Philosophy Index

Rudolf Carnap

Rudolf Carnap (1891–1970) was a German philosopher, best known for his views of logical positivism.

Logical positivism is generally the epistemological view that knowledge is gained through empiricism along with logical (including mathematical) deduction. Carnap rejects metaphysics, believing that it is to be replaced by proper scientific inquiry, armed with logical deductions from observation alone. Carnap originally claimed that metaphysics was a meaningless pursuit, but later refined his view to state that it was lacking in cognitive content, and thus provides no meaning to science.

Selected Works

  • Introduction to Semantics (1942)
  • Formalization of Logic (1943)
  • Meaning and Necessity: a Study in Semantics and Modal Logic (1947)
  • Logical Foundations of Probability (1950)
  • “Empiricism, Semantics, Ontology” (1950)


Name: Rudolf Carnap
Born: May 18, 1891
Died: September 14, 1970