Rudolf Carnap (1891-1970) was the most important philosopher of the movement known as logical empiricism or logical positivism, still the basis of much modern analytic philosophy. It was long thought that this movement had been destroyed by the polemics of Quine, Popper, and Kuhn. But recently, leading philosophers have been re-appraising this verdict. It is no longer universally agreed that Quine or Popper "won" their disputes with Carnap, and some have now been arguing that Kuhn’s ideas are--as Carnap himself thought--perfectly compatible with logical empiricism.
This volume presents the latest contributions to this discussion from both sides, and adds a number of new voices, who look at Carnap from a more international point of view -- bringing out, for instance, the roots of his thought in Continental neo-Kantianism and Dilthey’s Lebensphilosophie, and stressing his deep commitment to political and cultural change. Carnap grew up in Jena, and in his student days was an active member there of the utopian "Sera Group", part of the German youth movement. At the same time, he was one of Frege’s few students, and was deeply influenced by him.