For those of you who are interested in following up on the topic of this month’s episode, Kent Schmor recommends the following overview article:

Carnap’s Logical Structure of the World,” Christopher Pincock

For more background on the Vienna Circle, the philosophical group with whom Carnap was affiliated early in his career, see:

The Vienna Circle,” Thomas Uebel

Kent writes:

“Strictly speaking, the Circle didn’t go public until 1928, the same year the Aufbau was published. However, the circle did meet in the years prior while Carnap was writing the book, and there’s no question that those meetings had a profound influence on the direction of the book. In the first preface, he specifically eludes to the circle as embodying the new way of doing philosophy that he sees himself taking up in the Aufbau.”

Another entry that is interesting to look at is on the concept of logical constructions, which Carnap helped pioneer:

Logical Constructions,” Bernard Linsky

“It’s focused almost entirely on Russell’s program of constructing math from logic and the rest of the world from experience and logic, and says very little about Carnap’s constructions specifically. However, in his correspondence with Russell, Carnap points to Russell’s latter program as the main inspiration behind the Aufbau, and considered himself so successful in carrying out Russell’s program of constructing the world, that (to his mind) he had become more Russellian than Russell himself.”

The following paper goes into the debates on how to interpret Carnap’s Aufbau in a little more detail:

Epistemology in the the Aufbau,” Michael Friedman

This is a book by an influential philosopher from earlier in the century, Nelson Goodman, which contains some detailed commentary on Carnap’s Aufbau:

The Structure of Appearance, Nelson Goodman

Finally, our guest recommends the following book for a broader overview: Carnap’s Construction of the World, Alan Richardson

Happy reading!

Matt Teichman