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Philosophy Research Archives

Volume 11, 1985

William M. Goodman
Pages 551-578

Structures and Procedures
Carnap’s Construction in the Aufbau

This paper takes up the challenge which Carnap poses in his Aufbau: to make of it a basis for continued epistemological research. I try to close some gaps in Carnap’s original presentation and to make at least the first few steps of his constructional outline more accessible to the modern reader. Particularly emphasized is Carnap’s implicit recognition that, to be effective, “structural” models of epistemology (using logical symbols) must be complemented with “procedural” models (his “fictitious operations”). The paper shows how a procedural model, a computer program, can “bypass” Nelson Goodman’s counter example to Carnap’s logical construction of “similarity circles”.

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