Gätschenberger über das „Gegebene“ und Carnaps „Aufbau“

  • Elena Tatievskaya Universität Augsburg
Keywords: Rudolf Carnap, Richard Gätschenberger, philosophy of language, the given, symbol, logics, epistemology, Vienna circle


In his Aufbau, Carnap argues against Gätschenberger’s claim that a pure language of the “given” is impossible. Carnap understands the given as an object, and cognition as the process of constructing further objects out of the given. The notion of the given is essential for Gätschenberger’s theory of semiotics which he formulates as an alternative to the traditional critique of knowledge. Gätschenberger holds the given, in the sense of every particular experience, to be a natural symbol that posits some object, which is identifiable by the effects of this experience, and in particular by the actions induced by it. Due to ist symbolic character, the given can refer to every realm of objects and therefore play a fundamental role in cognition. Gätschenberger believes that this character of the given is displayed in particular in ist demonstrative function with respect to systems of propositions which represent knowledge. I argue that this assumption is problematic, and that Gätschenberger’s own treatment of the given as a symbol does not support it. Carnap’s concept of the given can be considered as a solution to this and some other problems of Gätschenberger’s theory.