Carnap's Geometrical Methodology

Explication as a transfer principle


  • Matteo De Benedetto Ruhr-Universität Bochum



In this paper, I will offer a novel perspective on Carnapian explication, understanding it as a philosophical analogue of the transfer principle methodology that originated in nineteenth-century projective geometry. Building upon the historical influence that projective geometry exerted on Carnap’s philosophy, I will show how explication can be modeled as a kind of transfer principle that connects, relative to a given task and normatively constrained by the desiderata chosen by the explicators, the functional properties of concepts belonging to different conceptual frameworks. Moreover, I will demonstrate how, in light of this characterization, we can better appreciate the evolution of Carnap’s metaphilosophy.


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