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date: 19 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

From the start of the analytic tradition in philosophy, in the works of Frege, Russell, and the early Wittgenstein, the use of logic to address philosophical problems has been a central theme. In this essay, the contributions of three logicians who played formative roles in analytic philosophy’s second phase, from the 1920s to the 1950s, are considered: Rudolf Carnap, Kurt Gödel, and Alfred Tarski. Besides surveying their philosophically most significant results, the essay traces their mutual influence, from their initial meetings in Central Europe to their later activities in the US, where each of them emigrated and their paths continued to cross. It also contrasts the strikingly different convictions of these three thinkers on basic philosophical issues, which did not prevent them from interacting fruitfully.The discussion revolves around the following topics: the transformation of modern logic, especially the rise of meta-logic; logicism and its relation to formal axiomatics; the notions of truth, logical truth, and logical consequence; formal semantics, metaphysics, and epistemology; and philosophical methodology.

Keywords: Carnap, Gödel, Tarski, axiomatics, logicism, meta-logic, methodology, scientific philosophy, semantics, syntax

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