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Ontology after Carnap$
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Stephan Blatti and Sandra Lapointe

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199661985

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199661985.001.0001

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Carnap, the Necessary A Posteriori, and Metaphysical Anti-realism

Carnap, the Necessary A Posteriori, and Metaphysical Anti-realism

(p.81) 4 Carnap, the Necessary A Posteriori, and Metaphysical Anti-realism
Ontology after Carnap

Stephen Biggs

Jessica Wilson

Oxford University Press

In Meaning and Necessity, Carnap advances an intensional semantic framework on which modal claims are knowable a priori, since true in virtue of semantic rules alone. In ‘Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology’, Carnap advances an epistemic-ontological framework on which metaphysical claims are either trivial or meaningless, since lacking any means of substantial confirmation. Carnap carried out these projects before Kripke influentially argued that some modal claims are only knowable a posteriori. How should a neo-Carnapian respond to Kripke’s results? Some have suggested (notably Chalmers and Jackson 2001) that extending intensional semantics as per “epistemic two-dimensionalism” can accommodate Kripke’s results while largely preserving Carnap’s commitment to the a priority of modal claims. This chapter considers how best to implement this suggestion and how the resulting semantics fits with Carnap’s second project. It finds that the most promising (and most Carnapian!) post-Kripke version of Carnap’s semantics presupposes an epistemology which undermines Carnap’s metaphysical anti-realism.

Keywords:   Carnap, Kripke, modality, necessity, a priority, a posteriori necessity, abduction, conceivability, two-dimensional semantics, metaphysical anti-realism, ontological anti-realism, abductive two-dimensionalism

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