period started after his Logical Syntax of Language — in one sense of semantics. But it is also true that Carnap had already included semantical ideas in LSL: though not (just) in the sense that URV maintains. This latter sense of semantics is related to what is usually called inferentialism, and by getting a clearer picture of Carnap’s original aims, context, and concept-usage, we might be in a better position to approach his alleged inferentialism.